KING OF THE HILL: Franco Scribante (inset) was crowned 2014 Simola King of the Hill with his Chevron B19. He hopes to defend his title. Image: Motorpress / Morne Condon
KNYSNA, Western Cape - The 2015 Jaguar Simola Hillclimb will sport a packed entry list for the Classic Car Friday event.
Historic grand prix cars dating back to the 1920s and ‘30s to thundering sports cars from the sixties and some of the finest racers from 1970s, will be driven against the clock and are fully accessible to spectators throughout the day.
Classic Car Friday (May 15) represents, organisers say, the finest gathering of some of South Africa’s most iconic road and race cars and is a major drawcard for the annual Jaguar Simola Hillclimb.
The 2015 event also sees the largest number of entries yet, with the allocated 50 slots over-subscribed soon after the entries were opened. Organisers have elected to accept a total of 53 entries for the Friday programme, 12 more than 2014.
The rules cater for a wide range of vehicles grouped into eight classes, starting off with the "pre-war cars" in Class H1. One of the most interesting entries is Rodney Green’s impressive 1929 Bugatti 35B Grand Prix racer, which features a supercharged eight-cylinder engine.
The subsequent two categories account for road cars, with pre-1966 models in H2 featuring famous marques such as Austin-Healey, Sunbeam, Marcos and, naturally, Jaguar’s seductive E-type. Pre-1975 road cars competing in Class H3 encompass the likes of Porsche, Mercedes-Benz and Pontiac.
It’s back to the roaring sixties for pre-1966 single-seater and sports racing cars in H4, which includes Dave Alexander’s 1964 Alfa Romeo F1 car, Peter Lindenberg’s mighty Shelby Daytona Coupe along with a brace of Ford GT40s – including one driven by 2014 runner-up, Ross Lazarus.
The more recent Pre-1980 category comprises just two entries, Lew Baker’s 1967 Mallock Ford TC Mk 6B, and Charles Arton’s stunning 1979 March 79B Formula Atlantic racer. This was originally former Formula 1 driver Derek Daly’s car as campaigned in the US, and is powered by a 1600 Ford BDA engine matched to a Hewland FT200 gearbox.
Saloon racing cars with four-cylinder engines which competed prior to 1980 make up H6, including popular models such as Paige Lindenberg’s 1968 Ford Escort and Peter Kaye-Eddie’s BMW 2002 from the same year.
WINNER OF EACH CLASS
Class H7, which hosts saloon racers powered by rotary, six-cylinder or eight-cylinder engines, is dominated by Porsche entries. This year reigning champion Franco Scribante will be campaigning in a 1974 911 Carrera RSR after a rule change prevents drivers from competing in the same car on Classic Car Friday as well as King of the Hill. He is joined by three other 911s from the late sixties and seventies.
Class H8 is made up of re-created cars that conform to the original vehicle’s silhouette, but use modern running gear.
The programme for Classic Car Friday will keep spectators enthralled throughout the day. It comprises three open practice runs and two qualifying runs for all classes. The three fastest competitors from each class proceed to the final, which involves a single-run shootout to determine the positions and the winner of each class.
The action and excitement steps up a gear or two as the 10 fastest competitors overall go head-to-head in the final shoot-out, setting off in reverse order with the aim of setting the fastest time on the 1.9km Hill and being crowned the Classic Conqueror for 2015.SUPERCAR THURSDAY
The inaugural Supercar Thursday (May 14) will have 50 supercar owners sprint high-performance vehicles up Simola Hill. Though a non-competitive event, with no prizes, it will still be timed.
General admission passes for spectators can be bought at the gate for the duration of the event.