Sporting director for the Jaguar Simola Hillclimb, Geoff Goddard, has made several changes to the event this year (May 3 – 6) with classes A1, A2 and A5 being dropped because of a lack of suitable entries.
“Our objective is to refresh the line-up for the Hillclimb each year to provide an exceptional experience for the spectators and competitors, and this is clearly evident in the superb range of exotics and performance cars that will be taking to the start line in the Road Car and Supercar category,” says Goddard.
The classes catering for standard production, road-legal vehicles have been narrowed and now, starting off with Class A3 for six-cylinder turbo-charged or supercharged two-wheel drive vehicles, a formidable benchmark has been established with the rapid Noble M400 of Feroz Ebrahim, along with the highly-rated 375 kW Alfa Romeo Guilia QV, driven by Piet Potgieter.
As the reigning Road Car and Supercar King of the Hill champion and current record-holder with a time of 43.955 seconds, Reghard Roets will be back to eagerly defend his title in the only Nissan GT-R competing this year in Class A4.
“I really enjoyed my first outing at the Jaguar Simola Hillclimb last year, and it was fantastic to win the King of the Hill title,” Roets says. “It’s an amazing event that is extremely competitive, and it’s certainly no walk in the park as there are a lot of serious cars and drivers out there.
“What the Hillclimb lacks in distance it certainly makes up for in intensity, and blasting through the 1,9 km course in just 43 seconds takes serious focus and commitment. The GT-R works exceptionally well in this environment, and hopefully we can score back-to-back victories for the team,” he added.
Missing from the contest this year will be Des Gutzeit in his mighty Nissan GTR – the owner of Dezzi Raceway in KwaZulu Natal forced to forego a chance to crown he once held as he is recovering from back surgery.
With Class A5 falling away, next up are the normally aspirated V8-powered machines in A6, including a Ferrari 458 driven by Garth Mackintosh.
Class A7 will be the biggest and most fiercely contested category, with an almighty battle set to ensue between two of the biggest names in American V8 muscle. Ford Performance Centre’s supercharged Roush Ford Mustang will be driven by the experienced circuit racer Barry Ingle.
He will be going head-to-head against rival Shelby South Africa with its Mustang Super Snake in the hands of Paige Lindenberg.
Once again, the latest offering from BMW’s M division will be making its appearance with Rob Gearing behind the wheel of the recently launched all-wheel drive M5.
The British manufacturers will be well represented too, with Dawie Olivier powering the mighty 5,0-litre supercharged V8 F-TYPE SVR Coupé up the Simola Hill. Joining him in the Jaguar camp is decorated SA racer Mark Cronje, in a Jaguar XJR 575.
Bringing variety to the British contingent is Clive Geldenhuys, whose challenge comes in the form of the twin-turbo 6.0-litre W12-engined Bentley Continental GT.
The supercar brigade in A7 features no less than three lightweight and very quick McLaren 570S entries, driven by Ernst du Preez, Izak Spies and Jacques Wheeler.
The BMW i8 leads the charge for hybrid technologies, with Gordon Nicholson back again to mix it up with the conventionally-powered machines.
This sets the scene for an exciting two days of action to determine who will take the Road Car and Supercar crown in 2018!