As South Africa’s premier motorsport and motoring lifestyle event, the 2019 Jaguar Simola Hillclimb is scheduled to roar into life from 2 to 5 May, marking the 10th edition of this truly exceptional automotive extravaganza.
Image: Rob Till
Quite simply, there’s no other event on the calendar that attracts such a vast and diverse range of iconic cars and legendary drivers from all eras competing for glory on the challenging 1.9 km Simola Hill course – thus making it the must-attend event of the year for enthusiasts and competitors alike.
“We are truly humbled and delighted to be hosting the 10th edition of the Simola Hillclimb, and the sixth year with Jaguar as the proud title sponsor,” says Ian Shrosbree, managing director of Knysna Speed Festival which organises the annual Hillclimb. “From a simple idea developed by a small group of motorsport enthusiasts, combined with lots of hard work and dedication, the Hillclimb has become an award-winning motorsport lifestyle showcase that attracts competitors, spectators and live stream broadcast viewers from around the world.”
Almost 17 000 spectators, along with a dazzling array of high-profile celebrities and sports stars, attended the 2018 Jaguar Simola Hillclimb which saw the most competitive field yet vying for the Classic Conqueror and King of the Hill titles over the three days of adrenaline-charged action.
“The unprecedented success of the Jaguar Simola Hillclimb can be attributed to our ongoing efforts to evolve and improve the event each year,” Shrosbree adds. “Because we are limited in the number of cars that can compete in Classic Car Friday and King of the Hill on the Saturday and Sunday, our focus is always on delivering the very best Hillclimb experience for the competitors, spectators and sponsors.”
Once again, the organising team has responded to the huge popularity of the Hillclimb by opening ticket sales to the public earlier than ever, starting from 28 September – thus affording fans the opportunity to secure their places well in advance.
The online ticketing process, available on www.jaguarsimolahillclimb.com, has also been refined, with spectators first purchasing a General Entry or VIP Entry ticket. Once the initial ticket type has been selected, they will then be able to buy ticket upgrades, including Pit Access and Turn 2 Grandstand Seating, as well as Pit Priority Parking.
The exclusive VIP Hospitality packages, which include event and pit entry, as well as access to the Le Mans VIP Lounge, Piston Club or a Corporate Box in the VIP Village, are always in high demand and sell out quickly – so those interested in the ultimate Hillclimb experience are advised to secure their tickets early!
For the 2019 event, the wide range of vendors that provide a mouth-watering selection of foods and beverages, as well as exclusive gear and automotive memorabilia, will accept cash and (where available) card payments for maximum convenience.
When it comes to the thrilling Hillclimb action, the organisers have made several changes to further spice up the competition. While the format for the popular Classic Car Friday remains unchanged, the King of the Hill classes have been expanded and revised.
Class A for standard road-going cars benefits from the addition of a new class, A9, that caters for high-end, high-performance sport utility vehicles (SUVs), sport activity vehicles (SAVs) and bakkies.
The regulations for Class B, for modified saloon racing cars, incorporates two new classes, allowing four-cylinder forced-induction cars to compete independently for two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive honours, respectively.
The biggest changes have been introduced in Class C, which has been remodelled by separating the specialised single-seater and sports racing cars into individual categories for the first time – thus potentially attracting new entries and further intensifying the battles amongst these exceptionally quick race-bred machines.
It will be fascinating to see if Andre Bezuidenhout’s outright record of 35.528 seconds, achieved this year in his first attempt with the Gould GR55 specialised Hillclimb racer, can be beaten!
Due to its unrivalled popularity, the Jaguar Simola Hillclimb remains an invitational event. Online registrations open on 1 October 2018 for competitors hoping to participate next year’s event, and close on 31 January 2019.