Resident Cars.co.za Road Test Editor, Ashley Oldfield took part in 2016 Jaguar Simola Hillclimb in Knysna over the weekend and walked away with two trophies for his efforts…
The Jaguar Simola Hillclimb is fast becoming the most popular motorsport event on the South African calendar and this year’s event was an absolute cracker! Having raced for Nissan in the UK, Ashley Oldfield is well versed in extracting the most performance from a car and his experience was put to the test at the 2016 Jaguar Simola Hillclimb that took place in Knysna over the weekend.
Ashley won the Media Challenge in 2015 and returned to Simola Hill this year to defend his title. The Media Challenge gives motoring media the opportunity to compete against each other and all media competitors were driving their own specially branded Jaguar XE 25t R-Sport in a bid to set the fastest time on the 1.9 km Simola Hillclimb course. Earlier this year, Cars.co.za ran the #AshJag design challenge, where we gave our followers the opportunity to design our winning Jag. Sean Plint of Johannesburg produced the winning design, which featured on Ashley's winning Jaguar XE R-Sport.
The media contingent included Ashley Oldfield (Cars.co.za), Thomas Falkiner (Sunday Times), Nikesh Kooverjee (CAR Magazine), Andrew Leopold (SA Car Fan) and Ernest Page (Top Gear Magazine).
Wet conditions at the start of racing made life difficult for competitors on day one with times well over a minute being posted in the first practice run. Ashley Oldfield and Tom Falkiner showed their intent early on, posting times of 57.5 and 59.2 seconds respectively, being the only two media competitors to break the minute barrier in the first practice session.
As the course dried up throughout the day, the competitors pushed that much harder and times improved steadily. At the end of the second qualifying round, Ashley Oldfield came out on top with a time of 53.045 seconds, while Thomas Falkiner was close behind with a time of 53.167 seconds. Ashley then went on to post an even better time on Sunday, claiming 52.158 seconds to take the Media Challenge win for Cars.co.za by over half a second.
Watch the winning time here
Ashley’s performance also put him in the Class Final against the powerful Mercedes-AMG A 45 and the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider. With only 177 kW and 370 Nm on tap from its 2.0-litre turbocharged engine, Ashley Oldfield’s Jaguar XE R-Sport was clearly outgunned against its more powerful competitors.
Nonetheless, Ashley scooped 3rd in Class and walked away with a back-to-back Media Challenge win. The Cars.co.za team would like to congratulate Ashley on his excellent performance at the 2016 Jaguar Simola Hillclimb and we look forward to seeing him defend his Media Challenge title at next year’s event.
Well done, Ashley!