Knysna – The 2018 Jaguar Simola Hillclimb, which takes place in Knysna this weekend, is expected to attract more than 17 000 spectators – although many thousands more local and international enthusiasts will be wishing they could join the action and excitement of this premier motoring event.

And now fans can do just that, no matter where they are in South Africa, or around the world, thanks to the live streaming that will run throughout the event.

There will be eight cameras covering the entire 1.9km course – from the build-up at the start line to the flying finish at the top of Simola Hill.

The pit lane will a hive of activity throughout the weekend, and renowned South African sports presenter Arnold Geerdts will be in the thick of the action interviewing drivers and getting the inside line on their challenge for Classic Car Friday, and the thrilling King of the Hill on Saturday and Sunday.

The event will be broadcast on YouTube and on the event’s website via continuous live streaming, as well as on Facebook during selected times. The video feed will be complemented by racing stats and live results as they happen.

“The live streaming for this year’s Jaguar Simola Hillclimb is novel for local motorsport and very exciting,” says Ian Shrosbree, managing director of the Knysna Speed Festival that organises the annual Hillclimb.

“We will be hosting Hillclimb live stream parties in London, Pretoria, and at the Midvaal circuit south of Johannesburg. The video feed will also be streamed directly to restaurants in Knysna, which will enable a lot more people to be part of this amazing event, even if they can’t be here in person,” Shrosbree adds.

“This will expand the local and international profile of the Jaguar Simola Hillclimb even further, putting it on a par with some of the very best Hillclimbs in the world.”

Target: 39 seconds

All eyes will be on the fiercely competitive Modified Saloon Car category in the King of the Hill challenge which will feature 49 cars spread across nine classes. This category hosts the true beasts of the Hillclimb, with all types of mild to totally wild creations set to attack the course.

One of the pre-event favourites is double champion Wilhelm Baard in his radical Nissan R35 GT-R. With around 820kW on tap from its highly tuned 3.8-litre twin-turbo V6 engine, the former Group N racer powered the GT-R to a new class record of 39.892 sec last year to become the first road-based car to officially break the 40-second barrier.

“We are aiming to be quicker this year and, with serious competition from several other drivers, our target will be to go under 39 seconds,” Baard says.

Baard’s biggest rivals for the King of the Hill title will come from the likes of Franco Scribante who is new to the Modified Saloon Car category this year, along with the Joubert brothers in their exceptionally fast Lotus entries. Plus, there’s a strong contingent of other Nissan GT-Rs that are ready to pounce, featuring established challengers such as Darron Gudmanz, Edrich Zwiers and Quinsley Sale.

Unfortunately, one of the Hillclimb’s most spectacular and popular contenders, 2015 winner Des Gutzeit, will be missing from the field this year as he is recovering from recent surgery.

Live streaming can be viewed as follows:

Website: www.jaguarsimolahillclimb.com

YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/KnysnaSpeedFestival

Facebook: www.facebook.com/KnysnaSpeedFestival

For more information on the event and online ticket sales visit: www.jaguarsimolahillclimb.com

IOL Motoring