With Friday being a day for drivers to set up their pit area and get in some practice time, this gave them time to check all engine problems or set ups before Saturday, as most of the cars have not seen track time since last year, or are brand new set ups and have not seen track time at all.This gave me the opportunity to get in some snaps as this year I would have a completely different role and would be commentating and not snapping the action as it happens. But that ain’t gonna stop me from capturing some sideways action for you to enjoy too. So I dusted off my 70-200mm lens, grabbed my trust 7D and headed to the track to snap away, and it was perfect timing too, as the golden hour was upon the track which makes for dramatic story telling.Saturday and race day, once again not letting my role effect my passion for the action I took the opportunity to snap some more practice runs in from the commentary box, while I handed my bib to Rory Minards from LowBros took take some shots for us to share with you.It was great to see the first event filled with drivers from each corner of SA as well as Komatiport/Maputo and damn Zanil’s S15 was looking the part this year for sure. Zein Hussein didn’t manage to get his 2017 drift car ready in time, but that didn’t stop him from bringing along another great contender; his RB powered R34, and yes in classic Zein style, that thing goes POP!With drivers like Jason Webb and Christopher Long making the long trek from Cape town, to a rather full stable coming out of KZN with drivers like Gavin & Trevor Puren, Sebastian & Gordon Rich, Eric & Jonothan van Essyen, Joey Govender, David Rae and Shane Gurzeit, making me think that KZN is a family of drifters with three father & son teams hahahaha.The JHB stable defiantly had a lot on the line as the 1st event would be in their “Back Yard”, but that wouldn’t intimidate the likes of Mathy’s Naude, Jim McFarlane, Mikey Skelton, Adam Schefer, Dewit Oosthuizen, Vic Pardal, Armand Bronkhorst (in his freshly build RX7 I must add) and new comer Tinashe Bundo.
This year the organisers of the Supadrift series chose to run it a little different to previous years and they split the season into two groups, Pro1 and Pro. Pro1 being the “Grass Roots” for the drivers who are still in the early days of their drift career and then the Pro who have been competing for a few years now and have more seat time.Practice out the way it was time for the drivers to throw down their qualifying runs to try place in the Pro top 16, with only 4 drivers been in the Pro1 group they would automatically qualify for their tandem battles and run straight from a battle for of four to a battle for 1st and 2nd, with the podium going to Jonothan van Essyen in his new S15 taking the win and Sebastian Rich (who shared his S13 with his dad Gordon Rich) take 2nd and Trevor Puren in his new S14 ( a great change from his BMW) taking 3rd.Pro Top 16 time and this is where the action really got heated, with close tandem runs between all drivers. With so many insane battle it’s hard to tell you all the battle, but there were a few that are worth mentioning indeed, one of them being the battle between Adam Shefer & Zein Hussen. With Zein doing the lead & Adam doing the chasing in the 1st run, Adam who is no stranger to close quarter tandems was in Zein’s door the whole run, unfortunately in the 2nd switch, Zein’s car had mechanical issues and stalled, Adam’s switch was so aggressive at this point he made contact with the rear of Zein’s car and ripped the whole bumper and bump bar clean off; needless to say the award for “Crash of the day” went to Adam hahaha.Battle after battle the top 16 soon became the battle for 3rd and the battle for the win! With the battle for 3rd being between Adam Shefer & Christopher Long, Christopher took the win making this his first National podium. The battle for 2nd & 3rd would be between Jim Mcfarlane & Jason Webb, and with the sun setting fast behind the Casino, the lighting, or should i say the lack there of, added to the drama in the final run. With both drivers pushing their cars to the limit, there could be only one winner…Jason Webb just out drove Jim Mcfarlane and took the win! Jason said: “My mission is to better my 2015 championship, and I’ll attempt to take the win at each event this season” bold words, but we know he can back it up; Jim, Shane… I think this, this is your challenge. Who will wear the Championship crown at the end of the season? We will just have to wait and see. Round two will take place in Polokwane on the 1st/2nd June, be there to see the fight!Photos by: Rory Minards/LowBros & Darren Supafly