Hillclimb record in some danger
KNYSNA - Motor sport enthusiasts are eager to see if the outright King of the Hill record for the Simola Hillclimb will tumble this year at the 11th edition of South Africa's premier motoring and motor sport lifestyle event, which takes place this weekend. The Single Seater and Sports Prototypes category, not surprisingly, currently holds the overall record for the event, with André Bezuidenhout having set the quickest time to date in 2018. Despite it being his first outing in the 2007 Gould GR55 V8 - a lightweight single-seater race car purpose-built for hillclimb events - Bezuidenhout set an astonishing time of just 35,528 seconds for the steep, serpentine 1,9km course, which he completed at a remarkable average speed of 186,052km/h from a standing start. Bezuidenhout powered his way to his third consecutive King of the Hill title in 2019 with the same car, having taken the 2017 win in the 1989 Dallara F189 Formula 1 car with a time of 37,807 seconds. Although he had a comfortable winning margin of more than two seconds in 2019 with a time of 36,764 seconds, Bezuidenhout's hope of setting a new Simola record was thwarted by much cooler conditions than the previous year. Organisers of the Hillclimb, the Knysna Speed Festival, believe that all eyes will be on the time sheets when Bezuidenhout launches the Gould up the Simola Hill during Sunday's Class Finals, followed by the all-or-nothing Top 10 Shootout for King of the Hill glory.
His closest natural challenger for overall honours and the Class C3 title for naturally aspirated single-seaters (five cylinders and above) could once again be Robert Wolk, albeit in an older and much less sophisticated car. The multiple Formula Ford champion has switched from the Ferrari-powered A1 GP car used in the previous two events to a 1989 Pillbeam Ford MP58, powered by a 3,5-litre naturally aspirated V8 - the car driven by Investchem team owner Ian Schofield in the 2019 Classic Car Friday event.
Stepping out of this year's Classic Car Friday challenge in his newly acquired 1989 Minardi M189 F1 car, Schofield will take on Class C2 for four-cylinder single-seaters in the 2,0-litre 2018 Mygale Formula Ford he raced last year. He will be joined by his son Andrew in a 1,6-litre 2015 version of this car. The Schofields will be going head-to-head against three 2,0-litre Reynard Formula VW cars driven by Wayne Jardine, Byron Mitchell and Andrew Rackstraw, while Louis van der Merwe will be competing in a Swift Formula GTi from a decade earlier. The 2021 Simola Hillclimb takes place this coming weekend, 3 to 5 September, starting with Classic Car Friday, followed by King of the Hill on Saturday and Sunday. Due to Covid-19 regulations, no spectators are allowed, but the entire event will be livestreamed.
KNYSNA - Despite only half a weekend's games being played due to the weather this past weekend, Voota and Richmond City have cemented their places in the spots for promotion from the KLFA Super League this season with the title still in the balance. There were 16 matches scheduled to be played on Saturday and Sunday, 28 and 29 August, that would have seen the league's 2020/21 season come to an end, but three were postponed due to a positive Covid-19 case within one of the clubs. The 13 games that did not involve that club could go ahead, but on Saturday the inclement weather put paid to that, too. All eight of the scheduled games were postponed. This meant that the only KLFA Super League games would be played on Sunday, but it would arguably be the most eagerly anticipated day of the season.
Sunday saw the top three sides in action, and if the top two - Voota and Richmond City - won at least one of their last two games, there would be no chance for thirdplaced Crossroads to earn promotion to the KLFA Domestic League. Richmond City, set to play the first game of the day, did gain their promotion, but in a somewhat anticlimactic way as
Oupad United, whom they were scheduled to play, did not pitch up for the match. Consequently Richmond City were awarded a 2-0 walkover victory and the full three points, securing their promotion. Next up were Crossroads, set to play Southern Stars, needing a win to keep their hopes alive. They did just that by securing a resounding 5-0 win, putting the pressure on Voota to win their game later in the day. After a one-round break, Southern Stars were back in action against Voota for a 14:00 kick-off. Southern Stars were playing evidently better football than against Crossroads earlier in the day. Despite this, Voota still managed to churn out a 2-0 win to secure the other available promotion spot on the log.
Crossroads played their second game of the day and final one for the season against Eleven Attackers, bowing out on a high note by winning 6-1. Eleven Attackers were in action in the only other game of the day, played at 11:20 against a Sinako side that only consisted of seven players. Sinako put up a good fight but the extra players at Eleven Attackers' disposal proved too much and they won 5-1 - their first win and first points of the season coming after 10 games.
The games that were postponed are to be played this weekend.