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#Kyalami9Hour: An A to Z guide

Take a look at this cool A to Z guide of everything you need to know about the iconic race.

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#Kyalami9hour | 'To be representing Bentley in such an iconic race is super special' - SA's Jordan Pepper

2019-11-04 11:49

Robin Classen

Steven Kane, Jordan Pepper and Jules Gounon with t

Steven Kane, Jordan Pepper and Jules Gounon with their #107 Continental GT3 Image: Drew Gibson

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Just like the 2010 Fifa World Cup was one of the country's proudest moments, now along with the 2019 Rugby World Cup win by the Spingboks this past weekend, so too is the upcoming Kyalami 9 Hour endurance race taking place from 21 to 23 November.

The event takes on added significance not only because it's returning to SA after a 37 hiatus, but also because of a small contingent of local racers taking part in the showpiece race.

Proudly South African

With 30 cars, 90 international drivers  - of which 16 are South African - having confirmed their participation, there is one racer in particular that will be hoping to put in a strong showing in front of his home crowd.

Jordan Pepper comes from a family with a rich racing history, his father Iain is a former South African Touring Car driver, while older sister Tasmin competes in the W Series Women’s World Championship.

READ | Why the return of the Kyalami 9 Hour is such a big deal for SA

23-year-old Jordan Pepper has been competing in motorsport, albeit in the form of go-karting, since 2002 in South Africa.

"I managed to get multiple top 5 and 3 finishes, however I never won an SA title. I always focused on bettering myself and moving to a new class before I won. In these years I represented SA at the international finals, with a best finish of P5 in Vortex Jnr Rok class," says Pepper.



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team celebrating victory at Paul Ricard

                                                                        Image: Drew Gibson

It was in 2012 when his racing career started taking off, with his first full season racing in the Engen VW Polo Cup, winning one race whilst achieving multiple podium finishes and ending up third place overall while also claiming the rookie champ accolade.

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The following year saw Jordan compete in the European VW Scirocco Cup where he also claimed a single win and three podium finishes. He ended the season in third place and claimed junior champion in the category.

Homegrown hero

2014 was something of a pivotal year for the young racer from Gauteng in the same competition, this time ending overall champion with an impressive tally of 8 pole positions, 9 podium finishes and clinching 6 wins - all mighty impressive, and record-breaking feats in the series.

Jordan Pepper at Paul Ricard

                                                                      Image: Drew Gibson

Pepper spent most of his racing career overseas, first starting out as a junior driver for VW and then for C. ABT Racing in the ADAC GT Masters in an Audi R8 GT3 clinching his very first race win in 2015, and two podium finishes.

It was yet to get better for the young boy from South Africa the following year in 2016, then beginning his stint driving for Bentley Team Abt in ADAC GT Masters scoring the team's only pole position and podium finish.

Jordan Pepper in discussion with engineer

                                                                   Image: Drew Gibson

He competed in the Nurburgring and Spa 24-hour race, securing Bentleys first VLN Nordschliefe podium, while also finishing in the top 20 shootout at the Spa event on his debut. Besides his on-track accomplishments, Jordan was also actively involved in the development of the new Gen-2 car.

The road to success

"In 2018, I competed in 3 rounds of the Carrera Cup in Asia before focusing on my opportunity at Bentley Team M-Sport from Round 3 at Paul Ricard. Being signed as a full-time Bentley boy was extremely special and something I worked hard at since I moved to Europe," Pepper adds.

Steven Kane, Jordan Pepper and Jules Gounon with t

                                                                             Image: Drew Gibson

He has carried on the momentum into 2019, securing a first European win for the 2nd Generation Continental GT3 car at Paul Ricard 1000km. He followed that up with a podium finish in Barcelona at the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup, and fourth place in the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup championship.

WIN | Kyalami 9 Hour double tickets with Wheels24!

Wheels24 spoke to Jordan ahead of the highly-anticipated event:

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