The Jaguar Simola Hillclimb has firmly cemented its status as the premier motorsport event in South Africa after receiving a record number of entry applications for the 2016 edition, scheduled for 6-8 May in Knysna.
“The Jaguar Simola Hillclimb has grown in stature and scale since we launched the event in 2009, and we are delighted to report that more than 120 applications were received for this year’s King of the Hill and nearly 80 for Classic Car Friday,” said Geoff Goddard, Sporting Director for the event.
The exceptional popularity of the Jaguar Simola Hillclimb is in no small part due to the successful partnership with Jaguar as title sponsor for the third consecutive year.
This peerless motorsport spectacle won the Best Tourism Activity Award and was nominated for the Proudly Knysna Award at the annual Sanlam Knysna Awards in February 2016. It was also a finalist for the Discovery Sport Awards in the Best Live Experience category.
Additionally, the event’s founder and director, Ian Shrosbree, has been nominated for this year’s SA Guild of Motoring Journalists’ Colin Watling Award for special achievement in motorsport by someone other than a competitor.
“Considering the entries were oversubscribed within weeks of the applications being opened in December, it shows the eager appetite amongst racers and enthusiasts alike for the most accessible and exhilarating form of racing in the country,” Goddard added.
However, as a natural consequence of its growing popularity, the number of entry applications far exceeded the available places in Classic Car Friday and King of the Hill categories. Accordingly, the 2016 running sees the event becoming an invitational contest.
“Although it is very difficult to turn some people away, we have to limit the number of entries in both categories to ensure that the event runs smoothly, and all of the competitors have sufficient practice and qualifying runs that lead up to the class and overall finals,” Goddard said.
A total of 83 contenders have been selected for King of the Hill, which runs on the Saturday and Sunday. The Classic Car Friday contingent has been bolstered from the 50 slots available last year to 60 for the 2016 edition, thus enabling more cars of all shapes, sizes and vintages to strut their stuff on the challenging 1.9 km hillclimb course.
For the record number of spectators expected this year, it also means that there will be even more high-paced, adrenaline-fuelled action throughout the weekend – featuring some of the most impressive, exclusive and potent road and race cars in the country.
The success of the Jaguar Simola Hillclimb isn’t just reflected in the burgeoning number of local entries, but also with growing interest from abroad. This year’s event will be spiced up with two competitors from the UK for the first time – one each competing in Classic Car Friday and King of the Hill, respectively.
For more information on the event visit: www.jaguarsimolahillclimb.co.za