Knysna – For the first time in its history, the 2017 Jaguar Simola Hillclimb, on from Friday 5 to Sunday 7 May, will be broadcast live on the internet for part of each day. Watch it live here or on the event's official website.
You’ll be able to watch the live stream broadcasts on your smart phone, tablet, laptop, even a smart TV – basically anything with a screen and an internet connection.
Six cameras at strategic points on the 1.9 kilometre course, along with pre-recorded interviews and inserts, will bring you the action on all three days, as well as prize-giving for the classics on Friday and for the King of the Hill finale on Sunday.
The broadcast will go live from 1pm on Classic Car Friday, as 64 cars, representing 32 marques and spanning 58 years of motoring and motorsport history, in eight classes from Rodney Green’s 1929 Bugatti Type 35B Grand Prix car to Willie Hepburn’s thundering 1985 Ford Sierra XR8 racer, line up to do battle for the Classic Conqueror title.
This is where priceless museum pieces such as the Bugatti, and Hannes Pickard’s 1934 Aston Martin Ulster – one of just 31 ever made – come to life, engines snarling, to give us an all-too-rare glimpse into the golden age of motor racing.
Rodney Green’s 1929 Bugatti Type 35B is the oldest car on the entry list.
They’ll be followed by the bellowing V8s of class H7, including Hepburn’s XR8, Peter Lindenberg’s thunderous 1968 Bob Olthoff replica Ford Fairlane V8 and his daughter Paige in a 1965 Shelby Mustang GT350, taking on circuit racing ace Graeme Nathan in the howling straight-six 1972 BMW 3.0 CSI – but watch out for rally champion Enzo Kuun in the sleek 1972 Datsun 240z, now a cult car in the United States but still one of the most underrated sports-cars of all time.
Nevertheless, the man to beat will still be Franco Scribante, who not only took Classic Car Friday honours in 2016 in his Chevron B26, he went on to dominate the entire weekend in a car built before the majority of his rivals were born, taking outright victory with a new record time of 38.646s.
Franco Scribante’s classic Chevron B26 holds the course record of 38.646s.
Saturday’s live broadcast will rev up 2.30pm for a couple of hours of non-stop action, with an 84-car entry including everything from purpose-built Hillclimb monsters wielding more than 1100kW, to exotic supercars, lightweight single-seater race cars, and (supposedly) street-legal road cars, among them no less than 10 Nissan GT-R supercars in various states of tune.
But the final showdown will be on Sunday, with live action streamed 1.30pm to 5.15pm, as the best of the best compete for three King of the Hill titles and Jody trophies, up for grabs across the various categories.
Des Gutzeit's mighty Nissan Skyline GT-R
Will Franco Scribante beat off all comers in his vintage B26 yet again, or will he have to give best to the mighty 1100kW Nissan Skyline GT-R of Dez Gutzeit, or André Bezuidenhout in the screaming Cosworth-powered Dallara F189 Formula One Car – the actual car driven by Andrea de Cesaris in the 1989 Canadian Grand Prix – or Robert Wolk’s agile Formula Renault V6?
These four are the only cars ever to have gone up the Simola Hillclimb course in less than 40 seconds – but we’re predicting that by Sunday evening that exclusive club will have a few new members.