Now THREE-time King of the Hill winner Jean-Pierre van der Walt returned to the prestigious Simola Hillclimb event for 2023, determined to defend his crown in the Road and Supercar class, and defend it he did! Van Der Walt entered the Knysna-hosted motorsport extravaganza with the same car, a 2021 Porsche 911 Turbo S, that saw him take the 2021 and 2022 titles. In the hands of the talented Van der Walt, the all-Wheel driven black Porsche powered up the famous hill to clinch a third consecutive King of the Hill title on Sunday, 7 May.
Supported chiefly by Swedish luxury watch manufacturer Golden Concept, the Porsche took to the hill on Saturday morning for the first of four practice runs. However, an electronic issue on the car plagued the PW Racing driver, who could not extract the full potential from the car. The Gauteng businessman continued regardless and recorded a best time of 44.630 seconds during the final run up the 1.9 km strip. He would, however, improve on that time during the final qualifying run on Saturday afternoon to record a personal best time of 44.281 seconds.
With some overnight rain and a light drizzle on Sunday morning, competitors were greeted with wet conditions, all while the team continued through the night attempting to resolve the issue on the car. Unfortunately, they could not reset the error, and Van der Walt pressed on regardless and posted a lap time of 44.345 seconds in the now-drying final qualifying session. But the Global Touring Cars SupaCup driver stamped his authority on the production car category by scoring his third consecutive King of the Hill title with a time of 44.991 seconds in tricky conditions.
“This was the most difficult one by far,” said Van der Walt. “We’ve had an issue with the car since the parade started on Friday, and I have to say a big thanks to the Scribante boys, BB Motorsport and Volkswagen Motorsport who all came to assist. Unfortunately, we couldn’t resolve the issue and I had to adjust my driving style. Then to still put up a 44-second time in the damp is pretty pleasing. I’m very happy. To be a three-time winner is really special and my gratitude goes out to the event organisers for putting on another great spectacle. I can’t wait to be back next year.”
Van der Walt also claimed the overall class win for all-wheel powered cars with a time of 48.449 seconds in the wet. He thanks everyone for the support throughout the weekend, including Golden Concept of Sweden, Platinum Wheels, Sparco, My Score Hero, TyreMart Menlyn, the ISSC Group, SCS Automotive, RACE! South Africa, Michelin, Guni Wheel, Guni Wheel SA and True Lubricants.
Published by: Motorsport Fanatix
Picture Caption: Jean-Pierre van der Walt Claims a third consecutive Simola King of the Hill title
MSA Publishes media releases from a host of different sources on our website as a service to the sport. It is not practically possible to vet/approve every release that is published. Some news items and articles are written by correspondents and do not necessarily represent MSA’s views.