Home / Social media / News / The 14th annual Simola Hillclimb is almost here, and it's going to rock!


In a little over a month’s time, one of the best events on the South African motorsport calendar kicks off - Simola Hillclimb. The area, the road, the setup and the competitors have turned the annual Simola Hillclimb into a bucket list event for motorsport fans both locally and abroad. This year’s event is the 14th running, and after attending the last 5 instalments, it’s hard to believe that it can get any better. Yet year after year things just get better, the only thing that the crew running the show doesn’t have control over is the weather, and even when that doesn’t play along, things seem to work out great. The entry list is also a drawcard for motorsport fans, when it’s hillclimb weekend the who’s who of local racing can be seen in attendance, and that means a field of international-quality cars across all the various race categories. Simola Hillclimb is divided into a variety of categories and classes, starting with Classic Car Friday which features loads of rare and special racecars from the glory days of racing. Some of the original classic racecars seen attacking the hill are worth an absolute fortune. While Classic Car Friday is always a great day, the majority of people head to Knysna for the more modern classes that run on Saturday and Sunday, culminating in The King of the Hill. This section basically sees the fastest cars from all the classes have a final run up the hill for overall glory. The fastest cars are either full racecars or purpose-built hillclimb cars, but besides them, the most popular class is that of the Road Car and Supercar category. We’re guessing it’s because most of the cars that compete in this class are more relatable to the viewing public they’re mostly tweaked versions of the cars you share traffic with. The top dog in this category is JP van der Walt in a well-set-up, fully road-legal Porsche 911 Turbo S, and he’ll be defending his class title for an astounding 4th time, all at the wheel of various Porsches. This year will be no different, JP’s weapon of choice is the same 2021 911 Turbo S he piloted last year. “It’s a bit of unfinished business for me, as last year the car was running in a ‘safe fail’ mode the whole weekend, which prevented me from going faster,” Van der Walt says. “It was also damp last year, which I don’t mind as the 911 Turbo S is very quick in wet conditions with its four-wheel drive system. But hopefully, it will be dry this year so we can push for the new class record.”

The Porsche is joined on track with official entries from Suzuki, BMW and Mercedes-Benz, the latter of which will also campaign an EV this year. From the privateers, you can also see cars from the likes of Audi, Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, McLaren and Shelby. In Van der Walt’s class, you’ll also see Feroz Ebrahim in a 2014 911 Turbo S, Graeme King in a 2019 Audi RS3, and the official BMW South Africa-entered M4 Competition xDrive driven by Christiano Verolini. Class A5 features Enzo Kuun in a 2015 911 Porsche Carrera, Dayaan Padayachee in a 2014 Cayman GTS and Sean Mackay in a 2000 911 GT3. Class A6 will feature Gordon Nicholson in a 2017 Audi R8 V10 Plus, Jon Williams in a 2012 Ferrari 458, Farhaad Ebrahim again but in a 2020 Toyota Supra and Shiraz Bawa in a 2005 BMW M5. Class A7 will feature Garth Mackintosh in a 2017 McLaren 720s, Masterdrive’s Eugene Herbert in a supercharged Ford Mustang along with drivers Paige Lindenberg, James Temple, Deon Smit, Anton Pommersheim and Joshua O’Callaghan all representing Shelby South Africa / Lindenberg Racing in an array of modified Ford Mustangs. Class A1 is where you’ll find the official Suzuki SA entries that see the likes of Wesley Greybe, Thomas Falkiner (Sunday Times) and Brendon Staniforth (Maroela Media) along with the private entry of Giles Missing - all in Suzuki Swift Sports. Representing the official Mercedes-Benz entities is the head honcho from the AMG Driving Experience, Clint Weston, in a new AMG GT 63 SE Performance, Chad Lückhoff from AutoTrader SA will join in a like Mercedes-AMG C 63 SE Performance. Natalie Weston will pilot the new all-electric Mercedes-Benz EQE 43 AMG to show how fast new technology is, even at its plentiful heft. BMW’s official entry for 2024 will be piloted by racing legend Deon Joubert who hopes to take the large EV to an unofficial Simola Hillclimb EV record. BMW will also debut its new hydrogen fuel cell-powered iX5 at event, although the driver is yet to be confirmed. 2024 is one not to be missed, we’re keen to see if anyone will beat the fast time up the hill for a streetcar to date set by BB Motorsport’s monstrous Nissan R-35 GT-R called Armageddon that crossed the traps of the 1.9 km uphill road in just 44.094 at the hands of everyone’s favourite driver, Reghard Roets.

Take a look at the YouTube video from the pros at covering hillclimb events around the world, HillClimb Monsters, who will surely be back for 2024. This is their take on the Top 15 cars from the 13th running of the event in 2023: TOP 15 MONSTERS || Simola HillClimb KING OF THE HILL 2023 | HillClimb Monsters

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