This weekend saw the Supadrift National Series Round2 take place at Dezzi Raceway in Port Shepstone; after a tough start to the 2017 season in Kimberly, it would be a roller coaster of emotions for drivers and fans alike, with all looking forward to an epic weekend of sideways action. With practice starting on the Friday afternoon, drivers took on the infamous roller coaster track, and got in as much practice as possible, honing in their skills for Saturdays competition day.
Saturday morning saw drivers hit the track rather early as they wanted to make sure they were getting the correct lines in before heading out to qualifying in the afternoon. With round1 hosting a number of Western Cape Regional drivers, Round2 however did not see many of the drivers compete, except for Shane Green; well the rest of the field was made of the KZN drivers and the hand full of Gauteng drivers making the trip down.
One car everyone was anxious to see was Jason Webb’s 2017 Monster Energy, Ford Performance and Roush Ford Mustang dubbed the “Monstang”; sadly with all the man hours put in by Speedy Webb, Malcom, Steve Clarke and the rest of the Smoke’m team pushing to get the car running for the first event, they ran into a ECU problem which would see Jason not able to compete. However this just did not cut it so to speak, and along come Des Gutzeit to the rescue, lending Jason one of his Nissan Skyline R33’s from his stable. With Jason missing out on a whole day of practice as well as his first qualifying run, he went out in his borrowed car; which was not set up for drifting at all… and on his first and only run of the day, managed to score enough points to make him qualify in 15th place.
Recovering from a back injury, Mikey Skelton made his way back into the Nationals in his newly wrapped 2017 Rokford Fostgate and Greensky livery, with a whole new rebuild on the motor, and what can we say… back injury and all, Mikey pushed through the pain and pushed his 350Z to limits during practice and qualifying, where he qualified in 6th place; a pretty strong comeback.
With only 15 drivers making qualifying high enough points, the “Top 16” would run pretty quickly; as the sun sets pretty quickly over the East coast in autumn. Before the “Top 16” would get on the way there was a small battle for the Silver Cup, with just a hand full of drivers making just enough points to battle it out. With Shane Green going up against Chris Landsberg going up in the Silver Cup final, Shane Green out drifted him in the both runs and gave him the win.
Top 16 battles would see; Paolo Gouveia Sr VS Paolo Gouveia Jr, Jason Webb VS Jim McFarlane, Luke Maher VS Morne Venter, Gavin Puren VS Des Gutzeit, Mikey Skelton VS Riaan Stokes, Joey Govender VS Brendan Puren, Eric “The Viking” van Eyssen VS Carl Werner and Shane Gutzeit with a bi-run. With the wins going to Paolo Jr, Jim McFarlane, Morne Venter, Gavin Puren, Riaan Stokes, Brendan Puren, Eric Van Eyssen and Shane Gutzeit, pushing these driver through to the “Top 8” battles.
Top 8 battle times and after a quick tyre change and cool down, driver would head out to battle it out for their spot in the quarter finals. With Shane Gutzeit VS Morne Venter, Brenda Puren VS Gavin Puren, Jim McFarlane VS Eric van Eyssen and Paolo Jr VS Riaan Stokes; the wins going to Shane, Gavin, Jim and Paolo Jr; a great group of drivers who pushed it to the limits all day long, making it an epic quarter final which would see Shane VS Gavin and Jim VS Paolo; an all too familiar line up as this looked like a repeat of the 2016 finals.
With the wins going to Shane and Jim, they would battle it out in the final and Paolo would face off against Gavin in the battle for third place. The battle between Paolo and Gavin was a tight run, with great scores for both drivers, the judges gave the win to Paolo Jr. Finals time and this was a finals worthy of a championship finale; with a couple of driver errors on the first run, with Jim being all up in Shane’s door, he managed to give him a slight kiss in the corner which lead to an over rotation in the next switch. With Shane looking like he was going to spin out, Jim held back and spun out to prevent a collision; however Shane pulled out the over rotation and managed to carry on, only to take out the front clipping point resulting a Zero score for both drivers on the first run. Run two with Jim leading and Shane following, Shane seemed to have the upper hand and the judges scored the runs a 4/6 giving Shane the win and taking the first major win for the 2017 Championship points.
So your podium for the day was Shane Gutzeit 1st, Jim McFarlane 2nd and Paolo Gouveia Jr 3rd, with a joined “Driver of the Day” cup going to the Puren brother Brendan and Gavin, and the Silver Cup win going to Shane Green.
The next event will take place at Carnival City on the 30th June – 1st July which will be the Riaz Alibhai memorial cup, and we look forward to finally seeing Jason Webb’s “Monstang” take on the series, as well as a lot more drivers from both the KZN and CPT Regional series making the trip to the City of Gold. Till next time, keep the passion; keep it sideways and as always… Keep it Supafly