Three classes in 2017 Si­mola Hill­climb

The Witness - Wheels - - RACING -

KNYSNA — “King of the Hill” is the most pres­ti­gious ti­tle in the world of hill­climb events, and only six driv­ers have earned this crown to date on the Jaguar Si­mola Hill­climb, South Africa’s premier motorsport event.

Last year, Franco Scrib­ante rewrote the his­tory books by be­com­ing the Jaguar Si­mola Hill­climb’s only dou­ble cham­pion in his stan­dard Nis­san GT-R, af­ter re­peat­ing his 2014 vic­tory, and fans can ex­pect a fierce tus­sle for this year’s ti­tle in the sin­gle-seater and sports rac­ing car cat­e­gory. But this year there’s a whole lot more King of the Hill ex­cite­ment in store.

For the eighth run­ning of the Jaguar Si­mola Hill­climb in May, the or­gan­is­ers have sep­a­rated the en­tries into three main classes, each with equal sta­tus and the allure of be­com­ing a King of the Hill cham­pion.

Plus there’s the spe­cial tro­phy, known as “the Jody” and named af­ter South Africa’s only For­mula One cham­pion Jody Scheck­ter, for each over­all win­ner.

Ge­off God­dard, the event’s sport­ing di­rec­tor, ex­plained the three classes. Class A groups all stan­dard road cars and su­per­cars into one cat­e­gory, with a to­tal of nine smaller classes en­com­pass­ing ev­ery­thing from hot hatch­backs to the sports and su­per­car elite. There’s also a class for hy­brid, elec­tric and so­lar-pow­ered ve­hi­cles. No aero­dy­namic mod­i­fi­ca­tions are al­lowed, and only street-le­gal tyres can be used.

Class B cov­ers mod­i­fied sa­loon rac­ing cars, span­ning B1 to B7 for var­i­ous en­gine ca­pac­i­ties, nat­u­rally as­pi­rated or forced in­duc­tion, and two or four-wheel drive.

Class C cov­ers all sin­gle-seater and sports rac­ing cars.

The 10 fastest com­peti­tors in classes A, B and C will face off in their re­spec­tive all-or-noth­ing shootouts, which are run in re­verse or­der from 10th place.

It’s guar­an­teed to be nail-bit­ing stuff as the times tum­ble with the last-ditch ef­forts to claim King of the Hill glory, and one of the three highly prized Jody tro­phies. Early bird tick­ets to the event can be bought at www.itick­ets.co.za. — WR.

PHOTO: FILE

Si­mola’s 2015 King of the Hill in a 1993 Nis­san GT-R R32 with 1118 k on tap was KZN’s Dezzi Gutzeit.

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