At the Simola Hillclimb, the fans experienced another exciting duel. Rui Campos took second place in the all-or-nothing shootout of the top 10 in his 1974 Porsche 911 RSR. Third place went to Josh Dovey in a 1972 Chevron B20 F3 single-seater after beating Robert Wolk in a 1969 Lola Ex-Jody Scheckter’s T200 Formula Ford was knocked off the podium by just a thousandth of a second.
In an unexpected turn of events, three of Classic Car Friday’s top competitors were eliminated from the competition. Six-time winner Franco Scribante’s 1970 Chevron B19 and similar 1971 car driven by Peter Jenkins failed the pre-event technical inspection during Thursday’s scrutineering and were paused before the action even began.
Drama ensued immediately after the first practice session when André Bezuidenhout’s 1976 Lola Cosworth T460 was accidentally hit from behind by the 1959 Chevrolet Corvette driven by Richard Evans while driving back down the hill to the pits. While Evans finally managed to repair his car in time for the final qualifying session, Bezuidenhout had to retire and ended his title fight prematurely.
“This is a very unfortunate event,” said Bezuidenhout. “The rear wing is damaged, the engine plate is bent and the steering is crooked. It is impossible to drive up Simola Hill with a car in this condition as safety is our number one priority.”
In addition to overall victory, Ian Schofield also won the H8 class for singles ahead of Dovey and Wolk. “It’s been quite an eventful day,” said an excited but relieved Schofield. “At first we had a clutch problem and thought we would pack earlier, but it turned out to be just a setting issue. Then the car caught fire at the top of the hill after we stopped but luckily there was no significant damage.
“I saved the best for last and really gave it my all in the shootout after a great run in the class finals, so it was great to end up with my best time of the day,” he said.
Campos was also happy with the result. “Obviously some of the big guns weren’t here today, but the opportunity was there and we made the most of it. My team did a great job preparing the car and I gave everything I could. It’s a privilege to compete against the likes of Enzo Kuun, Ian Schofield and many others at this event.”
Dovey was thrilled with a podium finish in his first outing in the single-seater category, having previously competed in a Ginetta road car. “It doesn’t get much closer than that,” he said, emphasizing the gap of just 0.001 seconds to fourth-placed Wolk. “I had a faster run in the class final and knew I lost time on the last run when I went under the bridge at Turn 3, so after that I decided to just give it a shot.
“I’ll probably find more time in the car next time because there was a lot of grip out there. I am very happy with the Chevron B20 F3. It’s the perfect car for me at the Simola Hillclimb and I really enjoyed the event,” said Dovey.
Johan de Bruyn was fifth in the top 10 shootout in his 1968 Porsche 911R, followed by James Temple (1965 Shelby Daytona Coupe), Charles Arton (1972 Datsun 240Z) and Clive Corder (1969 Lola T70 Mk 3B). Trevor Tuck (1974 Alfa Romeo Giulia 2000 Rally) and Kobus Brits (1967 Porsche 911 R) completed the top 10.
There was great interest in the new handicap format for the H1 class for pre-war cars, with Brian Esterhuysen taking the win in his stunning 1933 Alfa Romeo 8C Monza replica. Callum Price was second in his 1946 Austin Special and Patrick Gearing was third in his 1935 Riley TT Sprite.
Class H2 for pre-1965 road cars went to Barry Ingle in his 1955 Porsche 550A Spider, while Clayton Kimber took H3 for pre-1985 cars in a road-legal 1965 Shelby Daytona coupe. Ron Hollis emerged victorious from H4 for pre-1970 four-cylinder racers driving a 1964 MG Midget, while James Temple secured a second win for the Shelby SA/Lindenberg Racing team by driving a raceable 1965 Daytona coupe to the title the class H5 drove .
Trevor Tuck was the class of the H6 field in his 1974 Alfa Romeo Giulia 200 Rally while Campos and Schofield won the H7 and H8 titles respectively.
Sprit of Dave Charlton Award
The special Spirit of Dave Charlton Award at Simola Hillclimb recognizes the individual who reflects the spirit of impeccable attention to detail, painstaking preparation and commendable performance of South African racing legend Dave Charlton.
Racing legend Peter Lindenberg received this commendable award for this year’s Classic Car Friday. Lindenberg retired from competition at the end of 2021, ending the book of a long and distinguished career in both car and powerboat racing.
As administrator of the Shelby franchise for South Africa as well as leader of the Lindenberg Racing team, Lindenberg remains closely involved in all aspects of both companies. He and his family have supported the Simola Hillclimb for many years and helped bring a total of nine cars to the 2022 event – six of which competed in Classic Car Friday and another three competed against this year’s King of the Hill.