ONE WEEK AWAY: The 2016 Jaguar Simola Hillclimb is only a few days away, and here is what you can expect from the weekend. Image: MotorPress
Knysna - The highly anticipated 2016 Jaguar Simola Hillclimb is set to roar into action just one week from now, and will transform the quaint town of Knsyna into a motorsport paradise.
The build-up for SA’s premier, must-attend motor racing event commences on Thursday May 5, with documentation and scrutineering for the Classic Car Friday competitors taking place at the Knysna Waterfront, from 9am - 1.30pm
This is a great opportunity for enthusiasts to see the cars for the first time. Thereafter the competitors head for the Town Parade, which starts at 2.45pm, and is sure to raise the excitement level several notches.
READ: Behind the scenes: 2016 Jaguar Simola Hillclimb
King of the Hill competitors can do their documentation and scrutineering from 3pm on Thursday, or from 8am to 1.30pm on Friday, followed by an exhibition of the dazzling line-up of cars in Main Street, Knysna, from 3pm – 4pm.
After a year of preparation, Simola Hill will come alive to the spine-tingling sounds of high performance engines being revved to the limit when practice kicks off at 8.30am for the 60 cars competing in Classic Car Friday. The jam-packed programme of practice and qualifying runs leads to class finals at around 2.25pm, the Classic Conqueror Top 10 Shootout starting at approximately 2.55pm, followed by prize-giving.
For the two adrenaline-charged days that make up the King of the Hill challenge, the first of more than 80 cars set off at 9am each day. The Class Finals are scheduled to begin at 3pm on Sunday May 8, followed by the exciting new SuperCar Shootout, and the nail-biting King of the Hill Top 10 final one-lap dash at 3.50pm. This is followed by prize-giving at 4.25pm and a fun-filled street party in the pits from 5pm.
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The organisers have put a huge amount of effort into this event to make it as spectator-friendly as possible, including providing a convenient shuttle service that runs between the Knysna Waterfront and the main entrances throughout the weekend – at a cost of just R10 per person each way.
Two drop-off points are available – either at the main entrance near the pit complex, or at the bridge above Turn 3 that provides access to Gasoline Alley and the spectator areas. Public parking is available adjacent to the Gasoline Alley entrance, with access best suited to 4x4s and vehicles with high ground clearance.
Superb spectator points are provided throughout the 1.9km Hillclimb course, beginning with the area opposite the pit complex and the start line where all the tyre-smoking, rip-roaring action begins. Visitors with Pit Access Tickets will be able to get up close and personal with their motorsport heroes and their iconic cars, making for an even more memorable weekend.
One of the most spectacular and popular places to watch the Jaguar Simola Hillclimb is at Turn 3, either seeing the cars hit their maximum speed towards the end of the long uphill straight, or just after the turn as they accelerate towards the fast Turn 4.
The snaking sequence of Turns 5, 6 and 7 are also a firm favourite as the drivers aim for the tightest line in the final sprint to the finish.
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Attractions for the whole family
Food and beverage vendors, as well as mobile toilet facilities, are located at the main spectator areas, while Gasoline Alley provides a hive of activities, stalls and attractions to enthral the entire family, including a kiddies play area with jumping castles and face painting.
Jaguar will have its exciting new F-PACE on display at its stand in Gasoline Alley from lunch time on Saturday once it has been officially launched.
Lunchtime entertainment will include rides up the hill by 12 very valuable, classic motorcycles, the Harley-Davidson Club (Sunday only), aerobatic displays and more.
Simola’s very own helipad is conveniently located just above Gasoline Alley, and helicopter rides are available throughout the weekend – subject to the weather. Experiencing the Hillclimb from the air offers a simply breathtaking view of the course, the surrounding Simola Golf and Country Estate as well as the beautiful Knysna estuary.
The 2016 Jaguar Simola Hillclimb is bigger and better than ever – make sure you don’t miss it!