MasterDrive returns to Knysna for adrenaline-packed Simola Hillclimb

At MasterDrive, it's not just about imparting driving skills. Highlighting the joy of driving is an important priority. And what better way to demonstrate this than by hitting the road at the annual Simola Hillclimb, a prestigious motorsport event held every year in Knysna that attracts enthusiasts from all around the globe.

MasterDrive is set to return to the Knysna Hills from 2 to 5 May this year to join in the action and adventure, when the annual Simola Hillclimb takes place. Not for the fainthearted, this race is widely regarded as one of the most thrilling and fiercely competitive hillclimb events in the world. 

"We are thrilled to be back at the Simola Hillclimb, where we have been involved for several years now," says Eugene Herbert, MasterDrive CEO. "Participating in the event allows us to demonstrate our expertise as a driver training company and profile our brand, but more than anything it showcases our genuine passion for motorsport and automobiles. It's an exhilarating experience, not just to observe the racing up Knysna's notoriously steep hills, where all kinds of vehicles make their way up the twists and turns.

MasterDrive is involved in the event in various capacities. The company has played a crucial role as safety car support for several years now, using vehicles from its Hi-Performance Driving Experience. In 2024, they will again fill this vital role. They also offer VIP rides in a four-seater Audi RS6 race car, giving spectators a taste of the race experience.

But it's their participation as competitors in the event where they genuinely find the fun element, showcasing their driving skills and their passion for the sport. Herbert himself enters the race, demonstrating his prowess at negotiating sharp corners on a steep incline at speed. MasterDrive will participate in both the King of the Hill and the classic event this year.

Additionally, MasterDrive extends the opportunity to a young person from a previously disadvantaged background to participate in the race with full sponsorship, including providing a vehicle to race with and extensive training in the run up to event. The Driver Search Competition, in collaboration with Simola Hillclimb (and Castrol as sponsor), was first launched in the Western Cape in 2023. Underscoring a commitment to inclusivity and empowerment, the initiative was rolled out across South Africa this year. Plans are underway to expand the competition even further, with ambitions to cover Africa.

In addition to Castrol, the Driver Search Competition is supported by several other sponsors including Dunlop, Race Driver South Africa and Killarney International Raceway. Fifteen young and upcoming drivers have been shortlisted following a meticulous selection process to identify the most promising talent. The finalist will be announced in due course.

"We've been driving the safety cars for several years now, and last year, we decided to enter the race as competitors, which was truly an experience unlike any other," says Herbert. "Sharing that experience with a young person who wouldn't otherwise have this opportunity is just as exhilarating."

For Herbert, it is essential that MasterDrive isn't just profiled as a defensive driver training company, but also showcases its support for the motor industry at large by enhancing drivers skills, while simultaneously providing opportunities to young people.

"As important as driver training is, we must also remember to have fun and bring others along on the ride. What better way than to participate in an epic event such as this, where the thrill of competition meets the joy of driving," concludes Herbert.