Rac­ers vexed

City’s fast driv­ers want to meet in a safe, le­gal place, but can’t

The Witness - Wheels - - FRONT PAGE - AL­WYN VILJOEN

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.

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