Preparations for the 2018 Jaguar Simola Hillclimb, which takes place from May 3 to 6, are running at a feverish pace among the organisers and competitors alike.
And, for the spectators, anticipation and excitement levels are at an all time high, particularly for the fiercely competitive Modified Saloon Car category in the King of the Hill challenge.
Featuring a total of 49 entries spread across nine classes, this category hosts the true beasts of the Hillclimb, with all types of mild to totally wild creations set to attack the 1.9km course.
Naturally, all eyes will be on double champion Wilhelm Baard in his radical R35 GT-R with its outlandish aerodynamic package that was developed for the famous Pikes Peak Hillclimb in the US.
With around 820kW on tap from its highly tuned 3.8-litre twin-turbo V6 engine, the former Group N racer powered the GT-R to a new class record of 39.892 seconds last year to become the first road-based car to officially break the 40-second barrier.
Baard predicts that his biggest rivals for the King of the Hill title will come from the likes of Franco Scribante, who is new to the Modified Saloon Car category this year, along with the Joubert brothers in their exceptionally fast Lotus entries.
As for Scribante, he is the most successful driver to date at the hillclimb with three Classic Car Friday victories and two King of the Hill titles to his name.
He is set to make his debut in the roadbased race car class this year in a rapid turbocharged Porsche 911 GT3R built by his experienced Scuderia Scribante Racing team.
As always, Anton Cronje is sure to be in the mix in his mighty Subaru Impreza WRX STi, along with the likes of Stuart Kidgell in the spectacular Alfa-powered Ultima GTR.
Fans can also look forward to the thunderous V8 entries of Willie Hepburn in the 7-litre Opel Rekord, Craig Czank’s Lexus-engined Corvette, the one-of-a-kind Mercedes-Benz C55 AMG DTM of Thouca Mechanicos and a Ferrari 488 GTB driven by former Production Car driver Shaun Duminy.
Due to popular demand, Class B9 has been added to cater for the growing interest in high-performance sport utility vehicles and pick-ups, or bakkies.
Shelby’s muscular Ford Ranger Savage 660 returns in aggressive form, sporting a supercharged 5.0-litre V8 engine – with Peter Lindenberg behind the wheel.
He will be up against Jason Evans in a Range Rover Sport that features an extensive list of modifications from German customisation specialist LUMMA Design.
His LUMMA CLR RS is based on the 5.0-litre supercharged V8 model.