Andre De Kock
Motorsport Editor
2 minute read
4 May 2022
7:15 am

New king of the hill awaits as Simola Hillclimb returns

Andre De Kock

Knysna's showpiece makes a welcome comeback after two years.

Defending King of the Hill Andre' Bezuidenhout (Gould GR55) will be the favourite to take the overall victory again. Picture: Colin Mileman.

The 12th edition of South Africa’s most unique motorsport event will take place in Knysna this weekend, with the annual Simola Hillclimb to host its usual wide range of cars – saloons, sports, single-seaters, old and modern – on the now famous 1.9 kilometre course.

The fight for the event’s overall quickest time and 2022 King of the Hill crown will be led by current outright record holder Andre’ Bezuidenhout in his 2007 Gould GR55, a specialised race car designed for hillclimb events.

Bezuidenhout set the record of 34.965 at an astonishing average speed of 195.6 km/h last time, and has been working on the car to try and go even quicker.

His closest challengers must include the likes of Robert Wolk (Pillbeam V8), Andrew Schofield (Formula Renault 3.5 V6), Formula VW drivers Byron Mitchell and Andrew Rackstraw, Rui Campos (Shelby CanAm V8) and Matthew Campbell (Harper Type 6 V8).

Simola Hillclimb 2022 preview
Pieter Zeelie in his turbocharged 3.5-litre V6 Toyota MR2 will hope to capture the Modified Saloon Car victory again. Picture: Colin Mileman.

Topping the Modified Saloon Car category must be 2021 winner Pieter Xeelie in his turbocharged 3.5-litre V6 Toyota MR2, facing off against people like Franco Scribante in his multi-winged Nissan GT-R, Dawie Joubert (Lotus Exige V8), Charl Joubert (Lotus Exige V6) and Craig Czank (Lotus Exige).

Other drivers to watch in Nissan GT-R entries include Reghard Roets, Wade van Zummerin, Martin van Zummerin and Farouk Dangor.

Also in line for the category’s Top 10 Shootout would be Franco di Matteo (Jaguar XK8), Charl Arangies (Audi R8 LMS GT3) and Anton Cronje (Subaru Impreza WRX STi).

In the section for Road-going Saloon Cars and Supercars, reigning champion Jean-Pierre van der Walt (Porsche 911 Turbo S) will face off against people like Gordon Nicholson (Audi R8 V10 Plus), Garth Mackintosh (McLaren 720), Jacques Wheeler (McLaren MP4-12C), Paige Lindenberg (Shelby Mustang Super Snake), James Temple (Shelby Mustang) and Deon Joubert (BMW M4).

Simola Hillclimb 2022 preview
Friday’s Classic Car shootout will see top contenders like Peter Jenkins (Chevron B19) in action. Picture: Colin Mileman.

In Class A8 for hybrid and electric vehicles, motoring journalist Ciro de Siena will pilot the all-electric BMW i4 M50, chased by the Audi RS e-tron GT entries of Volkswagen Motorsport works drivers Daniel Rowe and Jonathan Mogotsi.

Friday’s Classic Car shootout will see top contenders like Franco Scribante (Chevron B19), Andre’ Bezuidenhout (Lola Cosworth), Peter Jenkins (Chevron B19), Andrew Schofield (March Ford), Enzo Kuun (Ferrari 348) and Graeme Nathan (BMW E9) in action.

Online ticket sales for the Simola Hillclimb, along with more information on the event, are available on the website: www.simolahillclimb.com