China Global Television Network (CGTN) – Drifters from all corners of South Africa converged in Johannesburg to rev up their engines, drop the clutch and drift side-ways in the tire-shredding SupaDrift Series.
In drifting, there’s no checkered flag, just judges scoring drivers on their screeching, sliding skids around hair-raising curves. Drifting got its start in Japan, but it quickly made its way to Africa and now drivers are sliding through corners, with wheels smoking.
“I think South Africans generally are a car mad society, so drifting has just taken to a lot of those motorsports fans or those not converted to motorsports yet because they see the flare or the car and going side ways, smoke blaring. It’s a scene straight out of a load. And I think a lot of people are familiar with movies and the industry like ‘The Fast and the Furious’ and that’s why it’s growing so big so fast,” said Mike Skelton, co-owner of the SupaDrift Series.
The unique motorsport is taking South Africa by storm as petrol heads flock to see the country’s best drifters showcase their skills.
“The adrenaline rush is one thing, but what really excites me is you can have all the money in the world, you can have the fanciest car, it boils down to real driver skill. Driver skill is number one, and you need to have a little bit of luck so that nothing breaks,”said Joey Govendor, a driver in the SupaDrift Series.
Even lady drivers are having a go.
“I was racing on the track for quite a while so I think racing is in my DNA. I’ve been doing it for quite a while. And then when I saw drifting I thought it was so intense and extreme that I really actually wanted to give it a try. So we built a car and now we’ve been drifting for probably four years,” said Clare Vale, a female driver in the SupaDrift Series.
Drifting may not have the glamor of big motorsports, but burning rubber seems to be enough to lure in the next generation of South African racing fans.