South Africa’s leading Drift series was a showcase of the countries drifting talent and taking it to the next level and it all took place at the TopCar Gauteng Motorshow at Zwartkops Raceway. It was certainly a motorsports frenzy of excitement and a myriad of burning rubber, rear-wheel drive action and serious speed in full blown 3D colour…and spectators got all their monies worth and more!
Photo Caption: Chris Lansberg and Jason Webb
Whilst SupaDrift Series 03 winner, Michael Radloff, was recovering at home from a serious circuit accident that took place the weekend before; the playing field was preparing and waging war in the pits with its usual taunt and banter. Saturday afternoons qualifying rounds saw much circuit calamities with many drivers not making it through as the circuit was fast and proved challenging. Six drivers battled to notch up any points on the judges scorecards which left only 15 x drivers making the Top 16 and crucial cut. Impressing runs and making it through to the tandem runs were drivers like Jonathan Rudman driving his Turbo Toys Nissan 200SX who qualified in 1st place. Other impressers were Paolo Gouveia, driving his E30 BMW as sponsored by Axle Centre, who mustered up a 4th position on the log. Other upfront challengers were lodged by Adam Shefer, who qualified 3rd, for his outstanding runs in his ALB 200SX.
Photo Caption: 3rd place qualifier Adam SChefer
The Top 16 battles saw drifting elevated to new heights in SA, and amongst the standout battles were significant highlights; Jonathan Rudman springing good luck as he got a bye into the Great 8’s but at the same time stating that he would have rather battled someone to get through to Top 8. Wade van Zummerun, in his Border Towing Black Tracker Skyline proving to be strong and beating David Nell from Ed Hardy Energy Drink Sylvia Nissan; the epic battle could have been an early final in many peoples minds. Jethro Swartz in his E30 LiquiMoly BMW E30 had a hard time battling Falken RX7 driver, Rudi van den Berg and Paulo Gouveia in his E30, made small work of Riaz Alibhai (also a first time Top 16 qualifier) whos car is one large sticker bomb and a Nissan Skyline at that.
Photo Caption: Riaz Alibhai’s sticker bomb of a Nissan Skyline
Ed Hardy Energy, Achilles Tyres Jim McFarlane made his battle count when he took out GWT’s BG Smit. Jason Webb, who was on form for Monster Energy came up against newcomer and rookie talent Chris Lansberg, in a Nissan Sylvia; it was an opening account of what was to come from the teenager Webb as he got really close to Lansberg and knocked him out of the tandem competition. Mikey Skelton, also driving for Ed Hardy Energy Drink in the Nissan 350Z battled for the 3rd time this season against Riaan Stokes in his Turbo Toys Nissan 200SX; Skelton never to have beaten Stokes sealed it when Stokes ran wide in his lead tandem straight into the kitty litter and gave Skelton the gap to pass. Schefer, ALB motorsport, battled Martin van Zummerun from Border Towing, Black Tracker Nissan Skyline, and managed to post a seriously fast entry speed and running away from van Zummerun; to head onto the Great 8’s.
Photo Caption: Mikey Skelton sealing the deal
The great 8’s was a tale of fortune for some drivers and what suitably transpired was some of the best drifting SA has seen in some time. Rudman was poised and up for the tandem run against Rudi Van den Berg but unfortunately spun out and handed the victory over to van den Berg in his Falken rotary RX7. Paulo Gouveia was out the startblocks early and pulled a fair gap on McFarlane on the start straight right to the finish line and convinced the judges at the same time to be the winner. The Energy Drink battle of the day came up when Webb outfitted Monster Energy succumbed the fervent challenge from Skelton in his Ed Hardy Energy; the challenge saw Skelton spin out in the first run and gave Webb his marching orders to the final 4. Schefer waged war against van Zummerun and lost his encounter narrowly in what could have been a second final in the days events.
The final 4 posed more drama when van Zummeruns vehicle woes cost him the matchup against the 18 year old neophyte, Webb. Van Zummerun could not run thereafter against Gouveia as his differential broke in the latter race, which immediately gave Gouveia a podium finish in 3rd place; this all taking place after Gouveia was outdriven by Van den Berg in the 2nd final 4 clash and move Van Den Berg into the Finals.
Webb vs Van Den Berg; youngster vs seasoned professional; 6 cylinder vs rotary, the final could not have been more of a drift extravaganza. the two runs that were on showcase were exactly what a final was all about, speed, angle and close approximity racing. All that separated the two drivers was the angle appropriated by Webb, which made him a clear winner. Webb walked away with the title SupaDrift Series 04 winner and extended his Series lead on the overall standings. Falken Tyres driver van Den Berg did say that he was happy to be on the podium and that he hoped to be there more in the remaining 5 x events of the season.
Photo Caption: Jason Webb celebrating his victory
Jean Mare walked away with the silver cup in his SCD BMW M3.
XS Promotions, owners and SupaDrift promoters, have, with its various partners, like Speed and Sound performance magazine, Achilles Tyres, Liqui-Moly Oils and lubricants, Turn 1 Wheels, AutoTrader.co.za, Chevrolet motorvehicles, Ed Hardy Energy Drink and F1-X performance exhausts almost finished the first 2-3 x episodes of the lifestyle TV series, ‘Atomic Junkies’; will be airing on Ignition Channel in the next 2 x weeks; ‘its getting close and exciting and we for one cant wait for something different to challenge traditional motorsports broadcasting here in SA!’ says Mikey Skelton, co-owner and marketing director of XS Promotions.