2024 Simola Hillclimb – Classic Car Friday Practice 1

Welcome to the opening day of the 2024 Simola Hillclimb – starting with the dazzling array of Classic Car Friday contenders spread across nine classes, comprising iconic road and race cars.

Of the 65 entrants, the oldest car in the field is the 1926 Austin Seven driven by Lucie Runnalls – competing in the handicap format class H1. The youngest car is the 1994 Ferrari F355 driven by former SA rally ace Enzo Kuun, a class H8 challenger.

Andre Bezuidenhout is the reigning Classic Conqueror and the man to beat, having set the winning time of 41.715 seconds last year in his 1976 Lola T460.

In the opening practice session this morning, there were a couple of cars that experienced technical issues.

The first drama of the day was Ian Schofield losing the back end of the 1977 March 77B just after the start line, leading to a hard impact into the banking – initially with the front of the car, then being spun around and landing up with the rear in the water drainage ditch. At this stage the damage doesn’t seem too severe, and initial inspection indicates that it was the result of a gearbox problem. Hopefully he will be back in action later.

Franco Scribante was quickest in the opening practice, setting a time of 43.448 seconds in the 1970 Chevron B19. Andre Bezuidenhout was 1.904 sec adrift, with another former champion, Charles Arton, slotting into third place with a time of 47.036 sec in the 1979 March 79A.

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