The 'Dark Continent' looks back on a long motorsport history, with North Africa having first hosted grands prix before World War II, including the Tripoli Grand Prix in Libya, then an Italian colony. The race was staged between 1925 and 1940. Formula 1 first visited the continent for the 1958 Morocco Grand Prix, while Kyalami in South Africa, which for many years hosted both two- and four-wheel world championship rounds, was founded in 1961.

South Africa is considered Africa's main motorsport centre, with the country boasting a number of circuits and an illustrious history - having produced a variety of world champions, including Formula 1 star Jody Scheckter and motorcycle aces such as Jim Redman and Kork Ballington.