If there's one event in SA that draws the cream of the crop, it is the Jaguar Simola Hillclimb in Knysna.
Now in its 10th edition, this year brought some really special vehicles. Again, the GT-Rs rule the day despite serious challenges from Jaguar.
Here’s a quick rundown on the action: The big news of the day was Franco Scribante taking his first King of the Hill title in the modified saloon car category, powering an ultra-modified 2016 GT-R in record time of 39.274 up the hill. That’s an average speed of 173.86 km/h.
In the Single Seater and Sportscar category, André Bezuidenhout made it three wins in a row, fighting off a strong challenge from Robert Wolk in his 2009 A1 GP Ferrari.
He powered the specialist Gould GR55 Hillclimb car to a winning time of 36.764 seconds – with his record of 35.528 seconds remaining unbeaten due to much cooler conditions this year.
Reghard Roets also clocked a hat-trick in the Road Car and Supercar category, after slashing his 2018 time by 0.8 seconds to set a new Class A record of 44.094 seconds in his bright yellow Nissan GT-R.
The challenge from Jaguar came in the form of two showroom-specification Jaguar F-Type SVR Coupés piloted by the Cronjé brothers. Mark held a 0.4-second advantage over his younger sibling following the qualifying sessions. However, Gavin pipped him to the number one spot by 0.3 seconds in the Class Finals to take the A7 win with a time of 45.096 seconds.
The younger Cronjé also earned the runner-up position in the Top 10 Shootout, finishing 0.9 seconds ahead of Gennaro Bonafede (2019 BMW M2 Competition).
The special ‘Spirit of Dave Charlton’ Award, recognising the person that reflects the SA race legend’s spirit of racing gees, went to Martin van Zummeren, who led a trio of wild Nissan Skyline GT-Rs that were crowd favourites throughout the event, with the other two cars driven by sons Wade (whom we know from the Drift circuit) and Jody.