The 11th Simola Hillclimb took place the past weekend 3-5 September.
Classic car Friday set the tone for what was an exciting and drama-filled event. It was Franco Scribante in his 1972 Chevron B26 who came out victorious and winning his 6th classic conqueror title, making it five wins in a row of the Classic Conqueror title.
This win however was not without its fair share of drama as initially Ian Schofield in the 1989 Minardi M189 Formula 1 set the fastest time in the Classic Car Conqueror shootout, the run was then reviewed and his time removed due to him clipping one of the track markers.
Franco also set a new classic car track record of 39.553 seconds at an average speed of 172.9km/h over the 1.9km climb.
Andre Bezuidenhout and his 2007 Gould GR55 have set a new outright record time of 34.965 seconds for the Simola Hillclimb, beating his own previous record from 2018 with 0.563 seconds, the average speed of this incredible run was 195.6 km/h up the 1.9km hill. This also handed him the win in the sports and prototype King of the Hill shootout. The runner up was Robert Wolk 2007 Ferrari-powered A1 GP whose time was 37.205 in the the top10 shootout, the final place on the podium belonged to Byron Mitchell in his 2002 Reynard Formula VW single-seater with a time of 40.381
Jean-Pierre van der Walt pulled off a dramatic win in the Road going saloons and supercars category, after having a scary incident in the morning warm up sessions, Luckily the damage to his 2016 Porsche 911 GT3 RS was not severe, fellow competitor Wilhelm Baard and BB motorsport jumped in and helped Jean Pierre van der Walt fit a new tire, the only drawback was that there were only wet weather tires available, this did not deter van der Walt who went on to win his first King of the Hill title with a time of 45.858 seconds. The runner up spot went to Gordon Nicholson in his 2017 Audi R8 V10 with a time of 47.127 seconds and a well deserved third place went to Reghard Roets in 2020 in the MINI John Cooper Works GP with a time of 48.564 seconds.
The modified saloon cars provided spectacular entertainment, earlier the day saw a new modified saloon car record set up by Franco Scribante 39.303. Franco one of the favourites to win the King of the Hill shootout for modified saloons unfortunately missed a gear shift in his final run which saw him take second place in his monstrous 2016 Nissan R35 GT-R with a time of 40.522 seconds. Peter Zeelie however thoroughly deserved his first King of the Hill title as he stormed to the top of the hill in his powerful 2002 Toyota mr2 3.5 twin turbo v6 in 40.402 seconds. Charl Arangies grabbed the final podium spot with a time of 41.081 in the 2019 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo.
For full event results visit https://www.speedfestival.co.za/results/2021-results-king-of-the-hill/
The Simola Hillclimb is one of a kind experience which has grown in stature over the years and in 2019 it had over 17200 spectators from various countries around the world visiting and enjoying the action.
The 12th running is scheduled for 5-8 May 2022. You can expect the 12th installment to be better and faster. There is already various rumours about new cars, competitors and sponsors for the 12th installment. Currently Covid-19 regulations do not allow spectators, hopefully this changes soon as the Simola Hillclimb is one event you should cross of your bucket list.