Tuesday, May 7, 2019

If You Want to Win at This Racing Event, Drive a Nissan


Accepted as South Africa’s equivalent of the Goodwood Festival of Speed in the United Kingdom, the Knysna Speed Festival gave birth to the Simola Hillclimb. Vying for the fastest time up the 1.9-kilometer track, it draws racers from all corners of the world. Wherever they come from though, 8 out of 9 of them chose to race in a Nissan.

The wing-mad Nissan GT-R of Franco Scribante set a new record of 38.551 seconds during qualifying and won the title of “King of the Hill” with a final time of 39.342 seconds. He was the only contender to break the 40-second barrier in a production, albeit modified, vehicle.

“The GT-R kept surprising me for the ease with which it delivered its power. It is a very rewarding supercar to drive,” says Scribante.


Another standout is the GT-R that set a 40.862-second final time. Piloted by Kyle Mitchell, his feat is all the more impressive given that his car is road legal with all the creature comforts, including the Bose sound system and climate control intact.

In fact, out of the Top 10 times at the Simola Hillclimb, five were Skylines or GT-Rs. The rest were a Jaguar (#3), Toyota (#6), Lotus (#7), Subaru (#8), and Ferrari (#10).

Aside from GT-Rs, a Nissan 370Z, in cabriolet form no less, took the top honors in the naturally-aspirated six-cylinder sportscar class, while the Navara won as the fastest SUV/pickup with a time of 53.306 seconds—2.476 seconds faster than the Ford Ranger.

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