Quintin van Jaarsveld
The fastest cars in KwaZulu-Natal finished the year with a flurry at Dezzi South Coast Raceway in Oslo Beach at the weekend.
A 2017 KZN Drag Racing season stacked with high-octane action culminated with The Last Ride on Saturday, which saw drivers hit blistering speeds of up to 253km/h on the quarter mile strip.
The best time of the day belonged to Pooven Ganesan, who boasted a 9.446 in his Mazda EGI Turbo-powered Datsun GX.
The year was filled with fast and furious events and saw the introduction of #thelist – a ranking system aimed at boosting competitive and improving the standard of drag racing in the province.
There were a few bumps in the road, like in most motorsport series, but as a whole, drag racing moved in the right direction at a scorching pace.
“What a perfect ending to a drag season…we now have three MSA drag clubs in KZN, which we are proud of. On behalf of Gas Magazine and KZN Drag Racing, we would like to thank each and every one for the continuous support,” said Harry Naidoo.
Reflecting on the racing year that was, Naidoo remarked, “The introduction of the list has made entrants more competitive and we now have a lot of racers vying for the list.
“I have said many times that KZN has the fastest cars in the country over numerous classes. We hope to prove that statement a fact in the future.
“This motorsport industry needs more unity and support and less judgement. One drag event keeps the doors open for a race facility to stay open, creates opportunities for time keepers, marshalls, staff, cleaners, MC’s, catering, sound technicians, vendors, tuning shops, towing companies, sanitec, accommodation, tourism, signage, security companies, tyre shops, fuel suppliers, trackbite suppliers, apparel manufacturers, ambulance and fire departments, suppliers of trophies and the list goes on.
“As event organisers, we are under a lot stress and pressure. Often we take on the responsibility of keeping motorsport alive not just from a passion stand point but for the various industries it affects.
“The misinformed always have opinions and suggestions about how much money event coordinators make and how they are killing the industry. If that was true, why aren’t there more event coordinators quitting their day job and joining this massive money-making scheme? We cannot let our own insecurities effect our passion but rather be the change drivers want to see.
“We are truly indebted to every racer that attends; to every patron that comes out to support and to all our staff that sacrifice their time away from their families to help at each event. To our sponsors, thank you!
“Most often, it’s sponsors that gain no benefit or exposure from this industry that sponsor those that are directly dependent on this industry need to start contributing as well.
“Drag racing at the raceway is expensive and costly but having said that, the facility is world-class and we should be grateful that we as drag enthusiasts are accommodated.
“The raceway was never designed to accommodate our form of motorsport. One does not quite understand the cost to build and maintain a raceway.
“Aside from the 180-degree sea views, close accommodation, dedicated pit areas, catering for every drag racer and their significant pit crew, it also allows us to prep the first 60ft, which allows racers to learn how to put their power down thus making them more competitive.
“Our intention this year was to show the avid street racer why racing competitively on a legal venue is far more enjoyable than racing dangerously on the back street. That the money spent is worth it and that the opportunity to race amongst the best is priceless.
“Personally I have been in this industry for a minute enough to have heard all the rumours from the amazing projected drag venues and tracks that have been proposed for the last three decades. We still wait.
“I know how easily we can lose it all, hence why I never take anything or anyone for granted, from my wife, to my business partner to my staff and friends. God bless you all during this festive season.”