A new unofficial Simola Hillclimb record has been set! Andre Bezuidenhout rocketed the 2007 Gould GR55 up the 1.9 km Simola Hill in a scorching 35.449 sec at an average speed of 193 km/h – from a standing start. His time in today’s first qualifying session was eight hundredths of a second quicker than his current official record from 2018!
Only times set in the Class Finals or Top 10 Shootout count for the official records, but Andre is confident that there’s still more to come. I had a terrible start in this session and didn’t get away from the line well, although the rest of the run went well,” Bezuidenhout said. “It’s all about the start, and if you lose time here you never pick it up. I’m half a second away from 34s, so I’m going to go for it. The next one will be perfect.”
While Bezuidenhout was slashing his times, Wolk was going in the opposite direction after making setup changes on the A1 GP car in attempt to improve the car’s traction off the line – but it didn’t work, as he went nearly two seconds slower than the final practice, on 40.178 seconds.
One of the regular Top 10 Shootout contenders in the Modified Saloon Cars, Franco di Matteo, saw his challenge come to an abrupt halt as he crashed out of the event at Turn 4 in the Jaguar V8 Supercar. Although di Matteo was unhurt, the car incurred extensive damage.
Wilhelm Baard finally completed his first run of the day in the highly modified BB Motorsport 2014 Nissan R35 GT-R after the team managed to sort out the fuel pump issues. Even though it was his first run since 2019, Baard set a time of 42.557 seconds, making him the second-quickest saloon car in sixth overall, behind Wade van Zummeren (41.148 sec) who was third-fastest overall. Andrew Rackstraw was fourth (41.148 sec), ahead of Byron Mitchell (41.968 sec) in fifth, and Silvio Scribante (Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo) in seventh with a time of 42.765 seconds. Dawie Joubert ended the session eighth in the Ferrari-engined Lotus Exige (43.040 sec), followed by Charl Arangies (43.435 sec) in another Huracan GT3 Evo and Shelby CanAm V6 driver Michael Verrier (43.875 sec).
Franco Scribante hasn’t yet been able to challenge for top times yet as his crew works on the wild GT-R’s setup, with a throttle body issue hampering his first qualifying run.
Janus Janse van Rensburg, who had a heavy crash in today’s first session, is being kept in hospital overnight for observation due to concussion.
Release compiled by Colin Mileman (082-897-6145 firstname.lastname@example.org)
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