City’s fast drivers want to meet in a safe, legal place, but can’t
THERE is good news, very good news and bad news in our ongoing efforts at Wheels to help the city’s many racers get a safe and legal venue to race at.
First, the good news — all enthusiastic drivers will be able to stretch their wheels at a Roy Hesketh Track Day and mini-fair in Hayfields next month, on July 16.
Costs are R400 per car by preentry only, and R20 per fan.
Organiser Desmond “Dizzy” Govenden reminded the rules of the historic track are first, no racing between any two cars; and second that all cars will have their exhaust volumes monitored to adhere to decibel limits. The very good news is one driver can win entry for a car and three passengers. (See below for details.)
WAITING FAR TOO LONG
The bad news is this rare track day is the only legal and safe event for Pietermaritzburg’s many fans of fast driving for the foreseeable future this year.
This lack of space to race is seeing an informal race take place somewhere in the city at least once a week, which situation is a massive accident waiting to happen. The illegal racers told
Wheels none of them like risking their expensive machines at night on public roads, but they point out they have little choice.
For the city council has now been mired in indecision for over a year on several proposals to turn illegal legal simply by dedicating a safe space in which to race. The most popular of these proposals is a call to cede the old municipal bus depot at Mason’s Mill to one or more motor clubs in order to stage all race events there. Several massive events have already been hosted at the old depot grounds, which has space for tar, dirt and 4x4 racing. Another proposal, which
Wheels and Motorsport South Africa (MSA) have tabled with the city, is to return to using the long tarred road between the Duzi River and shops behind Makro for quarter-mile drags.
MSA said it will endorse a return to the venue, but first the council has to authorise removing the speedhumps it has put over the road in recent years.
A third proposal to again host “Spinning @ da Market” events was turned down.
NEIGHBOURS ARE CALLING
Meanwhile, neighbouring Howick’s entrepreneurs invited drifters to inspect a stretch of tar to stage events on.
The city’s drift master, Kurt Volmink, represented the racing fraternity (and tiny sorority) to inspect the site. Volmink said while a bit uneven, the site is suitable for a large event, and added Maritzburg’s many racers will happily go spend their money at a town that welcomes them.