Hybrids also climb the Hill
Large number of entries for Classic Car Friday and King of the Hill, including first Formula 1 car
KNYSNA — Visitors to this year’s Jaguar Simola Hillclimb, taking place in Knysna from May 6- 8, 2016, are in for a real treat, with the most exciting programme and the most expansive and exotic line- up of cars yet in the award- winning event’s history.
Aside from the largest number of entries yet for Classic Car Friday and King of the Hill, this year’s edition of South Africa’s premier motorsport event is set to include a dedicated SuperCar Shootout, an intriguing new category for hybrid- powered vehicles, and the first- ever Formula 1 car to take on “The Hill” — all of which is sure to excite and delight the more than 15 000 fans expected to make their way to the famous Simola Hill over the course of the weekend.
“The SuperCar Shootout adds an exciting new element to the Jaguar Simola Hillclimb, as it allows supercar owners to compete against one another for Hillclimb glory,” says Geoff Goddard, the hillclimb’s sporting director.
This event runs alongside and uses the same format as King of the Hill during the Saturday and Sunday, including the practice and qualifying runs, leading up to the class finals. The top 10 competitors then proceed to the final SuperCar Shootout — which precedes the King of the Hill Top 10 Shootout — to determine the overall SuperCar winner. “Drivers that elect to compete in the SuperCar Shootout will not be eligible for the King of the Hill Top 10, so it becomes a stand- alone event in the programme,” Goddard explains.
Qualifying entries for the Su- perCar Shootout have to be production- based, showroom- spec cars using standard road tyres — all of which fall under Class A reg- ulations for road- going vehicles.
The fastest entries are likely to come from four of the Class A categories: A4 which includes the likes of the four- wheel drive turbocharged Nissan GT- R and a Noble M400; Class A6 with the Porsche 911 GT3; A7 that encom- passes the evocative Ferrari 458 Italia and screaming Lamborghini Aventador; as well as Class A8 with a McLaren 650S and, naturally, the Jaguar F- Type R Coupé with its mighty five- litre supercharged V8 that produces a thunderous 405 kW of raw power.
Another interesting addition for the 2016 Jaguar Simola Hillclimb is the new Class A9 for hybrid- powered vehicles. At least one BMW i8 is destined for the start line, and is sure to be a major talking point throughout the weekend. Relying on a high- tech combination of a 1,5- litre threecylinder petrol engine synchronised with an electric motor, it produces a combined output of 266 kW and 570 Nm of torque. It will be fascinating to see how this lightweight plug- in hybrid fares against its more conventional rivals.
Motor racing purists will be delighted to witness the first- ever Formula 1 car to be unleashed on the Jaguar Simola Hillclimb. Owned and driven by Andre Bezuidenhout, one of SA’s most fervent motorsport enthusiasts and competitors, the 1989 Dallara is powered by a Cosworth- Ford V8 and currently holds the lap record of 58,839 seconds for the 2,4 km Zwartkops Raceway in Pretoria.
Is it capable of blitzing Des Gutzeit’s current Hillclimb record of 40,148 sec notched up last year with his explosive, highly modified 1 400 hp Nissan GT- R, or will the road course be its undoing? All will be revealed at the beginning of May.
King of the Hill Dezzi Gutzeit from the South Coast will defend his title against all comers at the Simola Hillclimb in May, but this time, he told Wheels, he will be using a parachute to stop his 1 000 kW Nissan GT- R, as he is not getting any younger.