But that’s all changed, as Jaguar Land Rover South Africa has given the highly anticipated event a lifeline and is proud to announce its sponsorship of the Simola Hillclimb.
The Jaguar Simola Hillclimb extravaganza will take place in Knysna from 16 to 18 May and will comprise a host of automotive events and competitions designed to cater for young and old alike, whether talking about the people or the mechanical machinery. The latter spans nearly a century of competition and production cars, from pre-war thoroughbreds to the very latest performance offerings, including the Jaguar F-Type, launched locally last year.
Says Jaguar Land Rover South Africa and sub-Sahara Africa managing director Kevin Flynn, “The Simola Hillclimb is custom-made for Jaguar, a brand which not only has an incredibly rich heritage, but an impressive current line-up and an equally exciting future. We are thrilled to be the headline sponsor of an event which pays homage to the past but is firmly rooted in the present.”
Jaguar has signed up to be the title sponsor of the Simola Hillclimb for the next three years and has every intention of powering it into the same league as the Durban July horse race and Sun City’s Million Dollar golf tournament. This will be the fifth running of the event and each year it has grown in stature. Jaguar’s involvement will accelerate that process.
The festival will include Classic Car Friday for pre-1975 cars and the King of the Hill Shootout for modern-, exotic- and supercars on Saturday and Sunday. Needless to say, Jaguar has cars which fit perfectly with both sides of this coin, from the graceful SS100 of the 1930s through D-Type competition cars, the iconic E-Type and MkII saloon cars and more modern R cars.
“It has been our vision from day one to build the Hillclimb into the premier motorsport event in South Africa - objectives which gel perfectly with Jaguar’s goals for the event. Jaguar is as enthusiastic as we are to grow the Simola Hillclimb into the South African equivalent of the Goodwood Festival of Speed. It has grown incredibly quickly in its first four years, which has set a solid foundation for it to now move to a new level. Competitors and fans will not be disappointed when they arrive in Knysna in May,” says Ian Shrosbree, event director.
The invitational event is expected to attract a wide variety of the best and fastest competition cars in the country, including at least one surprise never seen on South African roads before.