Motorsport SA has criticised a report on e-TV’s programme for “creating the impression that the motorsport body was partly to blame for illegal drag racing events”.Third Degree programme for “creating the impression that the motorsport body was partly to blame for illegal drag racing events”.content here

Motorsport SA has criticised a report on e-TV’s programme for “creating the impression that the motorsport body was partly to blame for illegal drag racing events”.

Following the broadcast of the report, which was compiled by journalist Cathy Williams and presented by Deborah Patta on Tuesday, MSA has reportedly received several calls from affiliated drag racing clubs, competitors, enthusiasts and other individuals.

The affiliated members were dismayed at the manner in which the motorsport and MSA were projected by the programme.

”MSA’s standpoint was completely ignored, and the programme deliberately created the impression that MSA was actually partly to blame for all the illegal events, because fees are charged which only cover spectators, with no thought or consideration for the competitors or the officials.

”This is certainly not the case. MSA, as the governing body of motorsport in South Africa, has a responsibility to all parties involved in the sport, most especially competitors,” a spokesman for the motorsport body said.

MSA also claims that the report did not include comment from the motorsport body, even though chairman Roger Pearce was interviewed by Williams at Rainbow Drag Strip, “answering all her questions regarding MSA’s proposals to make drag racing safer and to deter people from participating in illegal events”.

The motorsport body did not have an objection to illegal drag events being depicted as dangerous. “Competitors did not wear crash helmets, had no protective clothing, drove without seat belts, and in many instances, kept a bottle of beer between their legs while performing doughnuts and dragging. It also showed several instances of the cars almost touching the spectators while they were performing doughnuts. MSA cannot condone this type of activity,” MSA said in a statement.

On the programme, a number of the competitors confirmed that they do hold MSA licences, but that they preferred to race at the illegal events, as night racing provided a greater thrill.

Footage was also shown of the accident in which the driver of the bakkie was fatally injured three weeks ago at an illegal Rainbow Drag Strip event. However, Cathy Williams made a point of stating that this driver died at a legal event under the control of MSA.

But in actual fact, CARtoday.com reported last month that MSA cancelled Rainbow Drag Strip’s affiliation as it was not following regulations. In response, the club said it did not see the benefit of belonging to MSA.

MSA said at the time the decision was taken after Rainbow ran an event on February 9 without a permit, insufficient licensed MSA officials, and without providing MSA with any information regarding medical and safety facilities. The contestants was killed during the event.

In her report, Cathy Williams specifically mentioned that individuals preferred to race in the illegal events, as they received no benefit from participating in MSA-sanctioned events, which “cost them a lot of money, but without affording them any protection or cover, as MSA-sanctioned events only cover the spectators”, not competitors or officials.

”For the record”, an MSA official said, “the largest claims against MSA’s Public Liability Policy, totalling well over R8-million during the past 10 years, have been paid to families of competitors who either died, became paraplegics or suffered other serious injuries, as their next of kin claimed against the MSA Policy.

”MSA’s policy therefore does provide cover for competitors as well, if their accident can be contributed to a Third Party.

”In addition, all drag competitors have the option (whereas this is compulsory for all other categories of the sport), to take out a medical insurance cover. MSA attempted make this cover compulsory last year, but the street drag competitors refused to take out the cover, stating that they would then rather continue participating in illegal events.

”To ensure that competitors in these events at least raced in a safer environment, MSA then made the medical insurance cover optional, and even if competitors decide to take out the highest option, for R412 annual premium, they would receive R100 000 medical expense cover, R100 000 disability cover and R100 000 death benefit,” he added.

Original article from Car