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Rocking the boat at The Rock

10 November 2010 No Comment

Drifting… now there’s a thing. The object of the exercise is to loose control of the car in a graceful and elegant way. If you can do that without hitting a wall, traffic cone, photographer, etc, etc and have massive clouds of red smoke billowing out of your tires, then you have settled down quite comfortably into the way of life!
On the way to the Carnival City national drift champs on Saturday, I had my first encounter with “The Rock” raceway in Brakpan when I called them for directions on the way and I spoke to Ann who was absolutely pleasant and extremely helpful! “Mmm”, I thought “I haven’t even been there and I already like it”
Next the MC’s, Chad and Abie, masters of “destruction introduction”. They call them “commentators” there but “MC” is so much more fitting as I kinda felt that the level of information and entertainment they fed a very hungry crowd was more balanced than some of the cars there! The cars and their occupants there were formally introduced to the spectators at the beginning of the event dictating a level of personalization and crowd interaction the likes of which I have never experienced before. Well done gents.
Oh and have I mentioned they have Jagermeister on tap!!! Quality

Ok, so the way this thing works is they start with solo runs for the first elimination. Around an obviously windy track, replicated from D1 Street Circuit, Japan, 2009, they place “clipping points” (traffic cones) on the apex of the corners. The drivers are to steer clear of driving straight (in line) and all solid objects like walls and photographers. They are judged on their initiation, how close they can come to the clipping points, the angle of drift, style of drift and showmanship. Spinning out and hitting cones are a no, no!
After that, entertainment was provided by a group by the name of “super Motards”. The name says it all. A bunch of manic motorcyclists showing their skills, and yes, one of them missed the wall but failed to miss a photographer. I simply had to give the handrail between myself and the kamakazi’s and kamakazette’s  (I say this ‘cos there were a couple of woman riders giving the blokes some gas) a little hug and a kiss!

Then, my favorite… The tandem runs. Here 2 drivers take to the field, each taking a turn to lead. The object here is the leader makes a move and the follower has to mirror it. Let’s be very clear about one thing here. If I see Otto Graven piling up sideways behind me, billowing smoke and oozing drift, the only move I’m gonna make is one towards the bathroom to avoid an accident of my own! I enjoyed the scoring  of this. Each drifter starts with 5 points which are pooled. As one driver gains a point, the other loses one and vice versa!
After each run, if the crowd is pleased, a resounding “one more time” is heard from them and the drifters have to go it again, scored of course, this is the East Rand, nobody is safe!
The results:
1st Otto Graven
2nd Zanil Satar
3rd Richard Kahen
4th David Nel
Guys, do yourselves a favor. You know that librarian lookalike that you’ve been amping for all this time, buy her a rose and take her to “The Rock”. Be different. And, single librarian lookalikes (actually any lookalikes), when you get to “The Rock”, gimme a sh

out and I’ll get you roses.
“The Rock” also offers oval racing, super motards and drag racing. For more info, check out their website www.rockracing.co.za
No I did not try drift my ride on the way home!

Yours truly

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