Expressions of interest to enter the seventh running of the Jaguar Simola Hillclimb, which takes place from 6-8 May 2016 in Knysna, are flooding in from South African motorsport competitors.
The public entry process opened on 1 December and within a week organisers had received enough applications to fill all the available 84 slots in the King of the Hill section of the event. Classic Car Friday applications were not far off the 60 maximum with 45 submissions.
To date – 17 days after the entry process opened and with another six weeks to go – the organisers have received close on 100 applications for King of the Hill and 50 for the Classic Car Friday categories.
“We have seen record demand for the event,” said organiser Ian Shrosbree. “This is the earliest we have opened the entry process and to have enough applications within a week to fill the grid is unheard of in South African motorsport, especially as the event is still six months away. Competitors are notorious for delaying entries to the last minute, but they are bucking the trend in this event which has grown in leaps and bounds since Jaguar has partnered with us three years ago. We had quite a few disappointed enthusiasts who wanted to enter the 2015 event but missed out due leaving their entry to the last minute. Many of these have been among the first to enter for next year.”
The 2016 entry procedure has seen a change in structure as it now features a two stage entry process and effectively becomes an invitational contest, rather than following the normal, local motorsport entry format where every entry lodged is accepted.
The second stage, now open to the public, closes on 5 February 2016. Aspiring competitors are requested to lodge an expression of intent to enter via the online portal. Expressions of interest will be duly considered by the organisers who will then issue an invitation to compete to successful applicants by no later than 12 February 2016.
This will be the third edition of the event with Jaguar South Africa as the title sponsor. Jaguar’s partnership over the past two years has lifted the event to a new level, with unprecedented interest across the board resulting in a record crowd of 12 242 attending the event in 2015.