This new event, tagged with the “Two Continents – One Winner” moniker, created with the help of the Free State Provincial Government of South Africa, will feature a 207-lap, 500-Kilometer event at the Phakisa Freeway Circuit in Welkom. The race will take place on January 29 – 31, 2010.
This event, the first time the ASA will venture outside of North America, will be part of the “South African Speedweeks” which will see various racing-themed activities surrounding the race. The contract allows ASA Racing International as the exclusive International Stock Car Sanctioning organization for 4 years at Phakisa, working closely with Motorsport South Africa (MSA), the controlling body of all motorsports in South Africa.
“Everyone involved with the Free State Province is extremely excited about the ‘Championship Between the Continents’ and looks forward to hosting the American drivers,” said Ace Magashule, the Honourable Free State Premier. “We recently concluded a very successful 2009 Soccer Confederation Cup championship as a prelude to hosting the 2010 FIFA World Cup Tournament. This stock car race will be another opportunity for the Free State Province to showcase our beautiful country on a worldwide stage. When the idea was presented to us by Mr. (Dennis) Huth there was no question that this was the type of event our country should be involved with and an excellent manner to promote racing at our own Phakisa Freeway Circuit. January is a beautiful time to visit South Africa as it is our summer and the Phakisa racetrack will impress those who come to compete in the event.”
Phakisa Freeway Circuit is a multi-purpose racing facility featuring a 1.5-mile oval which is where the “Championship Between the Continents” will be contested. This D-shaped oval, located southwest of Johannesburg, is reminiscent of the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. As an interesting side note, “Phakisa” means “Get Moving” in South Sesotho language, a fitting name for a racetrack.
Mr. Dan Kgothule, the Member of Executive Council for Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation in the Free State Provincial Government, is proud to bring a major sporting event in Africa, and especially on the South African soil at the Phakisa Freeway Circuit.
“It is very exciting for South Africa to see these types of major sporting events held in the Free State Province, and they will surely boost the economy of the province and the country in general. They bring considerable pride to our country, and they show the rest of the world that South Africa offers hospitality, beauty, and world-class sporting venues. I am looking forward to making this ‘Championships Between the Continents’ one of the premier motorsport events in the world,” Kgothule said.
“We will be hosting the ‘Championship Between the Continents’ and build not only a foundation to utilize our state-of-the-art facility for now and well into the future, but also to enhance the skills of our South African racing drivers by having them compete against, and learn from, some of the top American racing champions. The American Speed Association will bring to us the experience to put on a first-class event and help to position this race on the worldwide stage,” explained Dhilosen Pillay, the Chief Executive Officer of the Phakisa Major Sports Events and Development Corporation.
“I am truly humbled that the Honourable Free State Premier Magashule not only took the time to listen to the proposal for the ‘Championship Between the Continents’ but immediately saw the value and impact that this historical program will have for South Africa,” said Dennis Huth, president of the American Speed Association. “Through his efforts, and those of Mr. Kgothule and Mr. Pillay, the American drivers will be welcomed with open arms and hospitality that will be second-to-none. The ‘Championship’ will not only assist in helping increase the skills of the South African drivers, but also showcase their talent on a national and international arena.”
The American drivers invited will not only get a chance to compete on one of the finest racetracks outside of the United States, but will enjoy many off-track opportunities to see the various sights of South Africa; this includes a private tour of “Savannah” the wildlife preserve that holds the distinction of being just one of three accredited worldwide breeders of the Cheetah.
An approved driving school will be held in advance of the races to help the local competitors learn the nuances of oval racing. This program will be managed by DriveTech, the “Official Driving School of the ASA.”
“The ‘Championship Between the Continents’ is designed to foster friendship, competition, and knowledge both on-and-off the racetrack between South Africa and the United Stated. I have no doubt this will be a life-changing experience for those that attend from both our countries and that this will foster a bond that goes beyond just a motorsports competition,” said Huth.