Big boost for Simola Hillclimb
WINNERS: ENTRY INTO THE FIA HILL CLIMB MASTERS EVENT IN PORTUGAL IN OCTOBER
SA will be the first-ever non-European team in event.
Two winners of South Africa’s premier motorsport lifestyle event, the Simola Hillclimb, will be guaranteed an entry into a bi-annual round of the FIA Hill Climb Masters event to be held in Braga, Portugal from 9 to 11 October.
The FIA Hill Climb Masters is a bi-annual invitational event established in 2014 with the aim of bringing together the winners of national hillclimb championships throughout the world.
With South Africa not having a Hillclimb series or championship, Motorsport South Africa and the organisers of the Simola Hillclimb have come to an agreement with the FIA to allow certain winners of the annual Knysna event to qualify for the Hillclimb Masters.
Qualifying drivers will be the winners of the King of the Hill’s Modified Saloon Car and Single Seater/Sports Prototype categories.
Competitors will not only compete for individual honours for gold, silver or bronze medals but will also represent South Africa in the Nations Cup against an ever-increasing number of countries.
In 2018, drivers from 20 nations were represented.
This will be the first time that a country outside of Europe will contest the FIA Hill Climb Masters.
“To have South Africa as the first-ever non-European team entering in 2020 would be quite a coup for the FIA Hill Climb Masters event,” said Vincent Caro, the FIA’s Head of Historic Motor Sport, Hill Climb.
“We know, through the tracking of the live streaming of the race on social networks, that interest in the Masters extends beyond Europe’s borders. The participation of non-European competitors would be a new step in the young history of the event,” Caro added.
“It is clear that the Simola Hillclimb is raced in the same festive spirit as the Masters and we have also been able to appreciate the quality and level of performance of the cars and drivers that stand out there each year.”
Adrian Scholtz, CEO of Motorsport South Africa, commented that this would be a significant boost for the local event.
“The Simola Hillclimb is already up there as one of the annual highlights of the South African motorsport calendar and the links being established with the FIA Hill Climb Masters can only add to the event’s stature,” he said.
“The atmosphere off the track at the Simola Hillclimb matches the on-track action and I can see the event only going from strength to strength in future years.”
The organisers of the annual Simola Hillclimb, which features the 11th edition this year, see the tie-up with the FIA Hillclimb Masters as a major boost for South African competitors.
“We are delighted that, together with the FIA and MSA, we can offer this incredible opportunity to competitors in the Simola Hillclimb,” says Ian Shrosbree, managing director of the Knysna Speed Festival.
As the Hill Climb Masters is an invitational event there is no entry fee payable by competitors, but the Simola Hillclimb winners that qualify will be required to cover the cost of shipping their cars and flights themselves.
The 2020 edition of the Simola Hillclimb is scheduled to roar into life from 7 to 10 May, marking the start of the second decade of this exceptional automotive extravaganza.
Since entries opened on 1 October, the organisers have already received over 160 applications to compete in the event.
Entries close on 31 January, so competitors wishing to compete are requested to register online as soon as possible at www.simolahillclimb.com.
MODIFIED,CERTAINLY. Franco Scribante’s monster-winged Nissan GTR won last year’s Modified Saloon Car category at the Simola Hillclimb in Knysna.
SINGLE. Andre Bezuidenhout’s Dallara took the Single Seater and Sports Prototype King of the Hill victory.