KNYSNA MOTORING NEWS - Every year Simola Golf Estate is transformed into a racing Mecca for South African motorsport fans when the Simola Hillclimb comes to town. And despite some complaints from sectors of the Knysna community about noise, pollution and traffic disruption, this year attracted record numbers on and off the track.
The action at the 10th installment of the event got under way on Thursday, 2 May with the classic car scrutineering and parade along Waterfront Drive and the N2 on their way to Simola.
Racing however only started the next day, when the classics took to the track for the first time just before 09:00.It was also a late start due to the wet weather, but the delay was manageable, that was until Brian Bruce crashed his Ford GT40 in Practice 1 which led to further delays. The wet weather and delays did however not deter the drivers, as they managed to clock some impressive times with Franco Scribante ultimately winning his fifth Classic Conqueror title at the end of the shootout.
Scribante was hoping to carry his form into the weekend in his seriously souped-up Nissan R35 GT-R, which ended up experiencing serious gearbox problems during Saturday morning. While Scribante was struggling with his gearbox, Andre Bezuidenhout was looking to avenge his runner-up finish on Friday by taking the top prize during the weekend.
He was in prime position to do so after Saturday's racing after he clocked an impressive 38,180 second run with Scribante overcoming the morning's gearbox woes by running a 38,551 time. Sunday would end up drawing the bulk of the weekend's crowds while the weather remained overcast and chilly, it was dry throughout the day.
While there was no wet weather or crashes to delay proceedings on Sunday, there were serious problems with the timing system, which led to the day wrapping up two and a half hours late. This meant the drivers had to run the class finals and King of the Hill shootouts in fading light and near-darkness, but once again this didn't deter the experienced drivers.
While Scribante's GT-R and third shootout winner Reghard Roets' very own R35 GT-R couldn't quite keep up with Bezuidenhout's Gould GR55, both Scirbante and Roets clocked class and category records in their respective classes and categories. Scribante managed to muscle out a 39,274 in the Class B5 final to take a new class record while Roets set a new record in the Road-going saloon cars and Supercars category with a time of 44,094.
While Bezuidenhout couldn't quite grab a record, he won his King of the Hill shootout category with a 36,7 second run and Scribante won his category with a 39,3 second time. While the drivers were tearing up the track and setting new records, a record number of more than 17 000 spectators poured through the gates over the course of the weekend.
Read previous articles here:
- Kings of the Hill: Bezuidenhout, Scribante, Roets
- Final day of Jaguar Simola Hillclimb
- 2 More crashes at Hillclimb
- King of the hill parade kicks off weekend
- Hillclimb: Tons more excitement in store
- 10th annual Simola Hillclimb under way
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