Still king of the hill
One car proved fastest at the annual hill climb at Knysna — the Nissan GT-R
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.
Dezzi Gutzeit blitzes his way to the top of the 1,9 km Jaguar Simola Hill Climb last weekend.