Steering with precision
New series challenges spinners, drifters and even handbrake parkers to show their driving skills
KZN’s most popular motorsport group, Sidewayz, have now tested the track at Masons Mill near Edendale to launch the KZN Driftkhana Series in Pietermaritzburg on December 3.
Led by KZN’s precision-driving legend Reece Williamson, in partnership with Thrill Seeker, the event signals a shift in focus for all spinners and drifters in KZN.
Williamson said the event will challenge the best amateur drivers in South Africa, with some 30 drivers invited to compete.
He warned that the KZN Driftkhana series is not about stunts to win points from the crowd’s reaction, but “all about fast but precise car control”.
“Drivers garner points based on how many obstacles they touch or miss on a timed lap around a gymkhana track,” he said.
“This is the fairest way to judge a precision steering event. Subjective opinions do not come into it. You either touch a ball with the appointed part of the car or you miss it, and you either make it through the gates without touching sides or you hit them,” said Williamson. He added that the Driftkhana Series will mix the spectacular skills of drifting with the precision skills of gymkhana driving.
The format was adopted from the Red Bull Drift Park, which is taking racers around the world by storm. In KZN, the drivers will compete in four, six or eight-cylinder classes, as well as a turbo class, and to make the challenge accessible to the fans, Williamson will also host a handbrake parking challenge for the public in their own cars.
“We will set out cones to demarcate a parking bay and will prepare the surface to ensure the competitors do not get flat spots on their tyres. Then we will invite drivers to show the fans their driving talent in their own cars. Each driver will get three tries, but will have to pay R10 to enter, with the money going to the Salvation Army orphanage in Pietermaritzburg,” he said.
Williamson said many drivers in South Africa complain that racing is becoming too expensive. “With this KZN Driftkhana series we are making the thrill of throwing a car about accessible to a broader public in a safe manner,” he said.
He emphasised that the event will not involve spinning, for which Mason’s is best known, but said he looks forward to challenge all the city’s spinners and drag racers to test themselves on the mini gymkhana track. “We have now tested the set-up and it really is great fun, both for the drivers and the spectators,” he said.
The winner of the first KZN Driftkhana event will clinch the title of King of KZN Driftkhana and Williamson said the series will continue next year, at Mason’s and other venues in KwaZulu-Natal.
Mixing the precision control of drifting with the fast accuracy of gymkhana, KZN’s first Driftkhana changes the focus of drivers from doing ever-more dangerous stunts at spinning events to displaying real driving skills, and it even involves the fans, with a handbrake parking challenge to raise funds for orphans.
Sidewayz will bring the wildly popular Drift Park format, shown here in a time-lapse photo, to Mason’s Mill next month to crown the first King of KZN Driftkhana. See the details below.