Knysna Hillclimb by Fabienne Lanz
Knysna May 21, 2012 – This weekend was the long awaited debut of Legends Racing. Another new experience for me, which is amzing as I am learning so much this year.
The track, which is actually a road in daily use, was a flowing track , but had a few blind left corners with steep downhills on the exits. A Scirocco and a Subaru crashed at the exact same spot when they went off at one of the blind lefts. The Scirocco went early on the first day and then the Subaru went out exactly at the same spot and landed on top of it.
I have never done a proper standing start pull off, so it was a good challenge to try and master the art of wheel spin, but not too much wheel spin. After a few attempts of trial and error, I got the hang of it and my route time was coming down quite substantially. As on any race track, racing in the correct gear is important and as this is an uphill, one needs to be in the perfect gear where the engine is still accelerating. Gugu Zulu was in our team for the weekend and helped a lot with advice. He is a rally driver, so this place is the perfect venue for him . He was the leader of our pack as he set the fastest times up Simola Hill.
In total we had 6 practice runs on Saturday and then 2 qualifying runs. On Sunday the qualifying runs continued (I had about 5 ) then in the end the fastest 2 lap times count and the top 3 from each class go for the final shoot out. Our laptimes were competitive against some really hot cars such as Lamborghinis. We were giving it real stick up that hill. Gugu went off in his one qualifying run. Luckily he managed to stop the car in time and didn’t roll over the hill 🙂
In all there were 80 competitors at the event and I was the only girl in such a big field. I qualified for the final shoot out in 2nd place in our class. So for my final run, the start was great, and the run up the hill was very fast. I even drifted the car at some stages and finished in 2nd position overall for the event in my class.
A big thank you to Legends Racing SA for the amazing experience and to the team for all the help and advice.
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