Dezzi South Coast Raceway was the epitome of a drift spectacular with sensory overload poured over the top at the weekend.
Drifters from all over South Africa made their way to do battle on the rollercoaster and boy were spectators in for entertainment!
The skies were smoke-trailed by the sideways motion of high horse-powered drift machines; and the summation of their pilots’ brilliance set up a season thriller and moreover a ‘motortainment’ frenzy the whole family could enjoy!
Grassroots drifting took on a new slot at the Oslo Beach venue as drifters who have just entered the drift scene were able to make their presence felt at the Dragon Energy SupaDrift Series Round Three event.
The Pro 1 Class made for some interesting battles especially when it came to the final where Sebastian Rich took it to newcomer and fellow KwaZulu-Natal competitor, Pierre van Reenen.
The battle was enthralling and unfortunately for him, Van Reenen spun his car into a donut in the last corner of the final tandem and missed out narrowly on the podium’s top spot.
First place went to Rich (representing Capricorn Parts), Van Reenen had to settle for second and to top off the podium was Trevor Puren, who took third place from fellow newbie, Dom Wheeler.
The Pro Class was a nail-biting showdown that would leave the local crowd and fans awestruck; the best drifting the 2018 season has experienced to date.
Drivers embraced the beauty of the raceway overlooking the Indian ocean, and in particular the whale jumping circus, which was uniquely action-packed, but when the drifters got their game faces on, much of the attentions of the wild changed direction and the blacktop became the focal point.
Qualifying was equally compelling and engaging and top marque performances went to local favourite and 2016 South African champion Gutzeit (Dunlop Tyres) who qualified in first place followed by Jason Webb (Monster Energy Ford Roush) in second. This would set the bar and trend for the most impactful tandem battles to date in the SupaDrift Championship.
Standout Top 8 competitors like Brendon Puren, Joey Govender – who incidentally made his first Top 8 placement when Gavin Puren could not get his car onto the line on time in the supa-16’s – Chris Long and Adam Shefer, who all brought their A-Game, were outdrifted by Gutzeit, Jim McFarlane, Zanil Satar and Webb respectively in some of the closet tandems to date, with the latter making it to the Top Four.
This is where the switch was turned on and the Top Four pairings rendered some brilliant tyre-to-tyre tandems. McFarlane went door-to-door with Guitzeit and it went to a One More Time (OMT – when the judges can’t decide on a clear winner and the decision is to rerun the battle) with McFarlane coming out the victor.
Satar succumbed in a close encounter against Webb in the other battle. There was consolation for Gutzeit as he beat Satar in the third/fourth place run off.
The final had the crowd on their feet. Webb was pushed to the very end by McFarlane in the opening battle and this too had to go to a OMT.
McFarlane, in his pursuit of a win and in the lead position, happened to smash the rear clip in the form of a cone at the top of the first corner, handing the relentless Webb in close proximity the win!
The small blunder left McFarlane, who was putting his Achilles Tyre 350Z into all the doors of his competitors cars the entire day, taking second place.
Championship leader Webb stated he was extremely happy with the win, his toughest day out at the office. He now boasts three from three wins in the 2018 SupaDrift Series title pursuit.
The next SupaDrift Series event takes place at Aldo Scribante Racetrack in Port Elizabeth on 3-4 August.
Luckily, if you could not make it to Saturday’s event – you are able to catch up on the livestream via http://www.supadrift.co.za/watch-live.html
Main image: Brendan Puren leads fellow local ace Shane Gutzeit.
Photos by Kaylen Smith