By Graeme Carstens, DODOlogic Contributor
It’s time for another installment of what drifting looks like in South Africa, or as I call it, SA’s SUPADRIFT series.
For those of you who are counting, this was the second last round which obviously means that the series is nearing completion and a champion will soon be crowned. Putting the drift series and points aside, this round of SUPADRIFT was extra special as Mad Mike Whiddett and his MADBUL rx8 3 rotor joined us in the South African sunlight.
The kiwi drifter visited Cape Town to film a video on the Franschoek Pass. For us South Africa folk, we have never really had a famous drifter like him sliding about. I must admit I wish he would have had a few drift battles against our top drivers as it would have been epic to see. You can check out Redbull’s full #ConquerTheCape video here.
Back to the event, I had never seen the pits as full as they were on the day of this event. There were over 50 cars, which is a huge number for us. I was really happy to see that these events are still growing. That being said, most people outside of our borders are probably pretty uninformed about the South African car scene.
South Africa isn’t a country that is full of Japanese imports. So we never really had much of an import scene and only a handful of Supras, Skylines and RX7s found their way to South Africa. The import rules here are decently strict and only a limited amount of desirable cars were brought in by the manufacturers. Basic economics will tell you that low supply creates high demand and that keeps the prices of desirable cars pretty high.
That means most cars come from neighbouring countries. Some cars come from surrounding countries like Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique. However, if I had to wager a bet, I’d say most of them come from Swaziland. Acquiring the car is one thing, but registering it is a another problem – in fact, it’s one hell of a process. It costs a lot and takes anywhere from two years to get a car registered for legal road use in South Africa. That’s probably why most of these cars end up on the racetrack as track cars.
Audi R8s, on the other hand, are legal in South Africa. The nice thing about this SUPADRIFT event is that it brought out all different types of enthusiasts.
It was nice to see a few exotics trying their best to blend in with the drift crowd.
Occasionally you’ll find something super random like this jeep.
In-between drift sessions and lunch breaks, we had a few bikes and spinners to entertain the crowd with their skills.
The drifting was quite fast as the track was part of the parking area for Carnival City Casino. But all in all the drivers had fun and the crowd loved every moment of it.
For those of you interested in the actual championship standings, it looks something like this: Shane Gutzeid is leading at the top of the list with 587 points, Jim Mcfarlane is second with 505, and Paolo Gouveia is in third spot with 460.
A pro level drift event isn’t really a drift event without a proper show and shine. This event had a host of rotaries out to support Mad Mike Whiddett and it would be neglectful for me to leave out a shot of this FD3S rx7.
Overall it was a fun day and I would just like to thank Mike Skelton and all the organizers of the event for one cracking day. Next up from South Africa will be a VW club track day and the last round of SUPADRIFT.
Til’ next time!