Rare and fast cars will once more converge on Simola’s Hill climb in May. Picture: SUPPLIED
Rare and fast cars will once more converge on Simola’s Hill climb in May. Picture: SUPPLIED

If there’s one set of dates that has to be on the calendar for any motorsport competitor or enthusiast it is May 7-10 2020 as this will be the 11th edition of the Simola Hillclimb in Knysna — renowned as one of SA’s premier motoring and motorsport lifestyle events.

“We’ve had fantastic interest in the 2020 Simola Hillclimb, and received over 160 applications by mid-January,” says Geoff Goddard, Simola Hillclimb’s sporting director.

“As [this is] a strictly invitational event, the cut-off on 31 January gives us time to work through all of the entry applications and finalise the list of competitors to get the very best mix of who will be invited to participate in this year’s event.

“Each slot in Classic Car Friday and King of the Hill is highly prized among the motorsport fraternity. We aim to deliver the very best spectacle for competitors and spectators alike with a diverse and exciting range of cars and drivers,” Goddard says.

“Every year we are oversubscribed with entry applications and expressions of interest from local and international drivers continues to grow. Therefore it’s essential that competitors hoping to participate submit their applications on time as no late entries can be considered.”

For Classic Car Friday on May 8, for memorable cars from the heydays of racing, the field is limited to 65 vehicles.

King of the Hill sees a total of 84 cars going head-to-head for victories in their respective classes on 9 and 10 May.

The Road-going Saloon Cars and Supercars category caters for standard production and road-legal cars — from hot hatches all the way to high-end sporting machines like the Nissan GT-R that has been the dominant force for many years.

They are joined by a selection of SA’s fastest racing machines in the Modified Saloon Car category — with Franco Scribante’s multiwinged Nissan GT-R setting a new benchmark for its radical design and title-winning performance in 2019.

The Single Seater and Sports Prototypes category is home to thoroughbred racing cars, including the specialised Gould GR55 that Andre Bezuidenhout powered to the existing Simola Hillclimb record of 35.528 seconds in 2018. Though competitors will be vying for the overall King of the Hill title for this category, separate classes are provided for the single-seater entries as well as the sports prototype racers.

For more information visit: www.simolahillclimb.com 

Backdraft Racing supports SA Endurance series

Ten of these Backdraft roadsters will be loaned - for free - to competitors in SA Endurance Racing Series.Picture: SUPPLIED
Ten of these Backdraft roadsters will be loaned - for free - to competitors in SA Endurance Racing Series.Picture: SUPPLIED

Racing is all about passion and Backdraft Racing, based in Durban, has taken this to a new level by loaning 10 race-ready Roadsters to new teams for the 2020 SA Endurance Racing Series for free.

Teams from the UK, one from Sweden and one from Dubai are adding some international flair to the competitive series.

Backdraft Racing is headed up by former SA Driver’s Champion and Daytona 24-Hour winner, Tony Martin who says: “Everything I have today has come from racing so this idea is both a way to give something back to the sport I love and to add a new dimension to the SA Endurance Racing series.

“It is not a gimmick and the cars are all prepared to within a couple of horsepower of each other and are identical in every other way. They are extremely competitive, not only against each other but will be able to challenge other marques involved in the series,” said Martin.

“All we are asking in return is they guarantee to be ready and present for both practice and the race at each event in the series,” he said of the series that consists of six events to be held at various race tracks.

While the competing teams are free to bring their own sponsors on board to cover the general running costs, they will not be allowed to make any modifications to the Roadsters beyond basic race-day and handling set-up.

Backdraft will have their own “policeman” — Brian Clifton — to assist competitors and to ensure compliance to the rules where necessary. No performance enhancing modifications will be allowed.

Competing in the series are a wide range of marques including Lamborghini, Ferrari and Porsche alongside sports cars such as Ginetta, Liege, Nash and Juno.

In all, Backdraft Racing will have at least 13 cars for the 2020 season with established pairing Brian Martin and Trevor Graham continuing to campaign their recognisable red Roadster, while a new car is being readied for Martin and Mike McLoughlin — the latter is holder of the outright lap record at Dezzi Raceway in his sprint set-up Roadster.

“The spectacle of these 10 Backdraft Roadsters racing each other and the rest of the field is going to add a whole new dimension to the series this year,” enthuses Martin. “Within the series there will be a Roadster class — so if anyone has a roadster and wants to come and join the fun, they are more than welcome.”

The season-opener is a four-hour race at Aldo Scribante near Port Elizabeth on March 21.

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