16 Nov HOW TO PLAN YOUR GUMTREE WORLD RALLYCROSS OF SOUTH AFRICA WEEKEND AT KILLARNEY INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY
In terms of sheer size and scale, it’s the country’s biggest and most prestigious motorsport event. The Gumtree World Rallycross of South Africa, at Killarney International Raceway on 24 and 25 November gives you two full days of non-stop action.
So clear your diary, stock up on sunscreen (the weather forecast is for clear skies and high temperatures), grab a hat and you’re ready to go – here’s how to plan the most exciting weekend of your motorsport year:
Get there early: the gates open to the public at 7am on both days, and you want to give yourself time to grab breakfast on the go – or at least a caffeine boost – from one of the many food vendors around the purpose built stadium-style circuit (no alcohol, braais or refreshments of your own may be brought in for that reason) and browse the memorabilia and motor accessory displays before lead commentator Greg Moloney warns you that the action is about to begin at 9am.
Find your seat – or a good spot on the grass bank if you’ve bought tickets to the General Admission area – and brace yourself. First out for practice are the big dogs, the 600 horsepower two-litre turbocharged all-wheel drive World Rallycross Supercars, capable of accelerating from a standstill to 100km/h in less than two seconds – quicker than a Formula One car – and piling into the first corner at nearly 200km/h. They’ll be running flat out from the very first lap, five or six of them at a time on the 1.07 kilometre circuit for just four laps, because they’re not allowed to practice before the race weekend.
They’ll be followed by the RX2 cars, each with a naturally aspirated 2.4-litre Ford Duratec engine, tuned by Mountune to deliver 310 horsepower, also driving all four wheels. Because they rev higher than the turbopowered Supercars and they are very evenly matched, they are just as exciting to watch.
Finally the locally based R2N National Rally cars with 160+ horsepower, 1.6-litre engines will show just how lekker local can be, as their drivers adapt very quickly to the confines of the stadium-style course. Everybody gets just two four-lap practice sessions, except for the premier class cars, which get three.
Then it’s time to look up, as the South African Air Force display team, the Silver Falcons, put on a breathtaking display of precision stunt-flying, before you head off to the Monster Energy Rig Riot at 12.30pm. However, you’d better be back by 1pm for the start of Qualifying.
Forget everything you knew about Qualifying for conventional motorsport: this is flat-out, head to head racing, five cars at a time for four laps – and the devil will take the hindmost, because only the fastest 12 Supercar and RX2 drivers will make it through to the semi-finals.
Each competitor will take part in two Qualifying races on Saturday afternoon, and the day will wind up with an invitation race for six local rallycross drivers, and an autograph session with the stars of World Rallycross in the Paddock at 5.30pm, including current World Rallycross Champion Johan Kristoffersson and nine-times World Rally Champion Sebastien Loeb.
Sunday’s track action will start at 9am with a two lap warm-up for each class, followed by two more rounds of Qualifying races, each with five cars starting in line abreast across the grid. This is the drivers’ last chance to qualify for the last Semi-Finals of the season, so expect very robust racing.
The lunch break will see another world-class aerial display by the Silver Falcons, an autograph session in the Paddock and a Monster Energy Rig Riot. Then it’s the Semi-Finals of the RX2 class, with six cars on each grid in three rows of two, followed by the Final of the R2N National Rally Class, and the Semi-Finals of the World Rallycross Supercars at 3pm.
The top three finishers in each Semi-Final will go through to the Finals, first the RX2 and then the last race of the weekend, the World Rallycross Supercar Final, followed by the podium ceremonies for
all three classes, beginning at 3.50pm.
It’s going top be non-stop action for two full days; each race takes less than than five minutes and you’ll scarcely have time to catch your breath before the cars line up for the next race. The best part however, is that you can see practically the entire circuit from anywhere on the grandstands or the General Admission area, which is where you’ll find the most enthusiastic – and loudest – fans.
Book at Ticketpro; beware of scalpers selling tickets at ‘discount’ prices, as the organisers are aware of cloned tickets with invalid, duplicated barcodes. Prices for the weekend start at R430 for general admission, to R750 on the grandstands, with hospitality packages from R2500. For more information go to www.fiaworldrallycross.com.
TICKET PRICES: (New day-pass prices in red)
General Admission, Weekend Pass with limited paddock access: R430
General Admission, Day Pass Saturday/Sunday: R280
General Admission, 12-16, Weekend Pass with limited paddock access: R220
General Admission, 12-16, Day Pass Saturday/Sunday: R140
General Admission, under 12, Weekend Pass with limited paddock access: FREE
General Admission, under 12, Day Pass Saturday/Sunday: FREE
Grandstand Seating, Weekend Pass with limited paddock access: R750
Grandstand Seating, Day Pass Saturday/Sunday: R500
For the Wheelchair / Disabled Area please email firstname.lastname@example.org to book tickets:
Weekend Pass for one wheelchair and one helper: R750 for the two tickets
On-site Parking, Weekend Pass: R280
On-site Parking, Day Pass Saturday/Sunday: R140
On-site Parking, Day Pass Saturday/Sunday – Motorcycles: R50
Off-site Parking, Weekend Pass: R220
Off-site Parking, Day Pass Saturday/Sunday: R100
Off-site parking is at Theologian College, next to McCarthy Toyota opposite the Potsdam Taxi rank, about a 400 metre walk from Killarney International Raceway (Gate 1).