Following the successful running of South Africa’s premier motorsport and motoring lifestyle event in September this year (after three postponements fur to COVID-19) the Simola Hillclimb will now return to its traditional first weekend in May time slot of 6 to 8 May 2022.
And the good news for potential competitors is that the online competitor entry process is open with immediate effect at www.simolahillclimb.com. The closing date for applications is 31 January 2022.
Due to its unrivalled popularity, the Simola Hillclimb remains an invitational event. The ‘Request for Invitation’ process is open to all potential competitors who are invited to indicate their intent to enter, and the full list of applications will then be evaluated by the organisers who will issue the formal invitations to compete at Simola in May 2022 to the successful applicants.
With more than a decade of history to prove the point, the Simola Hillclimb is rightly recognised as South Africa’s most unique motorsport event for the vast and diverse range of iconic cars and legendary drivers it attracts from all eras competing for glory on the tight, twisty and challenging 1.9km Simola Hill course. It has long been described as the must-attend event of the year for enthusiasts and competitors alike.
“We are excited to be able to call for competitors to lodge their intent to enter the 2022 Simola Hillclimb,” said Ian Shrosbree, managing director of Knysna Speed Festival, owners of the event. “Having had to postpone the event three times through 2020 and early 2021, we were grateful to be able to run the event in September, but sadly, without spectators. Despite the challenges, and some late withdrawals by competitors due to COVID infections, the field that took to the hill was spectacular. Many observers believed it to be the best-ever line-up of cars in our history.
“The COVID-19 pandemic continues to deliver challenges with the constantly changing regulations and health aspects creating so much uncertainty, yet we have proven that we can run a safe event within the regulations, whatever they may be at the time. As things currently stand, we are allowed to host 2 000 supporters per day in 2022. However, we are hopeful that the prevailing regulations in May will allow an even greater number so that all the loyal fans who have done without the event over the past two years can return to witness the amazing cars, action and overall experience that is the Simola Hillclimb,” Shrosbree explained.
“The applications are not managed on a first-come-first-served basis, but purely according to organisers’ criteria,” said sporting director Geoff Goddard. “Each year we have the very difficult task of selecting the very best of the final entries for the event and there is always disappointment among those that don’t make the cut.
“The Hillclimb is significantly over-subscribed each year, and while we understand prospective participants’ desire to participate, and their frustration if they don’t make the final selection, our single most important consideration is what is best for the event as a whole. It’s by following this principle over the years that we have been able to create the high-level experience for competitors and spectators alike that has made this event such a unique success,” Goddard explained.
“Part of the organising team’s objective is to keep the show fresh, and this includes showcasing cars and drivers that have not participated previously. Therefore, as wide a spread of applications as possible is encouraged, and every applicant is assured that they will be evaluated fairly according to the Simola Hillclimb criteria,” Goddard said. “The categories remain predominantly unchanged for 2022, however, we have tweaked the rules for cars competing in Classic Car Friday to better reflect the spirit of classic car racing. We have also adjusted class H1 for pre-war cars to run a handicap system so that all competitors have a fair chance at victory despite the huge variety in machinery.”
For the full event regulations and more information visit www.simolahillclimb.com.