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Giant-killing Volkswagen stars at exceptional Simola Hillclimb


May 2024

  • Daniel Rowe, Jonathan Mogotsi in Volkswagen SupaPolo class 1-2
  •  ‘Prof’ Barnard puts Volkswagen Golf I GTi on podium in the classic cars class
  • An excellent weekend of racing all-round on Knysna’s Simola Hill  

Johannesburg, 7 May 2024 – The Simola Hillclimb fully lived up to its status as one of South African Motorsport’s favourite racing weekends as Volkswagen Motorsport enjoyed a most successful and thoroughly satisfying weekend of racing up Knysna’s Simola Hillclimb.

Daniel Rowe and Jonathan Mogotsi delivered a giant-killing SupaPolo 1-2 in the B2 class, while Cobus ‘Prof’ Barnard put his Volkswagen Golf Mk 1 GTi on podium in the classic cars class.

“The Simola Hillclimb once again lived up to its every expectation in a stunning weekend of racing in an incredible atmosphere,” said Mike Rowe, Head of Volkswagen Motorsport. 

“Best of all, our factory drivers Daniel and Jonathan delivered a true David and Goliath act in our two specially prepared Volkswagen Motorsport SupaPolos, while Prof put his Golf I GTi on the classic class podium. The SupaPolo performance was particularly pleasing as the lads even beat some of the most powerful hyper saloons up the hill.”

A most impressive 13th overall, Daniel Rowe took B2 class honours with a stunning 44.058 second run in the first Volkswagen Motorsport SupaPolo. “Our SupaPolos pulled off a bit of a giant-killing act up the Simola Hill this weekend,” a delighted Daniel commented. “It was satisfying to beat some of the heavy metal up the hill, so not only was this a great result, but the Simola Hillclimb was a splendid weekend as always.”

Teammate Jonathan Mogotsi was a few tenths behind in second in class, and 15th overall. “The Simola experience was an absolute beauty” Jonathan wrapped his weekend up. “We were quick right through practice and the heats, and we wrapped it up with a class 1-2 finish further up the overall leaderboard than some would expect. But that’s just more credit to this impeccable Volkswagen Motorsport SupaPolo, which has now proven itself from sprint to endurance racing, and now hill climbing too.”

Volkswagen Motorsport chief engineer ‘Prof’ Barnard was happy with the advances he made with his trusty Volkswagen Golf Mk 1 GTi. “My third Simola Hillclimb was my best yet,” Prof said with a smile. “Our upgrades worked wonders and my times were good enough to put me third on the podium alongside the class winning Manufacturers Challenge Golf. This is one of the most famous GTis in South African history with over 40 years of rich South African Volkswagen Motorsport history.”

Volkswagen Motorsport now returns to regular duty with its factory team, Astron Energy Polo Cup and the Volkswagen Rookie Cup all poised for action at the third round National Championship Extreme Festival at Zwartkops Raceway in Pretoria on Saturday 18 May.