The Simola Hillclimb will take place from May 4 to 7 in Knysna. Six manufacturers will participate with official racing entries and four have signed up as event partners.
“Moving away from having a manufacturer as a title sponsor from the 2021 event onwards allowed us to engage with other brands and we have been encouraged by a steady growth in involvement each year,” Ian Shrosbree says.
“We are delighted to have six manufacturers lined up for this year, which elevates the profile and status of the Simola Hillclimb to even greater heights.”
Suzuki Auto South Africa is a tier one partner for 2023, marking its third consecutive year of sponsoring the event.
“The Simola Hillclimb provides a platform to showcase Suzuki’s fun, exciting and passionate personality that stretches beyond our repertoire of providing affordable, fun and sporty compact cars and motorcycles,” says Brendon Carpenter, brand marketing manager at Suzuki Auto SA.
“The Simola Hillclimb gives us an opportunity to dabble in the South African motorsport scene, and has become a highlight on our annual event calendar.”
Along with its tier one sponsorship, for the second year in a row, Suzuki will feature two standard Swift Sport entries competing in the standard production class.
BMW participated in 2022 and will now be a tier one partner in 2023.
While the vehicle and driver line-up is still being finalised, fans can be assured that there will be lots to look forward to.
“BMW’s presence at this year’s Simola Hillclimb will be a celebration of our heritage in South Africa on Classic Car Friday, as well as a look towards our future and our expanding electromobility portfolio in the King of the Hill Shootout,” says Thilosh Moodally, general manager: group communications and external affairs, BMW Group South Africa.
Volkswagen has progressively stepped up its participation in the Simola Hillclimb over the past couple of years, and has signed up as a tier two partner for 2023.
The Volkswagen line-up will include the powerful Polo SupaCup race car that featured in the 2022 event, along with two Golf R entries in the production vehicle class.
“There will be a fourth very exciting car, but we can’t reveal the details yet,” says Volkswagen’s driving experience manager, Mike Rowe.
Joining the fray for the first time as a tier two partner is Honda Motor Southern Africa.
“This is the first time that Honda will be participating in the Simola Hillclimb and we are delighted to be a tier two partner for this prestigious event,” says Letitia Herold, marketing and PR manager, Honda Motor Southern Africa.
“For King of the Hill, we are entering a highly anticipated new performance car that will be launched just before the Simola Hillclimb.”
Hyundai South Africa returns as the media shuttle partner for the second consecutive year, supplying Staria buses to transport the press contingent to designated photographic locations along the Simola Hill course.
Its official entry at Simol, the Hyundai i30N, will be driven by Joshua Lowe, Hyundai’s regional sales and N-sport manager.
“Hyundai N products such as the i30N and Kona N closely align themselves to motorsport and were developed to be track stars for the road,” Lowe says.
The new V6-powered Ford Ranger Raptor will compete in the unlimited class for sports utility/activity vehicles and bakkies.
“We are excited about participating in the 2023 Simola Hillclimb for the first time with a media partner,” says Minesh Bhagaloo, general manager, and communications at Ford South Africa.
“The Simola Hillclimb is a fantastic event, and fans will get to see the exhilarating Next-Generation Ranger Raptor in action. It is powered by a 292kW 3.0-litre V6 EcoBoost engine which makes it our most powerful Ranger yet.”
Tickets for the event can be purchased on the event website www.simolahillclimb.com