• The Simola Hillclimb 2022 kicked off with action in Classic Car Friday.
• Competitors lined up in various cars, and some went all out in a bid to be crowned Classic Conqueror.
• Ian Schofield won Classic Car Friday with a time of 42.302 seconds.
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The 2022 Simola Hillclimb officially kicked off in spectacular fashion as a host of classic cars took to the 1.9km Simola Hill in Knysna as part of Classic Car Friday. It was a sight to behold as competitors lined up in old-time classics, old-school racing cars and modified sports monsters dialed up to 11!
Of course, the day’s race was not without fault, as several drivers slowed down or pulled to the side of the road with mechanical and technical issues. Still, the gremlins failed to deter the other competitors who raced up the hill to set the fastest time possible.
Now, just because they’re classic cars doesn’t mean they’re slow. As the first Classic Car Friday competitors took to the track, times hovered around 1:30. As expected, the “slower” classics took the Hill first, followed by the faster cars. And boy, were those cars fast!
A mixed race
At the end of the second practice session, Rui Campos set a time of 48.235 seconds at the wheel of his Porsche 911 RSR. He was almost four seconds ahead of Charles Arton, second (52.128sec) in a Datsun 240Z. Page Lindenberg, of Shelby South Africa and driving a heavily modified Ford Fairlane, set a time of 56.469sec. More sessions followed and times continued to drop in the qualifying sessions.
The machines the riders race with have been developed since last year’s event in September, leading up to this year’s. Some cars received minimal changes from what took the Hill in 2021, while others were completely reworked. Some are even new to racing!
READ: Not going to the Simola Hillclimb this year? Don’t miss a thing, watch it on TV or online
In the end, Ian Schofield, in his March 77B, clocked a best time of 42.302 seconds, more than four seconds ahead of Campos, to be declared a Classic Conqueror. In 2021, Franco Scribante won Classic Car Friday with a time of 39.553 seconds in his 1972 Chevron B26. His average speed was 172.993 km/h. Scribante did not participate in Classic Car Friday, but he will participate in the King of the Hill challenge.
Last year André Bezuidenhout won the King of the Hill for the fourth time, climbing the hill in 34.965 seconds at an average speed of 195.624 km/h. The new king will be crowned on Sunday, May 8.