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2017 Alfa Romeo 71Veloce Simola Hill Climb

Well, that did not go to plan, but thats racing as they say!!!

At least I had a blast, experienced race pressure at a very high level with some of the best drivers in the country and had the privledge of sharing my pitts with some really great guys!! #losmuertos #deus #dutchman

Instantly regretted not taking the car for a high speed test as the car coughed and spluttered on my first run. Wtf!!! We hardly skipped a beat during running in, why now! oh, because we racing…

Called Wynand, my mechanic, while touring back to the pitts and immediately jumped into action to resolve various little issues. Not charging properly, advance timing, replace throttle linkage, surprising myself with how calmly and quickly I manage to resolve the issues. Not being able to test drive meant my second run was at risk!

First run, 1:08.9. Only 2 seconds slower than last years best (1:06.9) and with all the problems, I had great expectations for a now properly running car.

Second run was perfect, no hiccups, felt at least 4 seconds faster, I was rejoicing, on track to brake a minute. Not. 1:07,8, only a second faster!!! How could it be! The conditions were perfect compared to last year, hot track, new motor, wtf!!! Perplexed and bemused I contemplated my 3rd run.

With not much else to change, I deflated my tyres by another .2 bar.

Run 3, again felt smooth and fast, with even less braking, more corner speed and car running perfectly. 1.07.2 wtf!!! another .1 bar down on tyre pressures.

Run 4… Some things are best left untold… but here goes anyway. I drive up the pitt lane, trying to looking professional, focussed. Smoke the tyres extra hard on the burnout strip up to the Start Line. Look the marshall in the eye as he counts me down. Im ready. GO!!!! Drop the clutch, floor the accelerator, red line. Im in neutral, still holding my death stare with the marshall. His confused look turns to disappointment as I casually hook 1st gear and drive off. Thankfully timing only starts once the transponder crosses the line. 1.06.9. Am I going to beat last years time!!! #panic #embarrasment

Lunch, Great, an agonizing hour before my last run. Now second guessing my decision to deflate my tyres by another 0.2bar, how would the tyres respond after cooling for an hour!

With 5 minutes to go, weather conditions resembled last year, overcast and cool, somehow this seems comforting. 1.06.7, last years time beat, but not my goal. Thats racing. wtf, lots of them…

Another outstanding event of highs and lows, great people and spectacular cars. Exhausted, but relaxed. Love it, cant wait for next years event!

Thanks to the organiser. Jaguar Simola Hillclimb, Knysna Speed Festival, support crew and everyone who played a role in getting my car ready in time. #muchappreciated #respect

And thank you for following my journey. #atleastitdidnotblowup

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