Home / Social media / News / Local racer Pieter Zeelie and his 1,000+ hp Toyota MR2 excel on an international stage - again!


Things like this give the SXdrv team that warm and fuzzy feeling. Seeing a local car not only perform on an international stage but also kicking some serious ass will do that to any patriotic motorsport fan. It’s all good and well kicking ass in your own country but with the size of SA and the amount of dedicated hillclimb cars, it does sort of end up being like that big fish in a small pond. SA has but one serious hillclimb event on the motorsport calendar, the annual Simola Hillclimb in Knysna, and this attracts all the best Hillclimb-worthy racecars in the country with some of the country’s best drivers. The problem is that all these cars only really get to compete over 3 days once a year, besides a few track test sessions in between to ensure upgrades and new developments work as intended. This is where Pieter Zeelie is a bit different. The man pilots a 1,000+ horsepower Toyota MR2 with a turbocharged V6 powerplant and some of the most amazing aero you’ll ever see, and the car/driver combination is extremely hard to beat on race day which is why you’ll always find them at the top of the class and overall standings. Last year we reported on his exploits from when he shipped the car and his crew overseas to compete in the 54th International Osnabrück ADAC Hillclimb that took place on the Uphöfer Berg in Borgloh in the southern district of Osnabrück, Germany to race up the 2.03 km hill in the most picturesque of settings. In this race, Pieter finished second in the highest Performance Factor class (PF1), and third overall in the Production Car category. That was a great result against some of Europe’s best racecars, but Pieter wanted more, so he returned for the 55th instalment of the event this year.

For the 55th running of the event, Pieter and his crew returned to give the international chaps another MR2 bollocking, and together with his brilliant crew and wife, Retha, they did just that. After a 4th place in the Modified Saloon Car class at the 2023 instalment of the Simola hillclimb, the MR2 was given a once-over and packed into a crate to head back to Osnabrück. But first, the car stopped over in Switzerland to compete in the 78th les Course de Côte Internationale St-Ursanne - Les Rangiers hillclimb. Pieter explains: “Saint Ursanne is by far the most intimidating and dangerous track I have ever driven!! The MR2 features on this video (link below-Ed), including where a bale chewed up part of the left front end plate. Unfortunately, the car got a misfire in the last run and as both the last two runs’ times counted I was placed outside of the top 3 overall in closed cars. This is a track you need to drive more than 5 times to get the best out of it.” From there the team headed to Osnabrück, and with the car behaving as it should and being a bit more used to racing outside of SA, Pieter managed to improve on 2022’s results by clinching an amazing result of First in Class as well as a well-deserved Second Overall in the Adac Osnabruck FIA International Hillclimb Cup in 2023. “One position better than last year. The rain messed us around but it was fun!” said Pieter. If that doesn’t make you feel all patriotic and stuff, you’re dead inside. The SXdrv crew sends a huge congratulations to Pieter, Retha and the whole Zeelie Network Racing Team! Y’all are amazing!

Take a look at the YouTube videos showing off Pieter Zeelie's amazing performances at some recent international hillclimb events. The first comes from the best in the business, Hillclimb Monsters who have also selected the MR2 as the video's cover image, and the second comes from the crew at BELLUNOVIDEO who put together some great video content on Zeelie and his crew in Switzerland. Click through to see the awesome footage and action: TOP 15 MONSTERS || Osnabruck HillClimb 2023 | Hillclimb Monsters

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