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If the country’s most spectacular and fastest cars are your thing, there’s only one place to be from 4 to 7 May 2023, and that’s at the 13th edition of the Simola Hillclimb in Knysna.

This year’s event will be bigger and better on all fronts, and that doesn’t just apply to the extraordinary road and race cars that will be driven in anger up the 1.9 km Simola Hill, or the dazzling list of top-tier local drivers and some high-profile international drivers such as WRC and WRX champion Petter Solberg who will be in the mix.

There is truly something for everyone, with plenty of attractions to get your adrenaline flowing – even before fans make their way to the event itself, with Classic Car Friday taking place on 5 May, followed by King of the Hill on Saturday and Sunday, 6 and 7 May.

“Classic Car Friday and King of the Hill are obviously the main attractions at the Simola Hillclimb, but there is so much more to this event to enthral motoring and motorsport enthusiasts of all ages and interests, including a Fan Fest and the popular street parades,” says Ian Shrosbree, MD of the Knysna Speed Festival which owns the Simola Hillclimb. “This all helps build the atmosphere and excitement leading into the main events and allows all of Knysna’s residents to enjoy a part of the Hillclimb.”

The Fan Fest precinct will include the Knysna High School grounds and surrounding roads on Thursday and Friday (4 and 5 May) from 11h00, with free access to see the wide range of new cars that will be on display along with other motoring-related items and goods for sale.

Eager enthusiasts who would like to see the cars set to compete in the event close-up before the action commences can head to Hedge Street in Knysna for the official scrutineering, which takes place from 09h00 to 14h30 on Thursday 4 May for Classic Car Friday entrants, and the same time the next day for all King of the Hill competitors.

Nothing beats the sights and sounds of these spectacular cars on the move, and the street parades are always among the major event highlights. Be sure to secure your spot along the scenic Waterfront Drive on Thursday 4 May from 14h45 to 15h15 to see the classic cars parading by, and on Friday from 17h15 to 17h45 for the road cars and pure race-bred machines that will compete in King of the Hill.

Enthusiasts who have secured their tickets to South Africa’s premier motoring and motorsport lifestyle event can look forward to plenty of further attractions once through the gates into the Simola Hillclimb. Gasoline Alley is the main public viewing area to see the cars charging up the steep Simola Hill. It has some of the best views of the track and, of course, the scenic Knysna Heads and estuary as a breathtaking backdrop.

A variety of local food vendors, exhibitors and a public bar will be available in Gasoline Alley, along with a jumping castle to keep the young kids under 12 entertained. Older children and adults can get their pulses racing by testing their driving skills on the ATK Esports Racing Simulators, and families are invited to bring along chairs and picnic blankets to enjoy all the Simola Hillclimb has to offer.

In between the practice and qualifying runs spectators will be treated to demonstration runs up the Simola Hill featuring motorcycles and cars, including the latest two-wheeled machines from Suzuki which is a Tier 1 partner.

“We are very excited to be doing lunchtime exhibition runs with our Suzuki motorcycles for the third year running,” says Brendon Carpenter, Brand Marketing Manager at Suzuki Auto South Africa. “This year we have Jaco Viviers of Suzuki Richards Bay piloting the latest version of the Suzuki GSX-R1000R up the hill. Chris Kuun from Suzuki Auto SA will be riding the recently launched Suzuki DL 1050 DE V-Strom adventure bike which will be another first at the Simola Hillclimb.”

As a Tier 1 partner, BMW will be doing demonstration runs up the Simola Hill with the latest BMW M5 and X6M. Outside of the main event, BMW will also participate in a special parade lap through Knysna in celebration of the company’s 50th Jubilee in South Africa. This will include classic cars from BMW car clubs that will be in attendance.

Honda is a Tier 2 partner and will be doing demonstration runs with the CBR1000RR-R Fireblade superbike and its newly launched Civic Type R, with the Japanese manufacturer also confirming that Deon Joubert will be competing in King of the Hill in this exciting new performance model. Volkswagen is a Tier 2 partner and will reveal a new racing car during lunch time on Saturday.

Monster Energy Drinks will be back in action with its crowd-favourite Mustang drift car smoking its tyres on the hill with Jason Webb at the wheel, while Brent Le Riche will entertain the crowd with his incredible trials bike skills.

Time is running out fast with just one week to go before Knysna comes alive with the most spectacular automotive extravaganza in South Africa – so don’t miss out, get your tickets today!

Purchase your tickets online

Tickets can be purchased on the event website (, with the prices for General Entry remaining unchanged from last year. Upgrades are available for Pit Access, Turn 2 Grandstand seating and VIP Parking.

For the ultimate VIP experience, the Le Mans Hospitality Lounge provides mouth-watering catering, an unbeatable viewing point overlooking the start line, as well as General Entry and Pit Access.

The 13th edition of the Simola Hillclimb takes place from 4 to 7 May 2023.

More information on the Simola Hillclimb is available on the website:

Published by:  Colin Mileman

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