Cape’s best test their mettle at Saldanha Top-End Drag

[Pics by Shahiem Bell]

Saldanha Top-End Drags is now into its 24th year and two weekend’s ago saw 78 of the Cape’s kwaaiste test their mettle over a 800-metre sprint.

Bobby Nitro spoke to West Coast Racing’s Grant Steenveld after the event, which has been building up steam, like many others, after the Covid-19 pandemic slammed the brakes.

Grant says: “We had a smaller turnout because of the rain, but it certainly made things interesting for the drivers, having a damp run for an hour or so after it stopped. Guys were wheel spinning into the 400m mark.”

The top four-wheel speed of the day came from Jaleel Firfirey of Infinity Performance.

Piloting his BMW 140i, a three-litre six-cylinder beast with 500kW to the wheel, he did a 268.1km/h over the line.

Jaleel says: “Conditions were not great, so I didn’t hit that 270km/h mark, plus I had some gearbox issues.” This is Jaleel’s third time in a row winning his class.

Jaleel Firfirey layed down the fastest four wheel speed in his 1series BMW

Garion Slamet from Belville took honours on two wheels on his Suzuki Hayabusa, for his ninth win in Saldanha. He registered a scalding 310km/h over the 800m, but missed his record of 322.5km/h clocked in 2020.

Garion says: “My first run was about an hour after the rain stopped. I did 308km/h, but had to fight the track all the way as it was still cold. For comparison, on a warm track in Pretoria, I’ve done my personal best of 358km/h and then 374km/h over 1km.”

Asked how he plays the mental game and keeps up front, Garion says: “I am not racing against the other competitors, I’m racing against myself. In other words, I do not chase you, I chase myself. I set my own targets and go out there to beat the target, not the other racer.”

Grant speaks about the challenges of staging an event like this, saying: “The main idea is to get the guys off the street and onto the track. Bear in mind that Saldanha is one of the only top-end drags in South Africa, with the Johannesburg facility not operating.

“We want to do this several times a year. The racers need it, and it would help a lot if we could find some sponsors, even a title sponsor, and some assistance with equipment for timing.”

Mierwaan Thomas lights up the rear end of his 2jz powered M3 sedan
TAKING THEIR PICTURES: Enthusiasts loved the return of the event
Spectators endured the wet morning weather to enjoy the spoils of awesome racing for the rest of the day

Everybody Bobby spoke to mentioned Riaan Carollisen, recently featured with his blitsvinnig Golf Mk1 in these pages, (Don’t sleep on this: Karkop’s VW Citi Golf Mk1 is wolf in sheep’s clothing).

Apparently Riaan was so amped on the day he did 27 runs.

Photographer, Shahiem Bell, comments: “It was impressive, all those runs. He almost killed a brand-new set of semi-slick race tyres. The little Mk1 was tearing up the asphalt.”

My favourite car for the day was a Toyota Corolla owned by a guy named Jason who had his Toyota 4AGE turbo, built and tuned by Wessel Oosthuizen of Dynamic 
Motorsport, who recently relocated to Cape Town from Jozi and opened up his new workshop here.

Look out in Bobby Nitro for the feature.

Grant thanks the Saldanha municipality for coming on board for all these years and allowing West Coast Racing to use the airfield. Also, a big shout out to Maistry Motorsports.

Grant adds: “We would love to see some of the older racers, the die-hards coming back to the scene, so we can thank them for all the support over the years.”

West Coast Racing’s Lawton van Ordt address drivers during the briefing

Daily Voice

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *