Knysna Simola Hillclimb

Man, it felt good to be back at the Simola Hillclimb. The atmosphere, even without the spectators was intense, familiar. It’s hard to believe that two and a half years have passed since the last one. Screw you Covid.

It’ was also great to see something on two wheels at the Hillclimb, that it’s no less than the new Suzuki Hayabusa was simply unbelievable. The man making all the smoke is AJ Venter aka the quickest south African to ever lap the Isle of Man TT. That’s right, Suzuki had a presence at this latest Hillclimb which makes sense. Monster Tania and his crazy Vitara and SX4 rally beats have long conquered Pikes Peak which must be the most infamous Hillclimb on the planet. Then, locally, there’s the fact that some of the single-seaters at Simola are also running Hayabusa engines, including Franco Scribante’s winning Chevron. And these two Champs:

But naturally, there was also the usual lineup of Nissan GTRs and supercars on the hill, buggies, sports cars. And I was one of the lucky content creators that got to produce some films exclusively for Suzuki and of course, the folks at Nissan:

Sadly I missed having a lekker big crowd this year, but there’s still all the noise and petrol and wings and things, so I’m thrilled to have been there. It’s been as exciting as ever. The battle between the Nissans has been awesome to behold, with the usual heavy hitters such as Scribante, Wilhelm Baard and Wade van Zummeran at the front of the pack doing high 39s and 40s. Wade’s R34 in particular was a sight to behold as he too broke into the 39s, and later posted the most mental sideways lap of the hill I’d ever seen. A far cry from the classic car action of Friday, but equally as fun to watch. As were the Lotus Exiges of the Jouberts, each with a different powertrain sending them up the hill. Naturally, there are Lamborghinis and Porsches and beasts of that nature, including a rare Noble competing with the highly tuned race cars. God, I love this event.

Its just so unique – I mean where else can you see an F1 car, Ford Ranger, Citroen Rally car and Toyota MR2 touring car all charge up the same hill. And about that MR2, it was driven by Pieter Zeelie who managed to beat out the Nissans and crack into the 39s for the first time ever.

This is an important event to me, I even had the rare privilege of competing here once in a Renault Megane RS. So I can relate to these pilots, pushing their whips frantically up this bit of tarmac. Living on the limit and sending it with every fibre of their being. Who knows, maybe I’ll be back one day in my Supra, or even my Chevy?

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