2021 Kyalami 6 Hours: The WEC Race That Nearly Happened

Kyalami WEC AMS2.jpg
Image: Reiza Studios
With the World Endurance Championship back this weekend for their first post-Le Mans round of the season, Luca began reminiscing about a WEC round that failed to materialise.

This weekend, Interlagos will see the WEC Hypercars and LMGT3 vehicles compete for six hours on a track beloved by the motorsport community. It has not been on the schedule since the 2014 season finale. Since its inception in 2012, WEC has raced at a vast array of high profile tracks.

Just on this season's schedule, there are Losail, Imola, Spa-Francorchamps, Interlagos, Circuit of the Americas, Fuji, Sakhir and of course, Le Mans. In past seasons, they have raced at Algarve, Mexico City, Monza, the Nürburgring, Sebring, Shanghai and Silverstone. Another well-known track very nearly joined that esteemed list for 2021.

WEC 2020-21.jpg

February 6 2021 was initially set to be the return of international prototype sportscar racing to the African continent. Image: www.24h-lemans.com

After WEC attempted to transition to be more of a "winter series" (like Formula E) with Le Mans as the finale, their preliminary 2020-21 season schedule had a round at the Kyalami circuit in South Africa listed. But of course, we all know what happened when the pandemic hit, and the series was forced to revert back to a more traditional annual calendar.

What resulted was that Kyalami vanished from the schedule, and it would appear there has been no attempt to revive it. Which is a shame really, because endurance races have quite the history at the track.

Endurance Racing At Kyalami​

After three years of racing at the Grand Central airport, the annual South African Nine Hour Endurance Race moved to Kyalami for 1961, using the same layout which would go on to host the F1 South African Grand Prix between 1967 and 1985. For the first four runnings along with the previous three at Grand Central, it was a non-championship event.

From 1965 to 1973, it was the main event of the South African Springbok Trophy Series before for 1974, it became part of the World SportsCar Championship - what we know now as the World Endurance Championship today. In order to align it with all the other rounds bar the Le Mans 24 Hours, they lowered the race length from nine to six hours, or the equivalent of 1,000 kilometres.


Unfortunately after that one running as part of the WSC, it once again became a non-championship race. High level sportscar championship racing returned from 1983-84 and then had another run from 1998-2000, but then from 2001-18? Nothing. It was only when the SRO Motorsports Group showed an interest in reviving the event as part of the Intercontinental GT Challenge that it returned.

After four runnings of the race with GT3s being the top class rather than prototypes, it vanished from the IGTC schedule and is now part of the South African Endurance Series. The race really struggled to find its home in motorsport, and it may never will thanks to a few factors.

First, logistics. In the last years of IGTC's presence at the race, only 13 cars turned up, a couple of which were only for that event. A major factor in that was perhaps the distance, but they have no issues getting to Mount Panorama.

Kyalami layout.jpg

The layout of Kyalami as it has been since 2016. Image: Dr Enslin via Wikimedia Commons, available for distribution under the CC-BY SA 4.0 license

There will be other reasons as to why Kyalami has not been able to fix itself on the international motorsports calendar, but probably more political than anything else. It may very well be a long time before international level racing returns to Kyalami.

Virtual Lifeline​

Anyway, after that minor bleak detour, we can now focus on how to bring it to life in a sim if it cannot be done in real life. Of course, Assetto Corsa mods will be out there for the track - like this one from @Prototype_ - as well as the cars, but when it comes to officially licenced first-party content, there is only one sim currently offering this experience: Automobilista 2.

As we established in our Recreating The 24 Hours Of Le Mans article, there are three LMDh cars and four current-gen GT3 cars but also, of course, the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit. GT3 cars are already accounted for on Assetto Corsa Competizione with Kyalami also in the sim, but there are no prototypes, and that is half the battle when it comes to replicating WEC.

Cadillac Kyalami onboard.jpg

The configuration from the 2016 redesign features some incredible corners that feel amazing with high downforce cars.

However, the one thing AMS2 does not have going for it is driver swaps. For a proper endurance race, that is obviously needed, but as developer Reiza Studios are steadily improving AMS2, online driver swaps should be part of the endurance features being added. Until then, perhaps solo endurance racing will have to suffice - handing over the car to an AI driver is possible, after all.

As an avid iRacing user, I would hope one day Kyalami gets added to the service so I can do a race there as part of the Global Endurance Tour in my beloved Cadillac V-Series.R. A high-downforce car like the prototypes would be incredible to drive Kyalami, with corners like Sunset, Mineshaft and the Crocodiles all being high speed, flowing and undulating, suited perfectly for these sorts of cars.

Can you think of some other motorsport races that never ended up happening? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter @OverTake_gg or in the comments below!
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Luca [OT]
Biggest sim racing esports fan in the world.

Comments

"However, the one thing AMS2 does not have going for it is driver swaps."

And AMS2 has the silly time acceleration from Project cars 2, it should be on the priority list too, x24 x48 x60 is a must have, not the silly x25 x30 x40 x50.....and still no way like ACC, iRacing, LMU/rF2 to start with only water on the road, no rain.......
 
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"However, the one thing AMS2 does not have going for it is driver swaps."

And AMS2 has the silly time acceleration from Project cars 2, it should be on the priority list too, x24 x48 x60 is a must have, not the silly x25 x30 x40 x50.....and still no way like ACC, iRacing, LMU/rF2 to start with only water on the road, no rain.......
When was the last time you played AMS2? Time acceleration does go up to 60x, and you indeed can start with water on the road with no rain, just change the live track preset to Wet and leave weather to anything other than rain.
 
When was the last time you played AMS2? Time acceleration does go up to 60x, and you indeed can start with water on the road with no rain, just change the live track preset to Wet and leave weather to anything other than rain.
60x with 25 min race is still silly....it's the time race which is silly too
 
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Again, when was the last time you've played the game? You can literally set the time to 24 hours lol.
no, you can't, x60 with 25 min race is not 24h ;)
AMS2 time acceleration and race lenght is not made to simulate 24h, unlike ACC, rF2, LMU or Iracing ;)
 
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no, you can't, x60 with 25 min race is not 24h ;)
AMS2 time acceleration and race lenght is not made to simulate 24h, unlike ACC, rF2, LMU or Iracing ;)
Yes it is , I did a 24h race last night lol, 1 hour race length x 25 multiplier = 24 hours in game ..... What confuses you is the "25" number but it is in fact correct. 1 Hour which runs 25 times faster in game is 24 hours or 25 minutes which runs 60 times faster in game is 24 hours.

60/25 = 2,4 x 10 = 24hours.
 
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Yes it is , I did a 24h race last night lol, 1 hour race length x 25 multiplier = 24 hours in game ..... What confuses you is the "25" number but it is in fact correct. 1 Hour which runs 25 times faster in game is 24 hours or 25 minutes which runs 60 times faster in game is 24 hours.

60/25 = 2,4 x 10 = 24hours.
ahahahah, 24h is the race we want

"25 minutes which runs 60 times faster in game is 24 hours"
- if we use x60, it' means 1min = 1h (1min x60 = 60 min = 1h), it means it needs 24 (24x1)min to simulate 24h (24x1)....not 25, you simulate 25h with 25min ( 24h + 1h) ;)

1min -> 60 min
24min -> 60minx24 = 1440 min = 24h

and AMS2 has 20 min / 25 min / 30 min / 35 min, no way to select 24 min


"1 Hour which runs 25 times faster in game is 24 hours"
- About 1h race with x25 :
1h -> 25h
xx ? -> 24h
it needs 0.96 h to simulates 24h with x25 time acceleration
but you said 1x25=24, and it's impossible, but 0.96x25=24

1h race to simulate 24h, is x24 time acceleration, with 1h you simulate 24h and AMS2 has no 24x time acceleration....

it's the Project cars 2 (2017) time acceleration and race lenght heritage, and it was already massively criticised and discussed...cause it's not made for a properly 24h race simulated, only ACC, iRacing, LMU and rF2 have the perfect settings.

60/25 = 2,4 x 10 = 24hours.
It's the most funny thing, you divided time acceleration by race lenght, 60/25, and the result is 2.4 and you arbitrary use x10 without any valid reason to have 24 ! ;)


24 H = 60minx24 = 1440min
with your "25" min race you simulate 25x60min = 1500 min, it's not 24h ;)
 
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ahahahah, 24h is the race we want

"25 minutes which runs 60 times faster in game is 24 hours"
- if we use x60, it' means 1min = 1h (1min x60 = 60 min = 1h), it means it needs 24 (24x1)min to simulate 24h (24x1)....not 25, you simulate 25h with 25min ( 24h + 1h) ;)

1min -> 60 min
24min -> 60minx24 = 1440 min = 24h

and AMS2 has 25 min / 30 min / 35 min, no way to select 24 min


"1 Hour which runs 25 times faster in game is 24 hours"
- About 1h race :
1h race to simulate 24h, is x24 time acceleration, wtih 1h you simulate 24h and AMS2 has no 24x time acceleration....

it's the Project cars 2 (2017) time acceleration and race lenght heritage, and it was already massively criticised and discussed...cause it's not made for a properly 24h race simulated, only ACC, iRacing, LMU and rF2 have the perfect settings.

60/25 = 2,4 x 10 = 24hours.
24 H = 60minx24 = 1440min
with your "25" min race you simulate 25x60min = 1500 min, it's not 24h ;)
That's not how you calculate time acceleration lol .... Your math be mathing the wrong way my dude.

If you want 1 hour to last 24hours in game you have to stretch the 1 hour realtime by 24 gametime so you need to divide the two. If you multiply like you did 60x24 = (1440/10) it is to calculate the slowdown rate. so if you want 60 hours realtime to fit into 24hours game time then you have to SLOWDOWN time by 144 scale

SO 60/24 = (2,5 x 10) = (Your time acceleration scale)

You can even work it out differently - we want 24 hours in game to be accelerated to fit into 1 hour real time. So 24h game time x25 acceleration = (600/10) real minutes

Go test it in game and be amazed :thumbsup:
 
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