Every year since its inception in 2009, Knysna’s Jaguar Simola Hillclimb (JSHC) has become bigger and better. However, this year’s eighth edition – the fourth with Jaguar as the title sponsor – will undoubtedly be the most breathtaking and exciting yet.
Brian Joss – “We are delighted and overwhelmed by the level of interest expressed amongst competitors for this year’s Jaguar Simola Hillclimb,” says Geoff Goddard, the event’s Sporting Director. “Classic Car Friday and King of the Hill were both oversubscribed by more than 150 percent, proving exactly why the Hillclimb is regarded as one of South Africa’s premier motorsport events.”
As usual, Goddard had the arduous task of sifting through all the entry applications and leading the panel that decided which competitors would make the cut for this strictly invitational event which will take place from May 4 to May 7.
Following a rigorous selection process aimed at delivering the most alluring mix of cars and drivers, the entry list for Classic Car Friday has been finalised. A total of 64 competitors competing in no less than 32 different marques will take to the start line on May 5 at the bottom of the Simola Hill, ready to attack the unforgiving, tight and twisty 1.9 km course.
For King of the Hill, which now introduces separate categories with equal status for Road and Supercars, Single-seaters and Sportscars, as well as Racing Saloon Cars, fans will be treated to a tantalising mix of 29 brands occupying a total of 84 berths for the 2017 JSHC.
It’s not just the cars that will delight the fans, as the driver line-up is likely to be the most intriguing to date. A total of 11 competitors have participated in every edition held to date, and will be returning to the action for their eighth consecutive finisher’s badge this year.
The intimate and friendly nature of the Jaguar Simola Hillclimb ensures that fans can see their heroes and meet them first-hand – for which the limited number of Pit Access tickets are a must!
Two-time Classic Car Friday champion (2014 and 2016) Franco Scribante will be the one to watch again, along with 2015 winner Charles Arton. They will be joined by two competitors from the United States, and one each from the UK and Germany.
For 2017, King of the Hill has been split into individual competitions with equal status for standard Road and Supercars, Single-seaters and Sportscars, as well as Racing Saloon Cars, respectively.
Reigning double champion Franco Scribante will be the man to beat in his extremely fast Chevron B26 sports car, while 2015 overall winner Des Gutzeit will be back with a vengeance amongst the tin-top contenders in his mighty Nissan GT-R. He will be going head-to-head with several former winners, including son Jade (2012) in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 7, Wilhelm Baard (2011) in a Nissan GT-R and the legend himself, 2010 winner Geoff Mortimer in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9. Three drivers from the US are set to join the action this year as well, thus giving the Hillclimb a truly international flavour.
Cross out the dates on your calendar and be sure to book your accommodation early, as the 2017 Jaguar Simola Hillclimb is definitely not to be missed!
Motorsport enthusiasts can secure their places for the 2017 JSHC as admission tickets are available at www.itickets.co.za, a convenient online portal where all Day, Weekend and Pit Access tickets can be purchased.
Visit: www.jaguarsimolahillclimb.com for more info. -THEGREMLIN