We were all expecting the icy chill from the coast this past weekend but the weather in Johannesburg played along wonderfully, with sunny skies and warm temperatures, as the fourth round of the Supadrift National Series setup up shop at the Rock Raceway in Brakpan.
Drivers from all over South Africa hit the tar, hoping to score points in what was starting to look like a two horse race but has now been blown wide open again after the drivers pulled out all the stops and dialed it up to eleven!
A change up in the structure of qualifying was put into effect seeing all the drivers head out and do a single qualifying run in the reverse order of the current standings. This was done to allow drivers time to repair damage to their cars between runs, ensuring everyone received a fair chance to qualify, scores were tabulated and the drivers were sent out to do it all again.
The new system worked well and from a field of 33 drivers, 26 scored points. It still wasn’t enough for the elusive Top 32 grid but it delivered some incredible match ups.
- Paolo Gouveia
- Sean February
- Shane Gutzeit
- Zein Hussein
- Gavin Puren
- Mathys Naude
- LeeRoy Frans
- George Myburgh
- Zanil Satar
- Dez Gutzeit
- Richat Kahn
- Fayaaz Alibhai
- Jim McFarlane
- Riaan Stokes
- Brendan Puren
- Joey Govender
JP vd Spuy
The drivers really did bring their “A” games and it wasn’t the usual suspects.
Duriel Olsen seriously impressed by driving the wheels off of his E30 V8 BMW finishing his runs in a cloud of steam on more than one occasion.
Dragon Energy’s JP van der Spuy would take the Silver Cup win followed by Duriel Olsen in second and Mohammed “Panda” Yussuf in third.
Top 16 tandems kicked off with a series of clear-cut decisions between the drivers. Sean February took on Gavin Puren and LeeRoy Frans rolled onto the line against Des Gutzeit. In their respective tandems they elevated their level of competition to such an extent that the judges sent them back to the line for a series off OMTs that had the crowd on their feet every time.
Sean February would progress to the Top 8 while the consecutive OMTs between Gutzeit and Frans would see Frans go through on a higher qualifying score. We have to take our hat off to Des Gutzeit though, as we haven’t seen the man drive this hard and this well, often taking the high line and running the wall.
If Gutzeit senior was having a good race weekend then Shane Gutzeit was having a terrible one. Car trouble followed Shane, unfortunately putting him out of competition early on with a broken turbo.
Number one qualifier Paolo Gouveia was on strong form and progressed through to the semi-finals after taking on a very determined George Myburgh. Zein Hussein progressed after an uncharacteristic front clip strike from Jim McFarlane and Richat Kahn would go through to the semis after a collision with Riaan Stokes.
The battle of the day would however go to Sean February and LeeRoy Frans, these two drivers fought each other tooth and nail, resulting in two OMTs. The aggressive nature and close proximity resulted in a side by side inniation and literal door-to-door wall rides. It would be Sean that advanced after a small straight-line error from LeeRoy.
Zein Hussein would progress to the final after narrowly beating out Paolo Gouveia while Sean Febuary found himself, yet again, in an OMT situation doing battle with Richat Kahn. A shout-out must be made to Febuary’s pit crew who managed to fix a broken gear lever in record time allowing February to take a win after Kahn’s car died mid drift in the final corner.
After such a dramatic day the final was a little bit anti-climatic as Zein and Sean faced off. After their first run Zein led 10 – 0 and wanting to save the car February coasted across the line, handing the win of the fourth round of the national series to Zein Hussein.
The competition has definitely clicked up a notch now and with the next round in just four weeks, down at Dezzi Raceway in Port Shepstone, it’s anyone’s game now.
Supadrift thanks the sponsors – Achilles Tyres, Turn 1 Wheels, Chevrolet, Speed and Sound, GoPro, Red Bull, Greensky, F1-X and Jonnesway Tools.
Photos courtesy of Reynard Gelderblom – Street Motion