Legal drags welcome, but …
ALL the drag racers Wheels spoke to would like to compete in the new social drag racing class announced last week by Motorsport South Africa ( MSA), if the issue of far away tracks can be solved.
The racers say they all support MSA’s aim to allow safer, legal races, instead of illegal events where the racers are often harassed by authorities.
They also like the idea of having their times listed on a “national” platform as opposed to only being famous in their WhatsApp groups, and they especially appreciate the low licensing fee. For R200, a driver can have a car licensed with MSA and then proceed to drag- race the vehicle at any MSA- sanctioned event in South Africa.
Licencing entails having an MSA official check the vehicle to ensure it is road legal, which means no nitro bottles or any of the other go- faster add- ons so beloved at the drag racing scene.
Pietermaritzburg- based master of ceremonies at legal drag races, Desmond Govenden of DY Performance was among the first to applaud MSA for this initiative. “The street legal drag class for the social weekend racer will not only help reduce the number of illegal gatherings on our streets, but will also help fellow drivers understand and adhere to proper safety procedures before entering into a race,” he said.
Govenden added that the after- market motoring industry could also use the new platform to increase their businesses by getting involved in hosting and supporting such events.
Kurt Volmink, a top drifter in the Midlands said the two issues young drag racers had with the initiative was that MSA- sanc- tioned events only happened at approved tracks, with the main tracks at Mtubatuba near Richards Bay, Isithebe in Mandini and Dezzi’s near Port Shepstone.
Volmink said while some of the young drivers can afford a road trip to go race at these venues, most will just continue with illegal meets.
“What we need is for MSA to liaise with local authorities to close off a street with four lanes where the guys can go race late at night, while our traffic officials work with the guys to ensure basic safety,” said Volmink.
He added this applies to towns across KwaZulu-Natal that hosts weekly drag races.
The good news is that MSA supports the idea. Motorsport’s regional drag racing delegate, Gareth Lewis told Wheels he will soon meet with event organisers, racers and traffic authorities in the capital to find ways of implementing illegal- to- legal drag races, with the aim of rolling out the plan across the province.
Meanwhile, the car racing fraternity hopes the city council will remember the promises made at the last elections to allocate land for safer racing, especially with the local elections coming up.
In related news, Mano Naidoo reports that plans to set up a drag racing strip next to the landing strip outside Howick is still very far on the horizon.
DESMOND GOVENDEN DY Performance ‘ The street legal drag class will help fellow drivers understand and adhere to proper safety procedures.’
Motorsport SA wants to enable safe drag races, such as this one which was set off by the legendary Mano Khan at Dezzi’s, but the racers ask for events closer to home.