2023 SHC King of the Hill – Qualifying 5

Single Seaters and Sports Prototypes:

After the action was disrupted due to a brief downpour during Qualifying 4, the rain disappeared for Q5 with the 1.9 km Simola Hill course drying throughout the session. However, it was still greasy in places which made it extremely difficult for the competitors to choose the correct tyres and find the ideal balance between speed and keeping the car on the black stuff.

Robert Wolk had his first run of the day, but this ended prematurely coming out of Turn 2 with a blown Infinity Indycar engine on the Pillbeam MP58.

This delayed Andre Bezuidenhout’s run in Q5 in the Gould GR55, but he ultimately set the fastest time of the day so far of 36.858 seconds.

Devin Robertson managed to repair his Radical 1300 Pro Sport this morning after a new driveshaft was driven down overnight from Johannesburg, but his first qualifying attempt ended with the car stopping briefly halfway up the course.

Byron Mitchell was second quickest (40.587 sec) ahead of fellow Formula VW competitor Andrew Rackstraw (41.413 sec).

Modified Saloon Cars:

Petter Solberg was the first top competitor in this category to go out on slick tyres, relying on his supreme WRC and WRX experience and talent to blast the VW Polo R WRX Supercar to an astonishing time of 40.629 sec, despite the variable conditions.

Overnight leader Reghard Roets went out on wet weather tyres fitted to his Nissan R-35 GT-R, and he blitzed Solberg’s time by half a second to lead the field on 40.086 seconds.

Franco Scribante mirrored the wet set-up of his rival and was two-tenths slower than Solberg, but his time was deleted after exceeding the track limits. This handed third place to Aldo Scribante with a time of 42.291 sec in the Audi S4.

Pieter Zeelie seemed to have sorted his set-up issues on the Toyota MR2 Super GT and upped the power on the car, but a boost pipe came loose during his run. Accordingly, he has one more opportunity to set a qualifying time in the final session.

Road-going Saloon Cars & Supercars:

Formula 1 star Mika Salo topped the standard production car times for the first time on 47.486 seconds in the AMG CLA45S, with a mere one-hundredth of a second separating him from team-mate Clint Weston in the AMG A45S (47.489 sec).

Having dominated the category this far, JP van der Walt saw his time of 45.908 sec deleted as he explored the limited grip available. Farhaad Ebrahim ended the session in third place with a time of 49.331 sec in the Toyota Supra.

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