2021 SHC King of the Hill – Practice 4

Things are hotting up on the first day of the King of the Hill challenge at Simola Hillclimb. Andre Bezuidenhout has came within a whisker of his current Simola record, crossing the timing beam in 35.566 seconds in the fourth and final practice session – a mere four hundredths of a second off his 2018 time, despite still running three-year-old hillclimb tyres.

Robert Wolk lopped another 0.8 sec off his time, ending his session on 38.257 seconds, while Wade van Zummeren is quickly getting to grips with the four-wheel drive monster that is the 2002 Nissan R34 GT-R. The car is normally driven by father Martin, with Wade a Simola Hillclimb regular in the rear-wheel drive 1992 R32 GT-R, which Jody is now driving as part of the family team. Although still finding his feet with the car, Wade posted the third-fastest overall time of 40.996 seconds.

“I’m still getting used to launching this car with its four-wheel drive system, and I’m having to figure out my braking distances as the speeds are a lot higher,” van Zummeren said. “I’m confident that the times will get even faster as I improve my starts during the qualifying sessions.”

Multiple former Simola Hillclimb winner Wilhelm Baard is notable only by his absence from the timesheets thus far, as he hasn’t completed a run yet in his powerful 2014 Nissan R35 GT-R. “We’ve had fuel pump issues with the GT-R which the team is busy sorting out, so I’m going to land up using the qualifying sessions for practice which is far from ideal, but we’ll have to see how it goes.”

Robby Ferroli was the victim of a track limits penalty in his Brazilian-sourced 1980 VW Gol (not be confused with the ‘Golf’) which uses a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine and Audi S2 quattro four-wheel drive system.

Thouca Mechanicos owns what is probably the wildest and fastest AMG Mercedes in the country, which is modelled on a DTM CLK 55 AMG. However, he has been plagued by mechanical issues which saw him stop on the course during the fourth practice, resulting in the session being halted briefly to recover the car.

Castrol Motorpress
Release compiled by Colin Mileman (082-897-6145 colin@milemanmedia.co.za)
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