It’s party time. In 2019 we will celebrate the big TEN! Yes, the Jaguar Simola Hillclimb will roar to the sound of engines, cheering spectators and popping champagne corks as we celebrate ten editions of South Africa’s leading motorsport lifestyle event.
To be accurate, the journey in fact started eleven years ago in 2009, but we had to skip the 2013 event due to unforeseen circumstances therefore our tenth anniversary is a year later than it might have been.
Following the success of the 2018 edition it will be difficult to improve still further but as our ethos is to seek constant improvement and to provide a premium experience, our organising team is bashing our heads together to brainstorm ideas that will allow us to tweak and fine tune our offering to ensure that we celebrate number ten in style.
When we set out on this journey we were told that no one would come to Knysna for a motorsport event, but with vision and hard work we have built a local motorsport lifestyle showcase that attracts competitors, spectators and broadcast viewers from around the globe.
Scheduled for 2-5 May 2019, the Hillclimb will be the sixth running known as the Jaguar Simola Hillclimb. Jaguar South Africa’s continued commitment to the event once again allows us to be proactive with our planning, and so, even before the 2018 event was run, we were already putting some of the blocks in place for our tenth anniversary.
In our striving to always keep improving we have evaluated what was good and not so good from previous years, listened to all our stakeholders, looked at other global events for inspiration and ideas, and then decided which factors to implement with the view to making it a better experience for all.
The success of the 2018 Hillclimb, which saw approximately 17 000 people through the gate, including actress Amanda Du Pont, singer Bobby van Jaarsveld, and Springbok rugby player Eben Etzebeth, continued to draw unparalleled interest in South African motorsport. Word of the event has continued to spread far and wide, with not only South African interest reaching new heights, but international recognition growing too.
Videographers Jeremy Heslup and Nima Karamati travelled from the USA to shoot a documentary, while globally recognised, and multiple world record holding stuntman, Terry Grant spun his magic with the crowds driving a Jaguar F-Pace all the way up the hill on two wheels. Competitors Vance Kearney from the UK, Steve Kimpton and Kai Goddard from the USA, Alexander Krahe’, Andrea Linke and Geoff Goddard Jr from Germany returned to their countries of origin after the event bubbling with enthusiasm and will surely spread the word far and wide.
From a media perspective, once again the event trended at number 1 on Twitter over the weekend and activity on Facebook and other social media was at an all-time high. Traditional media also granted the event significant coverage pre- and post-race.
On track we had a specialist Hillclimb car, the Gould single seater, set the record of just 35.5 sec after being imported from the UK shortly before the event.
In 2018 we had more non-motorsport visitors than ever attend the event and the result was overwhelming – they had a blast and want to come back next year. So, whether you have attended the Jaguar Simola Hillclimb before or not, you won’t want to miss the 2019 experience as the line-up of cars and activity promises to be better than ever, while the smoke, noise, vibe, excitement levels and off-track activities are the epitome of good entertainment.
Whether you are a petrol head, speed lover or just someone who loves a good time – don’t miss out – you will leave satisfied and enthralled at the spectacle.
Activity kicks off on Thursday 2 May with the Classic Car Display and Parade in Hedge Street and from thereon in it is non-stop entertainment for the rest of the weekend. Don’t miss it!