• Decorated driver boasts more than 90 race victories and 19 championships
• Participating in Supercar class, driving a Jaguar F-TYPE SVR
• 2017 Jaguar Simola Hillclimb takes place 4 – 7 May, in Knysna
Pretoria, 17 March 2017
From 4 – 7 May thousands of South Africa’s most passionate racing fans will converge on the quiet town of Knysna, for the annual pilgrimage of speed to the Jaguar Simola Hillclimb. Since 2009 they’ve come to watch iconic local race drivers, including Sarel van der Merwe and Geoff Mortimer, participate in South Africa’s premier motorsport event. And at this year’s event the local heroes will also be joined by American multiple championship-winning racing driver and journalist Randy Pobst.
Randy boasts an illustrious career in motorsport, with four decades of racing experience. Since participating in – and winning – his first motorsport event in 1977, Randy has stocked up his trophy cabinet with silverware from prestigious international events. Among his more than 90 professional race wins are 19 championship titles – including nine Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) championships, four World Challenge GT championships, two IMSA championships and two victories at the 24 Hours of Daytona. Additionally, he’s also been a factory driver for a number of manufacturers.
“I’d heard many wonderful things from friends about the Jaguar Simola Hillclimb and South Africa. When Jaguar and the organisers got in touch to invite me, I felt honoured, thrilled, and I simply knew that I had to seize this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Pobst. “In 40 years of racing I’ve been all over the US and to Europe, but this will be my first time in this seemingly beautiful and exotic country. I can’t wait to see the crowds and competition at the Jaguar Simola Hillclimb.”
Randy will be attending on behalf of MotorTrend, one of the USA’s largest motoring publications – with the largest automotive channel on YouTube. Since 2009 Randy has been MotorTrend’s go-to driver, entrusted with putting in benchmark lap times for performance tests of machinery ranging from entry-level sports cars to exotic track-only race cars. While this day job sees him doing testing at famous American race circuits, including Road Atlanta and Laguna Seca, he remains active in amateur and professional motorsport series across the United States.
His participation in the Jaguar Simola Hillclimb will see Randy face off against drivers in the hotly-contested Road car and Supercar category. A Supercar Shootout was first introduced in 2016, and this year sees the introduction of a separate road and supercar category, which will allow road-going high-performance models from British, German, Italian and Japanese manufacturers battle for top honours in their street-legal machines.
To ensure that he has a fighting chance to take home gold, Randy will be driving a Jaguar F-TYPE SVR. The fastest F-TYPE is motivated by a supercharged V8, with outputs of 423kW and 700Nm, and features additional engineering to further enhance its dynamic performance through the bends. This includes bespoke suspension components, unique calibration of its Intelligent Driveline Dynamics all-wheel drive system and weight saving through extensive use of lightweight materials.
“The Jaguar Simola Hillclimb is the pre-eminent highlight on the South African motorsport calendar, and we intend to grow its profile among the international audience,” said Lisa Mallett, Marketing Director of Jaguar Land Rover South Africa and sub-Sahara Africa. “We’re thrilled that Randy can join us and participate in one of our cars. We’re confident that he will see that this is a world-class event – and encourage others to attend.”
This year’s Jaguar Simola Hillclimb starts with Classic Car Friday, on 5 May, where owners of historic road and race cars can compete in their iconic cars for the Classic Conqueror trophy. From 6 – 7 May, attention will turn to the exhilarating King of the Hill competition, which will see 84 road-going cars and supercars, modified saloon cars and single-seater and sports racing cars charging up the 1.9km-long Simola Hill for their respective King of the Hill titles and the special ‘Jody’ trophies.
Spectator tickets for the 2017 Jaguar Simola Hillclimb start at R100 for a day pass and R220 for a pit pass. Tickets can be purchased on www.itickets.co.za. For more information, visit www.jaguarsimolahillclimb.com.