Awe! Hoesit? Oraait? There have been a few topics which I’ve been wanting to address, but something new always comes up, that takes precedent. It is also probably my duty to let you know what is happening in and around Cape Town, and I should probably let you in on what had happened at MSA Drags this past weekend. As you know, I like looking at things from a different angle, so while there are so many photographers out there(notice I didn’t say “wannabe photographers” but maybe that’s what I’m thinking) bringing you event coverage, and a picture paints a thousand words, I think writing is an underestimated art. I believe I am painting colourful images in your minds by using words of black and white. Deep, neh? That is why I believe print isn’t dead, and won’t be for a long time. Then again, I am wiser than most people. Apparently.
Forgive me if all this seem a bit jumbled but I am just going to put all my thoughts out there, in no particular order, with no particular point. I’m just thinking aloud here.
Last week I wanted to share my opinion on the all new Street to Strip Outlaw Racing which was implemented at Killarney. Basically, it is a timed 1/8mile race, run in the Street Outlaws fashion, with eliminations during the course of the evening, with one winner at the end. Okay, maybe I missed a few details but that is my understanding of it. When I first heard this was going to happen, I thought it would be a good thing as drag racers could practice and test their 60ft times, and MSA drag times could possibly get quicker. It would also be great spectator value as we would be seeing drag cars more often than just once a month. But then the powers that be made the rules a bit silly. Only street tyres could be used. Huh? That mos makes fokkol sense? If you have a relatively high powered car, with street tyres, on an unprepared strip, how far are you gonna spin? How far is 200 metres? It will be frustrating, and it will be no fun. Unless you have an AWD drive car, it makes no sense at all. The odds will always be in AWD cars’ favour, and after the first event, that was proven. I think the car of the night was a Golf 7R. The one positive is that now anyone with a relatively low-powered car, which won’t spin as much, will have a great reaction time and over 200 metres could probably kill a more powerful car dead. Then again, we’d see Toyota koppe going bos about their bra with a stock 20 valve pakking a 200kw Golf, and that can’t be good for car guy education, which is in a worse situation than our school education system.
Over and above that, I think the powers that be missed a great opportunity. You see, everyone knows that MSA Drag racing has seen a steady decline over the years, all over the country, and we need to get people back into the sport, or participating in the sport. We have Robot Racing, which is sponsored by government, in order to get guys off the street. To these guys, it is about heads up racing, which is fun if you’re a driver, but a bit boring if you’re a spectator seeing everyday cars race each other. Now, if semi’s or slicks were allowed at Street to Strip, those robot racers might just think “I’m gonna buy a set of semi’s and see how that works”. They might just get great launches, and practices, and after receiving their first 1/8mile time slip, aspire to enter an MSA sanctioned 400m event. By the time they do that, they would be accustomed to the Christmas Tree and how it works too. So effectively, Street to Strip could have been the much-needed link between Robot Racing and MSA Drags. It could have been the link from just getting streetracers off the street, to making them drag racers, with an MSA license. More drag racers participating means the sport grows. The crowd will grow, and well…..you know where I’m going with this. But no, only street tyres are allowed. I hope I’m proven wrong, but with the current rules for Street to Strip, I don’t think it will be much of a success. Then again, I’m not sure my definition of success is the same as those making the rules.
Moving along to the MSA Drags of the weekend past. Jislaaik, there are some really quick cars hey? As you may well be aware, I am in the process of making a comeback with my beloved little Mazda EGi (fitted with a 200i DOHC FE3 16v motor which is not an EGi motor- that’s a lesson for another day), but I’m going to need at least another R30k to be able to keep up with the n/a fwd class. They’re so quick, that I am seriously contemplating bolting on a turbo and shifting to another class. One would think that because the likes of Shaun Zurich, Bradley van Rooi and Roelof Vorster set the bar high with their K-series motors, they will not be caught by other manufacturers, but the Work’d Racing H2B CRX proves that it’s not “K all the way”. Brandon Almazan’s 8valve Golf, which is now the quickest 8 valve in the country, and 4th in the world (I heard that, but haven’t confirmed it myself), as well as Jody van Schoor’s 16v, is only going to get quicker, and Doc’s Supie is bound to hit the 9’s soon too. If you thought K-series is life, believe me, the Opel die-hards will tell you, they are coming for you!
Other impressive Opels were Schanwille Isaacs’ fly GSi, and Tousseef Haroun’s 8 valve boosted 200iS is running PB’s at almost every event.
The quickest car of the day was Jason James’ Nissan-powered Escort, with a 10.26, followed by Roelof’s “KRX” hot on his heels. The fast Escort needs a brake upgrade though, or better yet, a parachute. You can’t be using the tyre barriers to stop after a run hahahahaha. It is kinda weird seeing 4 cylinder FWD’s as the forerunners these days. Big engine, high torque cars are few and far between. There was an impressive 11sec E55, my favourite of the day naturally, and a few V8 Mercs. But no other V8 cars participated, which is sad. I heard they all retired again. Maybe they will come out of retirement to play catch up with the 4 cylinders. Maybe, I don’t know…Anyway, moving along as swiftly as Tolla can break a turbo, how about this new anti-noise thing? No noise at a racetrack. Hahahahahaha!
A few drag cars had to be silenced as they were deemed to be too loud. My view is this: You can’t complain if you knew you’re going to be living next to a racetrack. I know of someone who bought a R25million apartment at the Waterfront and now has to deal with noise and stench from the harbor. What are they gonna do? Tell ships to silence themselves? Also, a huge concern for the competitors is that the testing isn’t very consistent, and there is a whole technical explanation that I am too dom to understand to give an opinion on. If only they could silence some of the drivers, instead of their cars. Maybe I should just silence myself too. Ima shurrup now. Safety.
Photo Cred: Kcirle Photography