Team KZN’s pre­ci­sion driv­ers pre­pare to take on SA’s best spin­ners in Kim­ber­ley

SA’s fastest grow­ing mo­tor­sport sees am­a­teur pro­vin­cial driver teams gather around the cones

The Witness - Wheels - - FRONT PAGE - ALWYN VILJOEN • alwyn.viljoen@wit­ness.co.za

THE pre­ci­sion driv­ers who make up the KZN Spin Team will on March 31 set out for Kim­ber­ley to com­pete against driv­ers from seven other prov­inces in the first match in the Bat­tle of the Prov­inces se­ries.

Cap­tain of the KZN Spin Team, Kurt Volmink, said the se­ries aims to take the many in­for­mal spin­ning, drift­ing, freestyle and driftkhana events that are held weekly all over South Africa to a pro­vin­cial level.

The am­a­teur driv­ers in each prov­ince least year held tri­als to qual­ify 10 driv­ers plus a re­serve for each team.

The for­mat of the bat­tle pits driv­ers against the clock on a stan­dard­ised track, with two cars shar­ing the floor as they slalom past cones, spin around ob­sta­cles, hit tar­get sen­sors with their wheels, par­al­lel park at speed and fi­nally re­verse slide into “the kitchen” — ba­si­cally a nar­row park­ing bay marked out by cones.

Volmink said the track is de­signed to test the driv­ers’ skills, not their cars, and teams can use dif­fer­ent ve­hi­cles as they see fit.

To avoid hu­man er­ror in judg­ing, sen­sors and lights show how close the driv­ers got to the cones with­out touch­ing them.

“Lights go on to show both the judges and the fans if the driv­ers stopped per­fectly, or not,” said Volmink.

The six fastest driv­ers of each team get to the fi­nal bat­tle of tyre-smok­ing pre­ci­sion steer­ing that al­ways gets the big crowds who at­tend on their feet. The par­ents who at­tend these day-long events told Wheels it is a per­fect fam­ily out­ing for them, with gaze­bos, gas braais and blan­kets turn­ing the event into a fam­ily pic­nic.

“This is the cheap­est form of mo­tor­sport one can do, which is why it is also the fastest grow­ing niche among driv­ers and fans,” said Volmink.

He said the driv­ers are all am­a­teurs and no pro­vin­cial colours are yet awarded.

“We now com­pete for the plea­sure of it, but we are al­ready li­ais­ing with the Depart­ment of Sports and Re­cre­ation to for­malise this sport na­tion­ally,” Volmink said.

SCOR­ING SYS­TEM

The Kitchen is a park­ing bay mea­sur­ing 8 x 5 me­tres marked out by cones. A driver has to re­verse slide at least seven me­tres deep into the bay, trig­ger­ing the sen­sors and ac­ti­vat­ing the “Per­fect Light to score 20 points. Tyre bounce: Driv­ers have to spin in a two-me­tre half cir­cle as close as pos­si­ble to a tyre in the cen­tre to ac­ti­vate the light sen­sors for an­other 20 points. Side to side: Driv­ers have to twice drift and then par­al­lel park at high speed into a 7x3 me­tre park­ing bay on both sides of the track, fault­less park­ing earns the driver 40 points. Tar­get slide: Driv­ers have to get the front wheel to within 60 cm from the tar­get, at which point the lights will again show the judges the driver has just earned an­other 20 points. Stunts: Driv­ers who gained the full 100 points in the gymkhana course with time left on the clock can do stunts un­til the time runs out for a bonus 20 points.

Driv­ers who make con­tact with the other car on the track, or any of the cones and ob­sta­cles, lose five points per con­tact.

If the con­tact is hard enough to cause dam­age to the other car, the of­fend­ing driver will be dis­qual­i­fied and will for­feit all points.

Driv­ers can call a time-out within the first 30 sec­onds of bat­tle in the event of me­chan­i­cal fail­ure. The driver will then be al­lowed to at­tempt to re­pair the is­sue dur­ing the next three bat­tles, af­ter which he or she has to be back on the start­ing line, or lose the bat­tle.

PHOTO: THRILLSEEKER

GRAPHIC: SUP­PLIED

Spin­ning, drift­ing and freestyle fans in Msun­duzi can book Fe­bru­ary 24 for an all day spin­fest at Ma­sons Mill. Kurt Volmink, trea­surer of the KZN Ride and Slide Club that takes on the six other prov­inces in Kim­ber­ley on March 31, told Wheels that Team...

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