KNYSNA - This Saturday and Sunday, 8 and 9 May, the top 10 qualifiers in the first Virtual Knysna Simola Hillclimb fight for glory over two days to be crowned the inaugural King of the Hill.
Having slugged their way through four gruelling qualifying rounds that saw 15 512 runs up the hill, covering a total distance of 29 472 kilometres, Lorenzo Gualtieri, Ruan Gouws, Charl Wilken, Willem van Rensburg, Juan van Rensburg, Denis Mitchell, Blake Kruger, Ian Upton, Emile de Villiers and Richard Clarke will make up the top 10 to fight it out this weekend.
EVERYTHING TO RACE FOR
Gualtieri won two of the qualifying rounds with Gouws and Wilken winning one each. These three will therefore line up as marginal favourites but all 10 finalists will stand a good chance of taking the honours.
Only two of the 10 – Gouws and De Villiers – have no racing experience in the real world. Gouws has only been gaming for five months, while De Villiers is only 13 years old, making both their achievements noteworthy. Upton is the oldest competitor in the field at 59 years old.
HOW RACING WILL WORK
The finals will run over five rounds with a different car for each round having been selected by the organisers. The five cars are the Nissan GTR Nismo, Audi TT Cup, Porsche 911 GT3 RS, BMW M3 GT3 and Pagani Zonda R giving a broad spread to test the competitors’ skills.
All cars will run with default settings to keep the competition as close as possible. Points will be awarded for each race with the top points scorer being crowned the King of the Hill.
PRACTICE ON THE GO
All 10 finalists have already been hard at work testing the cars as they were made available on Monday 26 April for practice. Practice ends at midnight on Friday (7 May). The times set for each car will be used as seeding times for the finals which will determine the sequence of the qualifying runs. The fastest will qualify first. For the five races the slowest qualifiers will go first as is done in the real Simola Hillclimb.
A controlled start procedure will be in place for the final runs, identical to the real Simola Hillclimb, with the Clerk of the Course calling competitors up to the start line in the correct sequence. Once in position the driver has 10 seconds to start his run. Prior to being called up, competitors will be waiting in a dedicated pit box until being called to do their run.
PRIZES AND THEN SOME
The winner will also receive an entry for the ATK Pro-Series Motorsport South Africa Showdown at the end of July. The winner of the Showdown will qualify as the South African representative for the FIA Games.
Here is the provisional program of events:
Saturday 8 May 2021
12:00 Qualifying Race 1
12:20 Race 1
12:45 Qualifying Race 2
13:05 Race 2
Sunday 9 May 2021
12:00 Qualifying Race 3
12:20 Race 3
12:45 Qualifying Race 4
13:05 Race 4
13:30 Qualifying Race 5
13:50 Race 5
YOU CAN WATCH EVERY SECOND
The finals will be broadcast live on YouTube this weekend. For more info on the broadcast, watch the video below:
Each competitor will have a webcam for verification and live stream purposes, with multiple track and three on-board cameras being used for the broadcast.