In a week’s time, the 2019 Knysna Speed Festival will commence. The highlight of the automotive showcase held in the seaside village will take place on the weekend in the shape of the 2019 Simola Hillclimb sponsored by Jaguar.

Click here to see our photo galleries from the 2018 event, Part One and Part Two.

Petrolhead entertainment

While the event takes place over several days within the borders of Knysna, it is the Hillclimb on the Simola Golf Estate that is a drawcard for many performance fans.

A myriad of classic and high-performance machines will compete in the 2019 Simola Hillclimb. Last year 1 406 timed runs were recorded on the 1,9 km course over the weekend. 45 automotive brands were represented ensuring everyone had something to cheer about. Due to the popularity of the Simola Hillclimb, the organisers were forced to make it a strictly invitational event from 2016, limited to 65 entries for Classic Car Friday, and 84 for King of the Hill.

If you can’t attend the event in person click here to learn more about livestreaming options.

Special machinery

The quickest times at the event are typically registered by specialised machinery, such as the Gould GR55 driven by defending champion Andre Bezuidenhout. The racing advocate is the current record holder at the Simola event having recorded a run of 35,528 seconds for an average speed of 192,52 km/h.

You can watch a video of Bezuidenhout chatting with Double Apex about his 2018 winning run at the bottom of this post.

“Records will always be broken, and it all depends on the weather, the car and your emotions on the day,” Bezuidenhout said. “My final run last year was just about perfect, but I will certainly try and repeat it this year.”

Bezuidenhout will face strong challenges from the likes of Robert Wolk in a 2009 Ferrari-powered A1 GP single-seater, a McLaren M10B entered by Chris Knez and Alan Dike’s 2003 Pilbeam MP91 with a Judd F1-derived 3,4-litre V8 engine.