The first round of the Cambees Midas SA Drift Champs got under way at the renowned Rock Raceway circuit in Brakpan on the 7th Feb 2015. Most certainly a game changer for the drifters as practice got under way in the hot as Hailey’s sun as drifters took to the gauntlet set before them by the Drifting judge panel.
A good entry of 29 drifters was set to go, would have been a 30 field but sadly we had an early retirement in the form of Vincent Ferreirinha who was suffering from a stomach bug early in the morning.
As the new season dawned for all the drifters and another year with Cambees Midas the drift scene welcomed new blood into the family of the slideways brigade.
Shaun van Vuuren and Paul van Schalkwyk was welcomed as well as a returning drifter to the scene Chase Audagnotti in his R33 Nissan Skyline after a 2 year break from drifting.
16 qualified for the Gold cup eliminations which meant the remainder of the drifters paired up for the hotly contested silver cup eliminations. The silver cup eliminations is by no means a rooky grid, some big names have had their chariots relegated into this category and is not to be looked down upon by no means. There is some serious competition amongst the drifters in the silver cup as well as the gold cup.
In the silver cup it was Shaun Lamprecht ” MR SS aka Heel Tyd Speel Tyd” in his super charged V8 Chev Lumina Ute that took the top silver ware from the pack with Faadhil Bham in his Nissan Skyline R33 sponsored by Cambees Midas Benoni in 2nd and young lady Mariska Dyke in for 3rd in her Toyota Supra Mk4
As always with drifting anything can happen as Hannes “The Wall Runner”Frans found out as Mohammed Yussuf booted Frans to the stands winning his tandem battle. Frans was the top qualifier for the night.
The game changer kicked in the form of rain turning the gauntlet into a virtual skating rink as drifters had to deal with skittish chariots, a bit of under and over steer thrown in the mix all at the same time. With a semi wet dry circuit drifters had to pull out all the stops to avoid spinning out and at the same time still trying to keep the chariots sideways and not straight-line either.
“Barney goes sideways” BG Smit in his Toyota Supra MK sponsored by SA Argus made quick work of Pit Bull Energy Drinks sponsored Mathys Naude in his E36 BMW powered by a V8.
Team mate Larry Smith also won his battle against MDM/ Falkin Tyres Alex Simon in his Nissan 350 Z
“The sideways duck “Donold Labuschagne in his Nissan R33 sponsored by Bocal Africa was victorious over Jean “Minion” Mare in his Nissan S14 Silvia sponsored by Rightway Autobody.
The teenager was up next JP van der Spuy who turned 18 earlier in the week in The Rock Raceway’s Nissan Skyline R33 go up against Chase Audagnotti in his Nissan R33. van Der Spuy won the battle joining the top 8 ranks after Pieter Smit in his Toyota Supra MK4 defeated Fred Cooper SNR in his Nissan Skyline R33.
“Super” Cooper JNR Fred was benched after “Mr Rock the “InTimidator ” Tim Stephens made a clean run in his Nissan Skyline R33 Sponsored by Max My Ride & Kenda Tyres.
Team mate Ernest Simpson in his Nissan Silvia S13 sponsored by Max My Ride Kenda Tyres made his way into the top 8 as well after winning his tandem run over Billy van Rooyen in the Metal Mulisha Toyota Supra.
In the top 8 it was BG Smit winning his run over Yussuf and Larry beating the slideways duck Donald which meant a bitter sweet eliminations as 2 team mates to face off each other.
Van der Spuy and Pieter Smit had a right ding dong battle and the pressure was on all the time. It was also to be the last Time that young JP will be seen in the ex Team Orange Rock Raceway Nissan Skyline R33 as a new chariot awaits him for the next event. Smit managed to pull of the final run and eject the young teenager from the competition after a OMT ( One More Time) pass.
It was now time for the 2 team mates from Max My Ride & Kenda Tyres to go tyre to tyre for battle, but after another real good battle it was Mr Rock Tim Stephens who was victorious over Simpson.
Circuit conditions had not improved by no means and a short break was in order as patrons and officials refreshed with eateries and bathroom breaks too.
The circuit retained water in certain sections leaving patches of water and a semi dry circuit, this was like turbo grass, ever been on wet grass with your daily drive? There is no stopping folks trust me!!
Semi finals was now on the cards and the final 4 took to the daunting gauntlet.
Gauging how much power to deliver and control the loud peddle was tricky to say the least. Smit and Smith were the first 2 to the circuit and running out of real estate was not an option. It was Smit who was sorted to do battle for the 3rd spot on the podium for the Gold Cup.
Pieter Smit and Stephens had a good tandem run but the spin from Smit secured a spot in the finals for Stephens.
Next up was Smith & Piet Smit. After a OMT it was Peter Smit who took the final podium spot for Gold Cup eliminations.
BG Smit put on a very brave battle against Tim Stephens but after a spin the final nail was in the coffin as the Max My Ride / Kenda Tyre sponsored Stephens took 1st place with 2nd place going to BG Smit from SA Argus.
Gold Cup 1st Tim Stephens
2nd BG Smit
3rd Pieter Smit
The Rock Raceway Team would like to thank Cambees Midas for yet another exciting season ahead and welcomes everyone to join in on the next event to be held on the 7th March 2015. Big Big thank you to all the brave drifters who took on one of the biggest challenges that a drifter could experience the semi wet dry circuit, to the officials, medics Rock staff and you the spectators and loyal sponsors, a big thank you. Without you there is no us See you at the next event folks !