2017 JAGUAR SIMOLA HILLCLIMB: WORK BEGINS

It may be just six months after the hugely successful 2016 Jaguar Simola Hillclimb, and another six to go before the start of next year’s event, but the organisers have been hard at work preparing for the 8th edition of what is renowned as South Africa’s premier motorsport event. First gear has already been engaged for the 2017 Jaguar Simola Hillclimb, scheduled from 4 to 7 May in the beautiful coastal town of Knysna. As this is an invitational event, the first phase commenced with selected competitors having been sent invites on 3 October. During October, the invitational competitors were be able to submit their formal entries to secure a slot in SA’s most spectacular and prestigious Hillclimb.

KNYSNA, SOUTH AFRICA - MAY 08: General action during day 3 of the  2016 Jaguar Simola Hillclimb held at Simola Golf and Country Estate on May 08, 2016 in the Knysna, South Africa. EDITOR'S NOTE: For free editorial use. Not available for sale. No commercial usage. (Photo by Luke Walker/Jaguar/Gallo Images)

KNYSNA, SOUTH AFRICA – MAY 08: General action during day 3 of the 2016 Jaguar Simola Hillclimb held at Simola Golf and Country Estate on May 08, 2016 in the Knysna, South Africa. EDITOR’S NOTE: For free editorial use. Not available for sale. No commercial usage. (Photo by Luke Walker/Jaguar/Gallo Images)

“Despite the invitation list being relatively small, we’ve already had a large number of competitors confirming their places for the 2017 Jaguar Simola Hillclimb, including many of the high-profile entrants and a couple of our past Hillclimb champions,” says Geoff Goddard, the event’s Sporting Director. “With just 60 places available for Classic Car Friday, and a maximum of 84 for King of the Hill which takes place on the Saturday and Sunday, we always receive far more applications than we can accommodate,” he adds. “Our focus is on putting together the very best show we can with the most exciting and diverse range of cars and drivers that you will find at one race weekend.”

KNYSNA, SOUTH AFRICA - MAY 08: General action during day 3 of the  2016 Jaguar Simola Hillclimb held at Simola Golf and Country Estate on May 08, 2016 in the Knysna, South Africa. EDITOR'S NOTE: For free editorial use. Not available for sale. No commercial usage. (Photo by Luke Walker/Jaguar/Gallo Images)

KNYSNA, SOUTH AFRICA – MAY 08: General action during day 3 of the 2016 Jaguar Simola Hillclimb held at Simola Golf and Country Estate on May 08, 2016 in the Knysna, South Africa. EDITOR’S NOTE: For free editorial use. Not available for sale. No commercial usage. (Photo by Luke Walker/Jaguar/Gallo Images)

Raising the status of the Jaguar Simola Hillclimb even further is growing interest from overseas competitors. The international contingent for next year’s Hillclimb is expected to include competitors from the UK, as well as new contenders from the US for the first time. Once the invitational entries have been processed, the event shifts into second gear from 1 November to 25 January 2017 as competitors will be able to lodge an expression of interest to enter. These applications will be duly considered by the organisers, with successful applicants issued an invitation to compete by no later than 10 February.

KNYSNA, SOUTH AFRICA - MAY 07: General action during day 2 of the 2016 Jaguar Simola Hillclimb held at Simola Golf and Country Estate on May 07, 2016 in the Knysna, South Africa. EDITOR'S NOTE: For free editorial use. Not available for sale. No commercial usage. (Photo by Luke Walker/Jaguar/Gallo Images)

KNYSNA, SOUTH AFRICA – MAY 07: General action during day 2 of the 2016 Jaguar Simola Hillclimb held at Simola Golf and Country Estate on May 07, 2016 in the Knysna, South Africa. EDITOR’S NOTE: For free editorial use. Not available for sale. No commercial usage. (Photo by Luke Walker/Jaguar/Gallo Images)

One of the exciting new developments for the 2017 Hillclimb, the fourth consecutive event with Jaguar as title sponsor, is the introduction of individual King of the Hill titles for the three main types of competing vehicles. “For next year, there will be three distinct categories for King of the Hill which allows cars of similar type and performance to compete against each other, which should make the racing even more exciting,” Goddard says.

2016 Jaguar Simola Hillclimb - day 3

Aside from the established class finals, catering for the various types of road and race cars, there will be separate Top 10 Shootouts for Road and Supercars, Single-seaters and Sportscars, as well as Racing Saloon Cars. Each category will carry the same level of importance and stature. Adding further lustre to the three categories, each overall winner will receive a prized ‘Jody’ Trophy that was introduced for 2016, inspired by South Africa’s one and only Formula 1 champion, Jody Scheckter.

2016 Jaguar Simola Hillclimb - day 3

For Classic Car Friday, the Top 10 winner is awarded the prized Classic Conqueror title. Additionally, for both events, the Spirit of Dave Charlton floating trophies are awarded by the organisers to the driver or team member who most reflects Charlton’s spirit of attention to detail, meticulous persistence, exceptional spirit and sportsmanship.

 

STORY COURTESY OF JAGUAR

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