Start your engines for the Simola Hillclimb

Anticipation is revving up for the King of the Hill challenge that kicks off at the 2022 Simola Hillclimb in less than a month.

Anton Cronje 2013 Subaru WRX S Ti photo Rob Till

Following the Classic Car Friday contenders competing for glory on Friday 6 May 2022, the King of the Hill action takes centre stage on Saturday and Sunday, 7 and 8 May. It comprises three distinct categories for modern machines: Road-going Saloon Cars and Supercars; the wild Modified Saloon Cars; and the specialised Single Seaters and Sports Prototypes.

The Road-going Saloon Cars and Supercars (Class A) are street-legal machines that mirror what you would find on a showroom floor. Only standard road tyres are permitted that match the original manufacturer’s specification, and the limited changes allowed are restricted to safety-critical features such as a racing seat with harness, and a roll cage, if applicable.

Accordingly, the Class A cars taking on the 1.9 km Simola Hill are identical to the vehicles you see on the road. However, the line-up varies significantly and ranges from sporty sedans to beefy V8 muscle cars and razor-sharp supercars – plus a trio of new-generation all-electric cars, which ensure that there’s something for everyone.

Headlining the field is reigning King of the Hill, Jean-Pierre van der Walt who will return to defend his crown this year, but who is making the switch from the title-winning 2016 Porsche 911 GT3 RS to a 911 Turbo S of the same year, competing in Class A4 for six-cylinder four-wheel drive cars. Van der Walt set a winning time of 45.858 seconds in the GT3 RS – a mere five seconds off the fastest fire-breathing monsters that dominated the Modified Saloon Car category.

The two-wheel drive six-cylinder machines in Class A3 will provide an intriguing battle, as Feroz and Farhaad Ebrahim will be competing in identical new-generation 2020 Toyota Supras. They will be up against Martin Wiid in a 2019 BMW M240i, along with Piet Potgieter in his powerful Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio.

With no competitors in Class A2 for four-cylinder four-wheel drive cars, Class A1 for two-wheel drive machines sees the return of Jared Yeo in his turbocharged Porsche Cayman 718s. Two media entries from Suzuki SA will also feature in the class, as motoring journalists Reuben van Niekerk and Wesley Greybe will be behind the wheel of a pair of Suzuki Swift Sport models.

Adding significant interest is Class A8 for hybrid and electric vehicles. Cars.co.za motoring journalist Ciro de Siena will be piloting the all-electric BMW i4 M50, which is credited with 400 kW and a 0-100 km/h time of 3.9 seconds.

Volkswagen will also make its debut in this class with a pair of 100 kW e-Golf entries, driven by GTC racing drivers Daniel Rowe and Jonathan Mogotsi.

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