It was another successful year at the 2019 Jaguar Simola Hillclimb as the Nissan GT-R proved, once again, its prowess winning the Modified Saloon and Supercar Categories. The competition has been running for 10 years and Nissan has dominated proceedings for the last three years and claiming King of the Hill seven times.
There were nine entrants for this year’s event and considering that eight of them chose to compete in a Nissan GT-R, it is by far the most popular car in the Modified Saloon class. This year saw more than 17 000 spectators attending the event watching three exciting days of power-hungry cars taking on the Hillclimb challenge. There was a live stream of the event to global enthusiasts with over 225 000 views for the weekend.
Nissan GT-R Shows Its Worth
Franco Scribante won his first title in the Modified Saloon category in his modified GT-R dominating both days of the competition. He also set a new unofficial record of 38.551 seconds during the qualifying stage. In the race, however, Scribante had a slightly slower time but still took pole position with a final time of 39.342 seconds for the 1.9 km track. This impressive time made him the only competitor to break 40 seconds in a production car.
His winged Nissan GT-R was purpose-built for the Jaguar Simola Hillclimb and was certainly one of the biggest attractions. While it looked the part of a real contender, it was more about the radical World Time Attack-derived aerodynamics and the impressive 1200kW under the hood.
Scribante said in an interview, “It was an interesting King of the Hill as it was getting dark for the Top 10 finale and we had a misfire that developed in the final run, but it all came together and the entire team is so happy to take this victory after working extremely hard to get the car ready for the Hillclimb”.
Scribante’s win goes in the record books as the only person at the Jaguar Simola Hillclimb to win the Classic Conqueror race and the Modified Saloon series on the same weekend, on three separate occasions. That is a serious title to behold and we can’t wait to see what the next event will bring. Here’s a closer look at the impressive run that saw Scribante winning King of the Hill.
In the Road Car and Supercar category, Reghard Roets continued his success after beating his own personal best from 2018 by 0.8 seconds. His hat-trick of victories in this category included setting a new Class A record in his Nissan GT-R of 44.094 seconds.
According to Roets, “On Saturday, the cool weather suited the turbocharged engine of the GT-R perfectly, and I could really push it harder than ever before. We couldn’t quite match these times on Sunday, but the car remained faultless”.
There were several other contenders adding to the atmosphere as Martin van Zummeren set an impressive time of 41.605 seconds in his Nissan Skyline with an almighty engine roar. Like father like son, Wade van Zummeren secured his spot in the top 10 after setting a final time of 44.499 seconds in a 2002 Nissan Skyline with a GT-R VR38. The engine in this particular Skyline pushed out an eye-popping 1 000 bhp from the rear wheels.
In class B9 for unlimited SUVs and pick-ups, Terence Marsh also won his first hill climb trophy in a Nissan Navara which was specially built for the Dakar Rally. With the Nissan Navara built to handle anything, Marsh said it was a little odd racing in the Hill Climb as the emphasis is on speed and repeatability but that it was a great experience and loads of fun racing up the hill.
And last but certainly not the least, Graham Mcleod, chairman of Nissan’s GT-R and Z Club held his own in the A5 class for naturally aspirated six-cylinder sports cars. His Nissan 370Z was the only convertible in the competition and it was also his first race at the Simola Hillclimb.
If you missed any of the 2019 Jaguar Simola Hillclimb action, you can see all the highlights on social media using the #JaguarSHC hashtag. For more interesting updates and developments in the motoring world, please follow us on Facebook and read our blogs covering a wide array of topics.