Still king of the hill

One car proved fastest at the an­nual hill climb at Knysna — the Nis­san GT-R

The Witness - Wheels - - RACING -

NIS­SAN cel­e­brated the end of an ac­tion-packed rac­ing week­end at the Si­mola Hill Climb in Knysna with five GT-Rs qual­i­fy­ing in the top 10 for the King of the Hill com­pe­ti­tion and first place in the Su­per­car Class for its fac­tory-backed GT-R R35.

In to­tal 11 GT-Rs en­tered the Si­mola, rang­ing from the top­per­form­ing GT-R R32 of Des Gutzeit to a Nismo-tuned R35, a pris­tine GT-R R34 V-Spec with 680 horse­power and a com­pletely stan­dard R35 with road tyres, run­ning on 95 oc­tane fuel.

Ignus Geyer, the owner of the stan­dard Nis­san, drove his car all the way from Jo­han­nes­burg to Knysna, filled it up at the lo­cal fuel sta­tion, raced to a fifth po­si­tion in the Su­per­car class and then drove the Nis­san GT-R back to Jo­han­nes­burg.

“The only mod­i­fi­ca­tion I made was to in­crease tyre pres­sure by 0,1 bar,” says Geyer, who clocked half of the ve­hi­cle’s 9 000 km on race tracks across the coun­try. “I can­not get enough of this car, it is a com­fort­able ev­ery­day drive and a peer­less per­former on the track.”

The best per­form­ing GT-R on rac­ing day in the King of the Hill com­pe­ti­tion was the beastly 1 800 horse­power R32 GT-R of Des Gudzeit. Des won last year’s event and came sec­ond this year be­hind the cus­tom-built open top racer of Franco Scrib­ante. The Dezzy R32 set a blis­ter­ing time of 40,324 sec­onds for sec­ond place on the King of the Hill podium.

The top step on the podium in the Su­per­car class be­longed to Jaki Scheck­ter, who led this di­vi­sion from prac­tice on day one, show­ing a clear set of tailpipes to the Ital­ian and Ger­man su­per­cars in this class.

Scheck­ter won the class with a fi­nal time of 43,591 in his R35 GT-R, which was sup­ported by Nis­san South Africa and pre­pared by BB Nis­san in Pre­to­ria.

The fourth place in this pres­ti­gious event went to Wil­helm Baard, global test en­gi­neer for Nis­san.

Baard piloted a Nis­san GT-R, which was up­graded to de­liver ap­prox­i­mately 1 000 kW by the team from BB Nis­san with back­ing from Nis­san SA, to the top of the 1,9 km Si­mola Hill course in 42,745 s.

Other GT-Rs that com­peted for the King of the Hill ti­tle was an R32 GT-R driven by Duane Gal­loway, which fin­ished in fifth, and a mod­i­fied R35 GT-R of Edrich Zwiers, which was sixth fastest. Zwiers part­nered with NxGen to up­grade his GT-R with a full race ex­haust from HKS, an Al­pha 6 up­grade kit, Cabb in­takes and a flexi fuel sys­tem which al­lowed it to race on ethanol. With these and other con­ver­sions the GT-R #35 de­liv­ered 670 horse­power and recorded a fi­nal time of 43,894 s on its last run.

The good news from Xavier Go­bille, Nis­san’s di­rec­tor for sales, mar­ket­ing and after­sales is that the new GT-R, which was launched at the New York Auto Show in March this year, will be avail­able in South Africa in Septem­ber.

The bad news is the first ship­ment has al­ready been sold out.

— Sup­plied.

PHOTO: QUICKPIC

Dezzi Gutzeit blitzes his way to the top of the 1,9 km Jaguar Si­mola Hill Climb last week­end.

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