After the Knysna Hillclimb was unexpectedly cancelled for 2013 due to late sponsor withdrawal, South Africa’s fastest and greatest drivers will be converging at an all-new venue for an all-new motorsport event, and one which has the potential to capture the hearts and minds of South African motoring fans all over the country.
Created initially as a replacement event for the 2013 Knysna Hillclimb, the new event, which will run independently to any future Knysna Hillclimb events, has the potential to become an annual spectacle and a huge attraction on the South African motorsport calendar.
Inaugural Dezzi Raceway Invitational Challenge to set KZN alight
Set to take place on 18 and 19 May 2013 in Port Shepstone, Kwa-Zulu Natal, the inaugural Dezzi Raceway Invitational Challenge – the brainchild of Dez Gutzeit who built the world-class racing facility originally for personal enjoyment – will see some of South Africa’s best drivers and fastest cars compete head-to-head in a flying start, time attack scenario. The 2.9-kilometre track, which is based on a runway and features numerous technical corners, has been built to FIA standards and boasts a full pit complex, club house and safe spectator viewing points.
Together with support from other Hillclimb favourites like Wilhelm Baard of Global GT-R in Hatfield, Pretoria, the new racing event has massive potential and hopes to appeal to the high concentration of racing fans in KZN, providing a massive opportunity for motorsport in the region. There has also been keen interest from the wider motorsport community and like the Knysna Hillclimb, this has potential to become a national event.
Baard, who won the Knysna Hillclimb in 2011, says he was pleasantly surprised by the track and has high hopes for the inaugural challenge. “Not only has Dez created a fantastic new location for motorsport in South Africa and Kwa-Zulu Natal specifically – where motorsport has dwindled in years of late – but the concept is a brilliant idea for all parties involved. We decided to run the event at the same time as what the 2013 Knysna Hillclimb would have taken place as the competitors had already prepared their cars for Knysna and had already made plans to travel and take off work in most cases. Motorsport is well known as being an expensive hobby to undertake and this way our friends and rivals are still able to exploit their hard work and well-prepared machines in an all-new and very exciting environment.”
Dez Gutzeit, whose son Jade won the Knysna Hillclimb in 2012, comments: “Running on an invitational basis at first, we have selected the top 25 cars and drivers in the country, largely pooled from the Knysna Hillclimb fraternity, to battle it out on the track at a professional and safe racing event.”
Gutzeit goes on to say that the new racing environment also opens the playing field for a host of other cars and drivers. Where the Knysna Hillclimb’s environment tended to favour the Nissan GT-Rs thanks to its twisty track where the Japanese supercar’s superior grip levels worked in its favour, the new event evens things out for other cars as well, specifically for the low-slung bona fide race cars which couldn’t compete on the rough and uneven surface in Knysna. This makes the competition even fiercer and more exciting for the spectators.
“We wanted to do something great for South African motorsport and the Dezzi Raceway Invitational Challenge is sure to create a stir. It will be the quintessential petrolhead event of 2013 and we hope it goes on to become an annual highlight going forward. The Challenge has very humble beginnings with massive potential,” concludes Gutzeit.