2024 Simola Hillclimb – Saturday Practice 1

Welcome to the exciting, exhilarating and always unpredictable King of the Hill challenge at the 2024 Simola Hillclimb! The annual competition gets better each year, and yesterday’s Classic Car Friday attendance was the highest-ever for the Friday event. Both Saturday and Sunday ticket sales are also at an all-time high, proving just how popular this event is as South Africa’s premier motoring and motorsport lifestyle showcase.

The unfortunate news is that reigning Single Seater and Sports Prototypes King of the Hill champion and outright Simola Hillclimb record-holder Andre Bezuidenhout had to withdraw his Gould GR55 due to engine damage during pre-event testing.

However there’s still a formidable line-up across all the categories, with 2023 Modified Saloon Car runner-up Reghard Roets setting the fastest time in the opening practice session, posting a time of 40.334 seconds in his 2014 Nissan R35 GT-R – less than two seconds off the current category record of 38.129 sec, currently held by Franco Scribante from 2022.

Dawie Joubert in the Ferrari-powered 2001 Lotus Exige was second on 41.471 sec, ahead of reigning champion Franco Scribante in his 2018 Nissan R35 GT-R and Aldo Scribante (2011 Audi S4) on 42.679 sec.

Robert Wolk led the charge in the Single Seaters and Sports Prototypes category with an exploratory run in the 1989 Pillbeam MP58 with its newly rebuilt Infinity Indycar V8 engine.

Road Car and Supercar title-holder JP van der Walt has set the benchmark once again in his 2021 Porsche 911 Turbo S, posting a time of 43.714 seconds – already 0.8 sec quicker than his winning time from 2022 of 44.562 sec (2023 was slower due to damp conditions).

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