It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the Margate ace as he was involved in a collision with Jim McFarlane. Neither driver was injured, but the nose of the Nissan S14 Puren was driving (his father Trevor’s car) was obliterated in the collision.
It was clear that nothing was going to stop the South Coaster, though. He only got better as the event progressed and was undoubtedly the top driver of the day.
It all began eight years back when Dezzi Raceway was in its infantile build; the place where the first ever purpose-built drift circuit came about and the place where the SupaDrift Series found its home.
The epitome of a drift spectacular, with sensory overload poured over the top, awaited petrolheads and as it happened way back then, the South Coast skies were smoke-trailed by the sideways motion of high-horse powered drift machines; and the summation of their pilot’s brilliance set-up the season thriller and humdinger.
Grassroots drifting went down in the PRO1 Class and local driver, Chad Thomas, created the thrill of the Class as he negotiated his way through the other competitors to the final.
He came up against Amamzimtoti’s Andre ‘the Giant’ Leibbrandt in the final and managed to beat him in his tandem lead run when Leibbrandt spun out.
“Thomas is definitely a force and fierce competitor to be reckoned with in the future,” stated event organiser, Mikey Skelton.
The PRO Class saw South Africa’s best drifters competing for bragging rights and place to claim their spot in the title run and rankings.
Chris Long from Cape Town representing Mike’s Place put in his best runs to get himself into the semi-finals, but was outclassed by Puren, who outran his competitor and booked himself into the final.
Zanil Satar from Mozambique also had some stunning runs over his first place qualifier and managed to book his spot into the final.
Puren and Satar went door-to-door and wheel-to-wheel in the final. The crowd got seriously behind the local drifter and managed to encourage him to the top spot on the podium.
“It’s amazing to get the top spot again here at Dezzi in front of my home crowd,” Puren, who secured his maiden series win at the same venue last year, told eHowzit.
“The crowd has been absolutely amazing. I could actually hear them in the car at times! Having support like this from your local friends and family just makes you push that much harder.
“Today went really well other than the accident I had with Jim, but thanks to all the awesome people who helped get the car back in one piece, I could race again. All in all, we had a great day as a family.”
The Purens had a memorably day indeed; Gavin’s brother Brendan finished eighth while dad Trevor placed third in the PRO1 Class.
The 2019 championship is still led by Satar followed by Long 40-odd points behind. It will all come down to the final event – which counts for double points – in Mozambique in November, where drifters will again go head-to-head to prove their worth and capitalize on their current standings.
Luckily, if you can’t make it to the event, you will also be able to stream the event LIVE via http://www.supadrift.co.za/watch-live.html