The fact that we have local tracks on Assetto Corsa is already something to be grateful for, but the presence of Kyalami with such accuracy is truly fantastic. It helps of course that the track is firmly back on the international map, thanks to the Kyalami 9 Hour and hopefully World Endurance Championship when the world goes back to normal.

To give you an idea of the accuracy, actual Intercontinental GT3 teams used this Kyalami “mod” to test for the 9 Hour last year. They gave feedback on exact measurements of kerbs, placement of bumps and extent of inclines and dips, which was then recreated in the virtual version. 

The “modder” in question goes by the name of Prototype. Well, this is one prototype we can all get behind. We salute you, sir.

In this virtual world of accurately modelled bumps and kerbs, an enlarged grid of 30 Abarth Asseto Corse FWD machines will give us incredible bumper-to-bumper racing tonight. 

We caught up with championship front runner Jurie Swart to hear what he had to say before tonights race.

“The track is one of the best mods currently available on any sim racing platform as it was made for drivers to test for the Kyalami 9 Hour. It’s 100% realistic, the way the Abarth 500 reacts to the kerbs and bumps is probably the closest you will get to real life on any racing game. It provides great racing due to the circuit being wide and inviting for overtakes”

With Swart having raced the real circuit before, we can certainly vouch for his opinion.

For those who want to give the track a drive you can find the link here. This does however only work on a PC using the Assetto Corsa simulation.

This is round 3 of a championship in which Cape Town duo Jurie “Umpie” Swart (G-Energy / G Force Sim) and Troy Dolinschek (Makita / Simrace247) have been fighting tooth and nail for victory. Dolinschek was particularly good at the last race at Tsukuba, where he made the most of the tight and twisty Japanese track to emerge with 2 wins and the championship lead. 

Don’t make the mistake of thinking the field isn’t tight. Whilst many will expect Swart and Dolinschek to set the pace tonight, there are plenty of other serious drivers in the mix. The likes of Hilton Pieters (Sujean Property Investments), Carel van der Merwe (GT Graphics / Kings Customs), Kewyn Snyman (Simrace247), John-Henri Vaughan (Maps Racing / Simrace247), Ryan van Eden (Speed and Sound Magazine), Dario Busi (Universal Motorsport / Team Red Racing) and Clinton Bezuidenhout (Glenwood Zenex Bosch / Universal Health Care / Wingfield Motors) will all be ready to swap paint tonight as they fight for the podium.

Jano van der Westhuizen and Chase Herholdt (Simrace247 / Umpini Graphics) currently round out the top 10 in this hotly contested championship.

Prepare yourself for overtaking bravado on every lap, with these cars going three-wide in practice and posting incredibly similar lap times. Unlike in Tsukuba where there were numerous accidents on the tight track, Kyalami’s tarmac should result in a cleaner race.

Series brainchild and driver Ryan van Eden had this to say in the build up to the race later.

“The championship is looking very close and Kyalami is the race we have all been looking forward to. 29 cars on the grid is very exciting. We have been very happy with how the series has gone so far, the only down side is the number of people wanting to enter that we can’t accommodate due to the limited number of cars allowed. I’m hoping for a good race tonight and possibly a top 5 for me personally if I dont get taken out!” said van Eden with a laugh.

As a sign of the popularity of this series, the entry list has swelled to 30 drivers. SRA boys Melvin Gous and Adriaan Nel bring some Namibian flavour to the grid, while Class C GTi Challenge Champion Giordano Lupini (Motorsport Media) will be keen to make his mark. If that isn’t enough, single seater driver Byron Mitchell as well as DD2 Masters karting ace Jason Greyling (Nigma Media) will join the fray, swapping open skies for tin top racing. Stuart Mack (Blue Belt Pozidrive) and GJ Hendriks are also among the debutants.

Commentators Gary Fleming and Franky Heunis have you covered from the sidelines as they provide top class reporting on the action. They will be making their Highveld debut as they take us through the Kyalami action, which might rattle a few chains of competing up-country voices. 

It’s all incredibly exciting and so much more authentic than most of us could ever have dreamed possible.

Qualifying kicks off at 20:00 and lights out for race one 15 minutes after that.

Follow @TMSARacing for updates and the livestream of all the races.

Yours in simracing, TMSA and Carbs and Coffee Media.