Jaguar has called on three icons of South African motorsport to compete at this year’s Jaguar Simola Hillclimb in a trio of identical, high-performance SUVs.
The kicker is that the three drivers – Mike Briggs, Deon Joubert and Shaun Watson-Smith (pictured) – who were well known in the heyday of screaming, petrol-powered touring cars throughout the 1990s, will tackle the 1.9km Simola hill in near silent, all-electric Jaguar I-Paces.
With well over 20 circuit racing championship titles between them, Briggs, Joubert and Watson-Smith can be considered SA tin-top racing royalty.
The three, who for more than a decade traded paint as either team-mates or fierce inter-team rivals, will once again face each other and present fans with a thrilling race within a race, with the winner claiming ultimate bragging rights.
The I-Paces to be raced by Briggs, Joubert and Watson-Smith will be in showroom standard condition. Fitted with 90 kWh batteries capable of up to 470 km range, the three electric vehicles will be able to complete the entire race weekend without recharging. All Jaguar I-Paces come standard with all-wheel drive, and with 294 kW and 696 Nm available, they are said to be capable of launching from 0-100 km/h in just 4.8 seconds.
First held in 2009, the Jaguar Simola Hillclimb celebrates its 10th anniversary this May. The racing will kick off on May 3 with the annual Classic Car Friday competition, followed by King of the Hill practice and qualifying sessions on Saturday, two more qualifying runs on Sunday morning and the King of the Hill finale on Sunday afternoon.
Race fans who cannot be in Knysna will have the choice of watching on two live stream platforms. Viewers can go to Jaguar SA’s Facebook page at facebook.com/Jaguar SA during the event to watch practice, qualify ing and class final runs as they happen.
Jaguar SA’s YouTube channel at youtube.com/user/JaguarSA1 will also stream nonstop from Friday morning to Sunday evening. It’s also possible to follow the 2019 Jaguar Simola Hillclimb action on social media platforms using the #JaguarSHC hashtag.