Hy­brids also climb the Hill

Large num­ber of en­tries for Clas­sic Car Fri­day and King of the Hill, in­clud­ing first For­mula 1 car

The Witness - Wheels - - RACING - COLIN MILEMAN

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.

PHOTO: LEBING. CO. ZA

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.

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