Knysna - The 10th edition of the Jaguar Simola Hillclimb crowned a new King of the Hill champion and saw the reign of two others extended.
The biggest news of the event was Franco Scribante taking his first King of the Hill title in the extremely competitive Modified Saloon Car category, powering his heavily-winged 2016 Nissan GT-R to a new Class B record time of 39.274 seconds. He ousted 2018 winner Wilhelm Baard who had to settle for second place in the final Top 10 Shootout.
“It was an interesting King of the Hill as it was getting dark for the Top 10 finale and we had a misfire that developed in the final run, but it all came together and the entire team is so happy to take this victory after working extremely hard to get the car ready for the Hillclimb,” Scribante said.
Scribante’s outlandish Nissan GT-R was purpose-built for this year’s Hillclimb, and it was one of the major attractions due to its radical World Time Attack-derived aerodynamics and around 1200kW of power reportedly on tap.
Bezuidenhout takes it again
In the Single Seater and Sportscar category, Andre Bezuidenhout fought off a strong challenge from Robert Wolk (2009 A1 GP Ferrari) to secure his third win a row. He powered the specialist Gould GR55 Hillclimb car to a winning time of 36.764 seconds – with his outright record of 35.528 seconds remaining unbeaten due to much cooler conditions this year.
It was a similar story for Reghard Roets who made it a hat-trick of victories in the Road Car and Supercar category, after slashing his 2018 time by 0.8 seconds to set a new Class A record of 44.094 seconds in his Nissan GT-R.
In the Jaguar media challenge, Ashley Oldfield (46.981 seconds) topped Marius Roberts by 0.376 seconds in the rapid all-new Jaguar F-PACE SVR.
The other intriguing tussle was between three local racing legends in a trio of brand new Jaguar I-PACE EV400 electric vehicles. Mike Briggs earned the bragging rights after powering his way to a very competitive time of 50.124 seconds, finishing 0.485 seconds ahead of Deon Joubert in the Class Finals, with Shaun Watson-Smith ending a whisker off the two front-runners.
Over 17 000 spectators attended the 2019 Jaguar Simola Hillclimb over the three exhilarating days of Hillclimb action. The event was also livestreamed to viewers around the world via the www.jaguarsimolahillclimb.com, with more than 225 000 views over the weekend.
If you missed out on the furious action, you can still follow all the highlights of the 2019 Jaguar Simola Hillclimb on social media using the hashtag: #JaguarSHC.