From the 1st – 2nd June 2013, SA’s top drifters will flock to the Gauteng Motor Show featuring Atomic Junkies Adrenalin Sports Fest at Zwartkops Raceway, for the 4th leg of the AutoTrader SupaDrift Series. The Gauteng stop is the halfway mark through South Africa’s first national drifting championship.
The first half of this inaugural championship has seen thousands of fans follow the series from Brakpan to Kimberley and most recently Port Shepstone to watch over 35 drifters compete to secure points towards becoming South Africa’s first national drifting champion.
Drifting is the world’s fastest growing motorsport, and quickly gaining popularity in South Africa. “We’ve seen a substantial increase in drivers, clubs and events over the past 4 years” said MSA’s Commission President of Drag, Oval, Drift and Spinning, Wally Pappas. Conversion of many drivers from spinning and circuit racing to drifting, is testament to the growing popularity, as is the merger this year of three top drifting clubs, to form one Motor Sport SA endorsed championship league – the national AutoTrader SupaDrift Series.
Drivers hail from every major province in South Africa, as well as some bordering countries such as Mozambique. Ages range from 19-year-old drivers to 50 years and older – men and women alike. Skills range from the USA Formula Drift experienced competitors like Otto Graven, through to the up-and-coming drivers learning through the local SupaDrift X Series. This regional series allows amateur drivers – with rear-wheeled cars, of course – to learn from their more seasoned colleagues in the national championship.
Despite the remarkable growth of drifting as a sport, many spectators are still schooling in the rules and points system. Unlike other motor sports, where crossing the line first is most important, drifting is about the skill of the driver to maneuver a car around the track with precision. “Points are awarded according to style (tyre smoke), drifting angle, line, and speed around a fixed course” said series organizer Mikey Skelton. “Judges also take note of the crowd’s reaction to drifter’s flare– a hysterical cheer if very influential” said Skelton.
The Gauteng Motor Show promises to be a spectacular event, as drifters up the ante in a bid to gain crucial points going in to the second half of the championship. Championship standings are as follows:
1. Otto Graven, Northern Cape (234 points)
2. Jason Webb, Gauteng (234 points)
3. Wade van Zummeren, Eastern Cape (203 points)
4. Shane Gutzeit, Kwa-Zulu Natal (200 points)
5. Mike Radloff, Eastern Cape (169 points)
6. Jacques Lemmer, Western Cape (168 points)
7. Jonathan Rudman, Gauteng (161 points)
8. Ronny Graven, Northern Cape (160 points)
9. Rudi van den Berg, Gauteng (158 points)
10. Jim McFarlane, Gauteng (157 points)
The Gauteng Motor Show is the ultimate setting for the general public to experience the thrill of going sideways. Tickets are on sale on through Webtickets.co.za. R85 for adults, R45 for children (under 3’s go free).