Following three postponements due to the COVID-19 pandemic, South Africa’s premier motorsport and motoring lifestyle event, the Simola Hillclimb, is at last scheduled to roar back into life from 2 to 5 September 2021. 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 May 2021.
Due to its unrivalled popularity, the Simola Hillclimb remains an invitational event. The ‘Request for Invitation’ process opened with an exclusive entry period on 19 April for those competitors who had already donated their 2020 entry fee to the event to ensure its survival. In appreciation, the organisers offered them a guaranteed entry to this year’s event.
Now the entry process opens to all other competitors who are invited to submit their intent to enter. The full list of applications will then be evaluated by the organisers who will then issue the formal invitations to the successful applicants to compete at Simola this September.
With more than a decade of history to prove the point, the Simola is motorsport’s most unique event for the vast and diverse range of iconic cars and legendary drivers it attracts from all eras competing for glory on the challenging 1.9km Simola Hill course.
“With motorsport events around the country finally being allowed at circuits, we have been eagerly awaiting the opportunity of being able to host the Simola Hillclimb once again. The COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be a difficult, challenging and frustrating time for us with the ever-changing regulations and health aspects creating so much uncertainty,” says Ian Shrosbree, managing director of Knysna Speed Festival, owners of the event.
“The nature of our event presents challenges over and above those faced by circuit racing, which has made it difficult for us, specifically, in not being able to run the event earlier. However, together with Motorsport South Africa and the local authorities, we are now confident that the September window will allow us to host the Hillclimb safely, and within all the regulations and protocols which prevail at the time,” Shrosbree explains.
“Requests for invitations are not accepted on a first come first serve basis, but purely according to organisers’ criteria,” says sporting director Geoff Goddard. “Each year we have the very difficult task of selecting the final entries for the event and there is always disappointment among those that don’t make the cut.
“The event 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 success,” Goddard explains.
“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.”
For the full event regulations and more information on the event visit: www.simolahillclimb.com.