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SPOTLIGHT

Reghard Roets brings home #thetriple for Melrose Nissan

Reghard Roets won his third King of The Hill crown for Melrose Nissan in as many years in the Melrose Nissan GT-R this weekend in the 10th running of the Jaguar Simola Hillclimb in Knysna. The event is lauded as South Africa’s premier Motorsport event where cars and drivers race the clock on a 1.9km road course outside the Simola Golf Estate. The competition this year was the toughest it’s ever been with several manufacturers attempting to topple the Melrose Nissan GT-R, which has dominated the event for many years. It wasn’t enough though, proving that the GT-R remains the ultimate everyday supercar.

The showroom-standard GT-R was untouched all weekend, topping the time sheets in every session it ran. Reghard remarked in one interview how the weekend ran flawlessly at all times- a testament to the team at NXGEN who were responsible for the race preparation and support. In the Road Cars and Supercar class, Reghard held his own throughout both days of the competition. He pushed the 2018 GT-R from Melrose Nissan hard and set a new personal best of 43.840 seconds during qualifying, before winning with a time of 44.092, breaking his time of 44.892 set in 2018. In the top 10 shootout for King Of The Hill, his closest competitor was almost a whole second behind, giving him a dominating and convincing win. “On Saturday, the cool weather suited the turbocharged engine of the GT-R perfectly, and I could really push it harder than ever before. We couldn’t quite match these times on Sunday, but the car remained faultless,” says Roets.

It was an exceptionally good weekend for all Nissan drivers, where once again the GT-R was the dominant vehicle in all categories. The Modified Saloon category was won by Franco Scribante in his GT-R, after he dominated both days of the competition and set a new unofficial record of 38.551 seconds during qualifying. He won the shootout with a final time of 39.342 seconds for the 1.9-kilometre track, making him the only contender to break the 40 second barrier in a production vehicle. Wilhelm Baard, the defending champion, had a tough day with very little time on the track. He managed to sort out a faulty sensor by the end of the day and raced hard to set a final time of 40.349 seconds for second place overall. Kyle Mitchell surprised everyone by setting a blistering final time of 40.862 seconds in the Top 10 shootout. This is especially impressive if one considers that his GT-R is still road legal, with all the creature comforts – such as its BOSE sound system and climate control – still intact in the car.

Another crowd pleaser was Martin van Zummeren, whose manic Nissan Skyline set a final time of 41.605 with an engine roar that echoed off the walls of the Simola Hill. His son, Wade van Zummeren, set a final time of 44.499 to secure his place in the Top 10, in a 2002 Nissan Skyline with a GT-R VR38 engine and 1 000 horsepower on his rear wheels. In class B9 for unlimited SUVs and pick-ups, Terence Marsh took home his first every hill climb trophy. He won the class in a Nissan Navara, which was built to compete in the Dakar Rally. “It felt odd to race in the Hill Climb, where the emphasis is on speed and repeatability, with a Navara that was built to handle races where everything changes all the time. Still, it was a great experience and we had a lot of fun racing up the hill,” says Marsh, who improved with every hill run.

And holding his own in the A5 class for naturally aspirated six cylinder sports cars, was Graham Mcleod in a Nissan 370Z cabriolet, which was also the only drop-top in the competition. Mcleod is the chairman of Nissan’s GT-R and Z Club and it was his first outing on the Simola hill.

“This year, the number and range of Nissan GT-Rs, with power that ranged from 560 to 2 000 horsepower, showed the quality of engineering of this supercar. It is no wonder that it is the most popular supercar at Simola, and we look forward to seeing what it can do at the 2020 race,” says Janse van Rensburg, Chief Marketing Manager for Nissan Premium and Performance.

Our GT-R will return home with it’s silverware and take pride of place on our showroom. Join us from 17-19 May at the Nissan Intelligent Choice Sales Weekend to see the car in the flesh, and relive this outstanding victory with us.

The Simola-conquering GT-R is a 2018 model Nissan GT-R Black Edition with 12 000kms. It is on sale for R1 899 990. For more information contact Michael Broom on 011 555 3000.