Exhilarating exotics aim for Hillclimb glory
In its quest to deliver the ultimate automotive showcase, this year’s Jaguar Simola Hillclimb Road Car and Supercar category will include a range of illustrious high-performance car brands.
“Our objective is to refresh the line-up for the Hillclimb every year for an exceptional experience for spectators and competitors. This is evident in the superb range of exotics and performance cars that will be taking to the start line,” says Geoff Goddard, the event’s sporting director.
The classes catering for standard production, road-legal vehicles have been narrowed, with the previous four-cylinder and six-cylinder naturally aspirated categories A1, A2 and A5 dropped due to a lack of suitable applications.
Starting off with Class A3 for six-cylinder turbo-charged or supercharged two-wheel drive vehicles, a formidable benchmark has been established with the rapid Noble M400 of Feroz Ebrahim, along with the highly rated 375kW Alfa Romeo Guilia QV, driven by Piet Potgieter.
As the reigning Road Car and Supercar King of the Hill champion and current record-holder with a time of 43,955 seconds, Reghard Roets will be back to defend his title in the only Nissan GT-R competing this year in Class A4.
“I really enjoyed my first outing at the Jaguar Simola Hillclimb last year and it was fantastic to win the King of the Hill title,” Roets said. “It’s an amazing event that is extremely competitive. It’s certainly no walk in the park as there are a lot of serious cars and drivers out there. What the Hillclimb lacks in distance it certainly makes up for in intensity. Blasting through the 1,9km course in just 43 seconds takes serious focus and commitment. The GT-R works exceptionally well in this environment. Hopefully we can score back-to-back victories for the team.”
With Class A5 falling away, next up are the normally aspirated V8-powered machines in A6, including a Ferrari 458 driven by Garth Mackintosh.
Class A7 will be the biggest and most fiercely contested category, with an almighty battle set to ensue between two of the biggest names in American V8 muscle. Ford Performance Centre’s supercharged Roush Ford Mustang will be driven by experienced circuit racer Barry Ingle. He will be going head-to-head against rival Shelby South Africa with its Mustang Super Snake in the hands of Paige Lindenberg.
Once again, the latest offering from BMW’s M division will be making its appearance with Rob Gearing behind the wheel of the recently launched all-wheel drive M5.
British manufacturers will also be well represented, with Dawie Olivier powering the mighty 5,0-litre supercharged V8 F-TYPE SVR Coupé up the Simola hill. Joining him in the Jaguar camp is decorated SA racer Mark Cronjé, in a Jaguar XJR 575. Bringing variety to the British contingent will be Clive Geldenhuys, whose challenge comes in the form of the twinturbo 6,0-litre W12-engined Bentley Continental GT.
The supercar brigade in A7 features three lightweight and very quick McLaren 570S entries, driven by Ernst du Preez, Izak Spies and Jacques Wheeler.
The BMW i8 leads the charge for hybrid technology, with Gordon Nicholson back again to mix it up with the conventionally powered machines.
This sets the scene for an exciting two days of action to determine who will take the Road Car and Supercar crown in 2018!
For more information on the event visit www.jaguarsimolahillclimb.com.
Reghard Roets speeding up the hill in a Nissan GT-R.
Dawie Olivier in action in a Jaguar F-Type SVR.