Over 100 entries received for the Renault Knysna Hillclimb
16 September 2010
With five weeks to go to the second running of the Renault Knysna Hillclimb, entries for the event have surpassed all expectations by passing the 100 mark.
The inaugural event in 2009 attracted 47 entries with most of them coming in the final two weeks before entries closed, but this year the organisers were already receiving entries before they had opened. Since opening there has been a steady stream of entries flowing in, with the centenary mark being reached last week.
This year’s event title sponsor, Renault South
“Talk in motorsport circles warned us that we should expect a good entry, but we have been overwhelmed by the number of entries and all round positive response to the event,” says organiser Ian Shrosbree. “Not only have we received such a good entry, but we have had enquiries from all over the country from spectators wanting to attend the event. The Simola Hotel is already sold out and a number of other establishments are also fully booked.”
The entry list boasts a number of former motorsport champions. While last year’s winner and multiple South African Champion
Group N Champion Robbi Smith will be reunited with the car that is synonymous with many of his racing exploits – a BMW 325iS. This car was at the height of the South African Group N wars in the late 1980s and early 1990s going head-to-head with the Opel Kadett Superboss and Ford XR6.
Dave Kopke, also a former Group N Champion, has entered his classic Mazda 100. This car has become a firm favourite with the
Multiple enduro and off-road motorcycle champion, Jade Gutzeit will also compete in a Skyline R34. Gudzeit competed in the WesBank V8 Series for a few years and is just as fast behind the wheel as he is on a motorcycle.
Franco Scribante will enthral the crowds in his racing Ferrari F430, as will Wilhelm Baard in his specially prepared Nissan GTR. While he never won a championship, Baard was a front runner in Group N in the heyday of the formula and will be one of the favourites to set the fastest time up the hill.
Current WesBank V8 competitors Desmond Gutzeit (Skyline R32 and Chev Ute), Darron Gudmanz (Nissan GTR) and Martin Van Zummeren (Nissan GTR34) will all also be serious contenders for overall glory.
Let’s not forget two of the fastest cars and drivers from last year; Anton Cronje, who lost out on the King of the Hill title to Van der Merwe by just 0.3 seconds last year, will return in his 380kW Subaru Impreza in an effort to claim the crown.
Making Cronje’s attempt even more impressive is the fact that he will be competing in the last round of the Super Saloons Championship at the Midvaal Raceway in Meyerton on the Saturday. He will leave the circuit directly after his last race to drive through the night to be in Knysna for Sunday’s elimination rounds and final.
The second very fast car is Thouca Mechanicos’ AMG Mercedes. The car is said to be the most powerful Mercedes in the country. Mechanicos finished fourth fastest last year and is determined to improve on that this year.
Knysna Speed Festival