The sport of drifting is possibly a misnomer in the sense that it's anything but a 'casual cruise'. Ask Shane Gutzeit, a former deejay of almost no renown.
Nicknamed the 'German Surgeon' because of his pin-point accuracy, the blond left-hander is improving every season, and recently picked up his second SupaDrift Series win.
This was the Riaz Alibhai Memorial Cup at the Redstar Raceway in Delmas, Mpumalanga. Shane comes from a family that is passionate about motorsport of just about any kind.
His father Des, who also enjoys drifting, has built a race track almost in the front garden, something which has resulted in numerous events being brought to the area.
Shane, after flirting with golf for a while when he was a bit younger, has found his niche in drifting, and has been been involved since 2012. He was working as a deejay during the inaugural drifting race at Dezzi Raceway when the bug bit.
“It was my Dad's maiden race, and when I saw what these guys were doing I realised there was no way I could miss out,” he said.
“My Dad and I chatted, and we figured things out. I threw in the deejay towel and the rest is history,” he said.
Drifting is not necessarily all about speed, although that definitely plays a part. Precise timing, extreme control, laser sharp concentration and specific speeds are required to produce the best possible results.
That could be true for any sport, but when one is haring around a racetrack in the middle of summer, drenched in sweat, it takes it to another level.
In a race, it's not necessarily the driver that gets to the end first. Rather, it's about scoring the most points during a heat. Kind of like how surfing is judged.
In addition, drivers start with a certain number of points, and lose points for errors. So the driver with the least points lost ends up the winner.
After qualifying, it goes into a knockout format, where the leading qualifier takes on the last qualifier, and so on, until the final.
Shane felt that while there was still possibly an element of subjectivity in judging (due to inevitable human perception) that the standards were becoming increasingly high, due to the use of modern technology.
His main sponsors are Dunlop and Sharpline. The next event is in the Western Cape at Killarney Raceway at the end of April. The March race, due to take place in Kimberley has been postponed.
Shane is then really looking forward to racing at home, when the series comes to the Dezzi Raceway on May 27, 28 and 29.
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