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2022 Simola Hillclimb: Ian Schofield takes Classic Conqueror title

Published May 7, 2022

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Knysna: Old school will always be cool which is why there’s a lot of attention when the drivers start their engines for the Classic Car Friday at the Simola Hillclimb in Knysna on the opening Friday.

After much smoke, noise and thrills it was Ian Schofield in his 1977 March Ford 77B Formula Atlantic single-seater that took the top of the podium in a time of 42.302 seconds in the final Top 10 shootout up the 1.9km Simola Hill.

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As the first edition to welcome spectators since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, fans were treated to an exciting duel with Rui Campos taking second place in his 1974 Porsche 911 RSR. Third place went to Josh Dovey in a 1972 Chevron B20 F3 single-seater, following a nail-biting finish that saw him knock Robert Wolk in an ex-Jody Scheckter 1969 Lola T200 Formula Ford off the podium by a mere one-thousandth of a second.

Rui Campos in his 1974 Porsche 911 RSR. Picture: Rob Till.

In an unexpected turn of events, three of Classic Car Friday’s top competitors were ruled out of contention. Six-time winner Franco Scribante’s 1970 Chevron B19, along with the similar 1971 car of Peter Jenkins, didn’t pass the pre-event technical inspection during scrutineering on Thursday, and were sidelined before the action even began.

Drama unfolded immediately after the first practice session when Andre Bezuidenhout’s 1976 Lola Cosworth T460 was accidentally hit from behind by the 1959 Chevrolet Corvette driven by Richard Evans during the return run down the hill to the pits. While Evans managed to eventually repair his car in time for the final qualifying session, Bezuidenhout was forced to retire, prematurely ending his challenge for the title.

Along with the overall win, Schofield also won Class H8 for single-seaters, ahead of Dovey and Wolk. “It was quite an eventful day,” an elated but relieved Schofield said. “First, we had a problem with the clutch and thought we would be packing up early, but it ended up just being an adjustment issue. Then the car caught fire at the top of the hill after we stopped, but fortunately there wasn’t any significant damage.

Andre Bezuidenhout in his 1976 Lola Cosworth T460.

Campos was also delighted with the result, as the tin-top filling in a single-seater sandwich. “Obviously some of the big guns weren’t here today, but the opportunity was there and we made the most of it. My team did an awesome job preparing the car, and I pushed it as hard as I could.”

Johan de Bruyn was placed fifth in the Top 10 Shootout in his 1968 Porsche 911R, followed by James Temple (1965 Shelby Daytona Coupé), Charles Arton (1972 Datsun 240Z) and Clive Corder (1969 Lola T70 Mk 3B). Trevor Tuck (1974 Alfa Romeo Giulia 2000 Rally) and Kobus Brits (1967 Porsche 911 R) rounded out the Top 10.

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The special ‘Spirit of Dave Charlton’ award at the Simola Hillclimb recognises the person that reflects South African race legend Dave Charlton’s spirit of impeccable attention to detail, meticulous preparation and commendable performance.

For this year’s Classic Car Friday, racing legend Peter Lindenberg received the award. Lindenberg retired from competition at the end of 2021, closing the book on a long and distinguished career in both car and powerboat racing.

As the custodian of the Shelby franchise for South Africa, as well as heading up the Lindenberg Racing team, Lindenberg remains intimately involved in all aspects of both entities. He and his family have supported the Simola Hillclimb for many years, and helped bring nine cars to the

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2022 event – six of which competed in Classic Car Friday, with a further three taking on this year’s King of the Hill.

On Saturdy the big guns get to show their mettle with three practice rounds and three qualifying sessions to see who will be the eventual King of the Hill tomorrow.

Saturday also sees two Suzuki Swifts compete in the four cylinder turbo-charged standard production class.

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The record of 34.965 seconds is held by Andre Bezuidenhout in a 2007 Gould GR 55.

IOL Motoring

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