Jaguar Simola Hill Climb

Knysna, Western Cape. Situated in the heart of the garden route, is one of the most beautiful cities in South Africa, in my opinion. It was home to one the greatest speed festivals in SA.

This was my third time attending the rapidly growing event, but the first time being media and what an experience!

The house we were in for the weekend was in town and amazingly close to the welcome center and scrutineers. So we could easily take a walk down the road for the Town parade. That on its own was already a dream as, during the day you could hear cars all over town and at night you literally fall asleep listening to their roars, you wake up to the sound of GTRs in the distance. It's really something I could get used to. It's like a mini Worthersee experience I can only imagine.

 


Town Parade

 

The event itself, is growing to another level. People are building cars solely for this event. For example, Kiu Garage, whom I’ve been following for the past year, using graphic design and aerodynamicists to design front canards and splitters, achieving up to 800kgs of downforce when taking on that beautiful 1.9km ribbon of tarmac in Simola estate.


Kiu Garage


Classic car Friday always see super rare and very special cars like Shelby, Porsche RSR and even a super clean Lola T70.
Franco Scribante took the win in his Chevron B19 for Classic car Friday yet again. Also bringing something rather special for the main King Of the Hill event. Unfortunately, it broke on launch in the final shootout.

911 RSR Turbo

Lola T70 mk3b

March 77B

Classic Car Friday champion - Franco Scribante Chevron B19



Many records were broken this year on the race track and in attendance. Andre Bezuidenhout broke he’s already quick record of 37.162 in his Dallara F1 last year, and this year crossed the line in the finals with a 36.428 in his Gould GR55 also breaking the track record with an eye watering time of 35.528, consistently posting times in the 36s. Continuing to hold on to the Single seaters & Sports cars championship.

Single Seaters & Sports Car Shootout Champion - Andre Bezuidenhout in his Gould GR55

Gould GR55

1. Andre Bezuidenhout 2. Robert Wolk 3. Garth de Villiers

Andre Bezuidenhout King Of the Hill, class winner and track record holder



Wilhelm Baard with his GTR R35 also retains his spot from last year in the Modified Saloon cars, just about breaking into the 30s with a time of 39.463, on the final shootout. He clipped a  tyre about 200 meters before the finish line, breaking his carbon fiber splitter and ripping off a boost pipe, leaving him without a turbo. If that never happened, 38s could’ve easily been achieved. Despite all the drama they’ve had whole weekend with the bonnet flying off and the car catching on a bit of fire, they were very happy with the final result, noting all the sour points from the previous day.

Modified Saloon Cars Shootout Champion - Wilhelm Baard driving the splitter off for the win in 39.463 seconds

Lotus Elise of Charl Joubert in a time of 39.519, 0.056 slower then the GTR R35

 


1. Wilhelm Baard 2. Charl Joubert 3. Dawie Joubert

Wilhelm Baard King Of the Hill and class winner


Reghard Roets, also in a GTR R35, had his hands full in the Road-Going saloon cars & Supercars class, with 3 McLaren’s on his tail lights, a few hundreds of a second behind him, they ate his Japanese dust to retain the title once again for his class. In short, with all the great competition that went down, the King Of the Hill champions remain unchanged, with only records being broken.

Road & SuperCar Shootout Champion - Reghard Roets in his GTR R35


Dawie Olivier in his SVR

McLaren 570s fitted with an aero kit

Ventura orange McLaren 570s

1. Reghard Roets 2. Dawie Olivier 3. Izak Spies

Reghard Roets King Of the Hill and class winner


There was also some lunch time entertainment. International stunt driver, Terry Grant, drove his Jaguar F-Pace up the hill on 2 wheels! This left most with mouths hanging open looking like Scream face.

Terry Grant in his Jaguar F-Pace

Terry Grant

Being media for an event on such a great scale was a dream come true. This event is one of my bucket list events to go to in the year, including the likes of the recent FIA Rally Cross that came to South Africa last year.
We were in a lovely air conditioned tent with our own media WiFi, water, space to store our gear and shuttles to get us to and from all corners of the track. There was even Eazi Access cranes we could jump on to get some highly anticipated shots, 100 meters from the ground.

911 from one of the Eazi Access cranes

Corvette Roadster from above



Each image is edited subtly enough to be natural, yet aesthetically pleasing for a wallpaper or print. If you want any picture in high resolution you can see them either here or others on my Facebook. Get in touch with me for pricing for image rights, or unless you own the car, I will gladly mail them for free. There’s close to 800 pictures in total, from Classic car Friday, the parade and King of the hill main event all from a full frame camera, meaning you can blow them up to billboard size(without pixelating), if you really want to. Hopefully these pictures made you feel less FOMO.

 

Edrich Zwiers R35

Franco Scribante Racing

She must be Tyre'd

Lovely Arbikie ladies

Amanda du-Pont drawing names for the Bell & Ross give away

Full Electric Nissan Leaf imported from japan just for this event

Zero Emission Nissan Leaf

Scribante Racing one of a kind Porsche GT3R, built in South Africa. The car I was looking forward to seeing.

Scribante Racing 1000hp GTR R35, owner : Jaco Nel

911 GT3 Cup Car

Edrich Zwiers GTR R35

Surprisingly the only Mercedes in King Of the Hill event

1 of 2 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio

Wilhelm Baard after the Final Shootout


Scribante Racing GT3R, lit by Wilhelm Baard's GTR


See you next year for an extra special milestone, 10th year of the Jaguar Simola Hill climb 2-5 May 2019!

Pictures & Edit: Cheslin Solomons
Words: Cheslin Solomons

My Hashtag: #JaguarSHC18
Official Hashtag: #JaguarSHC

Instagram handles: @Ches1992 , @AllDrivesOfLife , @LifeStance