Re­cords shat­te­red at 2018 Ja­guar

George Herald - Auto Dealer - - Jaguar Simola Hillclimb - Mo­to­ring staff

The 2018 Ja­guar Si­mo­la Hil­l­climb de­li­ver­ed an enthral­ling mix of thrills and ex­ci­te­ment, with so­me stun­ning new re­cords being set - both a­mongst the com­pe­ti­tors’ ti­mes and the num­ber of spec­ta­tors at­ten­ding the three-day e­vent.

Mo­re than 17 000 pe­op­le at­ten­ded the n­inth e­di­ti­on of the Hil­l­climb, held in Knys­na from 4 to 6 May, a­round 2 000 mo­re than last y­e­ar’s re­cord-bre­a­king at­ten­dan­ce.

W­hen the acti­on drew to a c­lo­se on Sun­day 6 May, new King of the Hill re­cords had been es­ta­blis­hed in all three ca­te­go­ries, with ti­mes be­t­ween the top con­ten­ders clo­ser than e­ver, which kept the fans fas­ci­na­ted rig­ht to the end.

A­part from the batt­le be­t­ween com­pe­ti­tors, throngs of fans en­joy­ed the da­ring an­ti­cs of Ja­guar’s wor­ld­re­no­w­ned stunt dri­ver and mul­ti­ple re­cord-hol­der Ter­ry Grant. The B­ri­tish ace en­ter­tai­ned the cro­wd by dri­ving up the 1,9km Si­mo­la Hill in the Ja­guar F-PACE - on two w­heels all the way! He had ce­le­bri­ties, in­clu­ding sin­ger Bob­by van Jaars­veld and S­pring­bok rug­by cap­tain E­ben Et­ze­beth, as pas­sen­gers al­ong on the hair-rai­sing ri­des.


An­dré Be­zui­den­hout was the un­dis­pu­ted King of the Hill last y­e­ar in his 1989 Dal­la­ra F189 For­mu­la 1 car. His aim for the 2018 e­vent was to go quic­ker in a re­cent­ly a­cqui­red Gould GR55 – a spe­ci­a­list Hil­l­climb sing­le­se­a­ter built in the UK.

He was quick throug­hout the wee­kend and wrap­ped up the qua­li­fying ses­si­ons with a be­st ti­me of 36,006 se­conds o­ver 1,1 se­conds quic­ker than his be­st ti­me last y­e­ar.

Be­zui­den­hout es­ta­blis­hed a new of­fi­ci­al Hil­l­climb re­cord du­ring the on­e­lap Class Fi­nals with an im­pres­si­ve ti­me of 36,428 se­conds. He de­stroy­ed the cur­rent lap re­cord with a ti­me of 35,528 se­conds in the King of the Hill Top 10 S­hoot­out. That trans­la­tes to an a­vera­ge speed of 192,52km from a stan­ding start.

“I felt con­fi­dent that a ti­me of 35 se­conds was pos­si­ble but was s­lig­ht­ly wor­ried w­hen the tem­pe­ra­tu­re drop­ped in the la­te af­ter­noon for the fi­nal run,” he said. “The Gould is an a­ma­zing car and my sup­por­ting te­am was su­perb."

Ro­bert Wolk was a­not­her pro­mi­nent pre­sen­ce throug­hout the two days of ra­cing, com­pe­ting in a Fer­ra­ri V8po­we­red A1 GP car. He fi­nis­hed se­cond with a be­st ti­me of 37,691 se­conds du­ring the Top 10 S­hoot­out.

A­not­her tal­king point was S­tu­art W­hi­te. At just 16 y­e­ars, he be­ca­me a strong con­ten­der for a po­di­um slot, but his ho­pes we­re das­hed w­hen his For­mu­la Re­nault V6 fai­led on his Top 10 run. He had to ta­ke so­la­ce in a Class Fi­nal ti­me of 40,497 se­conds. The fi­nal po­di­um slot went to Garth de Vil­liers, in a For­mu­la VW in a ti­me of 42,013 se­conds.

P­ho­to: Ya­seen Gaf­far

An­dré Be­zui­den­hout was the un­dis­pu­ted King of the Hill for 2017, and al­so for the 2018 e­di­ti­on of the Ja­guar Si­mo­la Hil­l­climb. He­re he ce­le­bra­tes a­top his Gould GR55 – a spe­ci­a­list Hil­l­climb single-se­a­ter built in the UK.

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