Andre De Kock
Motorsport Editor
3 minute read
6 Jul 2021
1:26 pm

Revs rising as Simola Hillclimb gets the green light

Andre De Kock

After being cancelled last year, the popular Knysna event returns albeit without spectators.

The Scribante team's radical, specially developed multi-winged Nissan GT-R will be back, said to be quicker than ever. Picture: Colin Mileman.

South Africa’s premier motorsport  lifestyle event, the Simola Hillclimb, will once again showcase some of the country’s most exhilarating cars and accomplished drivers when it returns to the Garden Route town of Knysna, from 3 to 5 September 2021.

After numerous delays and postponements due to Covid-19, the Simola Hillclimb has attracted keen interest from regulars and newcomers alike, and is set to deliver another spectacular event after last being staged in May 2019.

The official entry application process commenced on 16 April 2021 and closed at the end of May, with the available slots for Classic Car Friday and the two-day King of the Hill quickly oversubscribed.

“We are once again impressed by the number and quality of entry applications received. It is clear motorsport enthusiasts are desperate to get their cars out and competing once again after we were forced to cancel the 2020 event as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic,” says Simola Hillclimb sporting director, Geoff Goddard.

Simola Hillclimb
Andre’ Bezuidenhout will tackle the Classic Car Friday events in his Martini-liveried 1974 Porsche 911 RSR. Picture: Colin Mileman.

“In line with the current Covid-19 regulations, we have to meet strict requirements from local and national government, as well as from Motorsport South Africa, to proceed with this year’s Hillclimb,” Goddard says.

“Accordingly, spectators won’t be allowed, and the number of support and pit crew will be strictly controlled. However, that won’t stop us from hosting another spectacular event which will be live-streamed throughout the three days of action.”

Alll three of the reigning multiple Simola Hillclimb champions will be competing, including the event’s most successful driver to date, Franco Scribante. Scribante has won five of the past six Classic Car Friday titles in his immaculate 1970 Chevron B19.

He has also notched up three King of the Hill titles with various Chevron derivatives, plus a Modified Saloon Car victory in a radical, specially developed multi-winged Nissan GT-R. Franco has entered the Nissan again, now said to be quicker after another year’s development.

Simola Hillclimb
Franco Scribante in his 1970 Chevron B19, with which he has won the Classic Car Friday title six times. Picture: Colin Mileman.

The Simola Hillclimb’s current outright record-holder, Andre Bezuidenhout, will also be one of this year’s  challengers in his specialised 2007 Gould GR55 hillclimb single-seater. He holds the current overall circuit record of 35.528 seconds, with an average speed from a standing start over the 1.9 km course of 192.524 km/h. For Classic Car Friday, he is set to compete in his Martini-liveried 1974 Porsche 911 RSR.

Popular production car racing driver Reghard Roets will also be returning to the Simola Hill in 2021, hoping to extend his hat-trick of victories. Roets will switch from the Road and Super Car category which he has won for the past three years, and will now be taking on the big guns in the unlimited Modified Saloon Car class for full-blown race vehicles.

Accordingly, Roets will be going head-to-head against Scribante and another three-time champion and former Group N racer, Wilhelm Baard – with all three protagonists competing in wild and immensely powerful R35 GT-Rs. They won’t have things their own way, though, as there will be a formidable line-up of Simola Hillclimb regulars with equally exciting machines, pluss some interesting newcomers who will also be vying for glory.

For more information on the event visit: www.simolahillclimb.com