Knysna: The hills around Knysna will be alive with the sound of engines and screeching tyres this weekend as the prestigious Simola Hillclimb gets underway.
Suzuki, who are now a Tier One sponsor, have also come to the party with two Swift Sport models, an automatic version and a manual.
They will be piloted by journalist Reuben van Niekerk and precision driver and instructor, Wesley Greybe.
“Last year, we entered the Simola Hillclimb for the first time and supported the fleet of Suzuki-powered race cars in the Classic Car Friday and King of the Hill shootout.
This year, we up our support as a Tier One sponsor and enter our own Swift Sport to show that you can have double the fun for half the price in the class for standard race cars,” said Brendon Carpenter, Brand Marketing Manager for Suzuki Auto South Africa.
You wouldn’t think so but Suzuki are no strangers to hill climbs.
Monster Tajima is a legend in racing circles for his record-breaking races up Pikes Peak with modified race cars such as the Escudo (Vitara) Pikes Peak and the SX4 Pikes Peak Special. Suzuki Hillclimb race cars are still some of the most popular vehicles in the Gran Turismo racing game.
“The Simola Hillclimb is undoubtedly one of the most prestigious racing events on the South African calendar and it has always been a bucket list item for us.
“We are very proud of the private hill-climb teams that are powered by Suzuki engines, and we believe our involvement is a great fit for the Suzuki brand, as a platform to showcase the spirit, passion and performance of Suzuki as a lifestyle brand,” said Carpenter.
As a Tier One sponsor, Suzuki will host the burnout zone, where competitors create large clouds of white smoke as they warm up their tyres and entertain the crowd, before launching up the hill.
Among the competitors that will entertain the crowds are several Suzuki powered competitors including Megan Verlaque and Ashley Haigh-Smith who will race up the hill in two similar Speedcar tubular-framed racing cars. Both are powered by 600cc Suzuki motorcycle engines.
Devon Robertson will also return to compete for the King of the Hill trophy with his Suzuki Hayabusa-powered Radical SR1.
Last year, Robertson finished in the Top 10 against a number of more powerful racing cars, setting a final time of 41.075 seconds – the fifth fastest overall.
For the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic spectators will be allowed back to watch the action.
Access is limited to 3 300 in line with government’s regulations and a vaccination certificate or negative PCR is required for entry.
Suzuki and motorsport fans can follow the action on Suzuki’s social media channels and on YouTube, where the organisers will broadcast a live feed of the event.