The 2024 Simola Hillclimb took place this past weekend (3-5 May) in Knysna. Double Apex was, once again, in attendance by the good graces of Suzuki South Africa. We were trackside for most of the action on Classic Car Friday and for all the runs on the weekend.

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A Wide Array

The 14th edition of this event attracted all manner of road and race machinery from every part of South Africa. The town of Knysna was abuzz with competitors and petrolheads alike. The event, as per tradition, started with a parade through the streets of Knysna. Fans got to see the cars up close and to mingle with the drivers. The action part of the evening saw drivers smoke the wheels of their respective rides for the entertainment of the camera-wielding crowds.

Click here to view previous year’s coverage of the event on our website.

Racing Action

Franco Scribante claimed his seventh Classic Conqueror title on Classic Car Friday. He drove his 1970 Chevron B19 to a 41,796 time up the 1,9-km course. “After two challenging years we’re back and I’m very happy to take the win,” Scribante said. One of the highlights of Friday was the beautiful E30 BMW M3 touring car driven by Farouk Dangor. The car’s high-revving motor sounding great as it raced up the course.

The action ramped up over the three days with the extremely powerful and quick modified saloons and single-seaters taking to the hill on Saturday and Sunday. They were joined by road cars from just about every brand you could name. The wildly modified barrage of GT-Rs, both road and race versions, proved to be popular as did the Lotus Exiges wielding various powertrain options. Among them V8 AMG power, Nissan power and Honda power.

It was Dawie Joubert who secured the King of the Hill title at the 2024 Simola Hillclimb. He set a time of 38,405 seconds in his bewinged Lotari, yes, a Lotus with Ferrari engine. “I’m very happy. The car was exceptionally well prepared by the team and gave me a lot of confidence,” Joubert said. “We were in the fight from the first run, and it was a perfect weekend. This is such a great event that just gets better and better each year.”

OEM Involvement

Among the pukka race machinery were three bone-stock Suzuki Swift Sports. The Japanese automaker throwing massive support behind the event for the third successive year. Motoring scribes Thomas Falkiner and Brendon Staniforth drove two of the pocket rockets. Driving instructor Wesley Greybe steered the third. The trio would duke it out for honours with Falkiner taking the top spot on Sunday afternoon.

Other notable manufacturer participation included the dynamic debut of the all-new Merc-AMG C63S. Journalist Chad Luckhoff was the man tasked with driving the new performance saloon at the event. His teammate, AMG lead driving instructor, Clint Weston was a crowd favourite. He wrestled a GT63 up the hill as though it was a rally car, often completely sideways in the massive coupe.

BMW entered two NEV machines in the shape of the BMW i5, driven by former touring car ace Deon Joubert. The BMW X5 that also competed was a first for the Simola Hillclimb as it is hydrogen powered. This year’s event had vehicles powered by battery, petrol, diesel and hydrogen, which makes it pretty unique in SA.

Please enjoy the 2024 Simola Hillclimb gallery and feel free to share using the social media buttons below.