Sidewayz Clash of the Titans

Words & Photos: Sheldon Reddy

Sheldon Reddy

During the afternoon of 26 October 2013, dark clouds gathered over Pietermaritzburg, while thunder rolled, hail fell, and rain soaked the surrounding areas of Camperdown and Cato Ridge.

The track that played host to the bi-monthly Sidewayz Driftkhana was no exception. Despite the weather looking mean and vicious, it was no match for the fortitude of the KwaZulu-Natal drift and spin titans, who came to burn up the tarmac in some of the wettest conditions of the year. So while others may have been tucked up snugly in bed with a hot beverage, local petrol heads lined the docks of the Pietermaritzburg Market and braved the cold, dreary wet weather to watch their local heroes go head-to-head in a battle of the titans.

Drivers from all corners of KZN converged at the ever-popular track to test their skill in the tight docking bays of the Market. The track was nothing short of slippery, wet, and dangerous; just the way the local boys like it! Drivers who made the trip to KZN’s capital included the likes of MaxMyRide’s Preshu Singh from Dundee, Auto Collision’s Shane Ferreira from Pinetown, Greensky’s David Nell, and the [031] Drift Team from Durban, along with Reece Williamson, Roy Munery, Bruce Swartley, and many more. Having the best of KZN's motorsport drivers converge at this little track in the uMgungundlovo District meant that there was lots of powerful, smoking cars ready to eat up the track, along with a sick-load of adrenaline junkies ready to wow the crowds!

The event kicked off at 2 p.m. and immediately saw drivers competing for the fastest times of the day. The wet surface proved challenging to some drivers and saw quite a few of them knock down cones and fall victim to the dreadful brute and force of under steer. While some drivers may quiver at the mere thought of driving in such wet conditions, the Sidewayz drivers showed little fear when throwing their cars at the tight bends and turns, and many were rewarded with gut-wrenching angles at mind-boggling speeds. The drivers were nothing short of flamboyant, even in the heaviest of downpours.

Shane Ferreira and David Nell in their Nissan Skyline and s15, respectively, performed a few intense, spine-shattering tandem drifts, achieving great angles at high speeds, whilst maintaining an insanely close distance between their cars.

All the way from Dundee, in the heart of KZN, was 360Boys’ Preshu Singh in his MaxMyRide-powered Beemer, who has become one of KZN’s spin masters. Preshu wasted no time in getting the crowd on their feet, as he took his black and white clad Beemer to the limits, expelling plumes of smoke from his rear tyres. In addition, he could be seen jumping between the driver and passenger seats and performing death-defying donuts around the event Co-organiser and fellow competitor Reece Williamson.

Team SKN Drifters, representing Pietermaritzburg, showed of the new addition to their squad. A four-pipe E46 BMW. The father-son team had a blast showcasing their skills in the Beemers, giving the BMW fans in the crowd something to scream their lungs out for, whilst throwing down the gauntlet against fellow Nismo drivers.

PMB drifters Marcel Swarts and Bruce Swartley joined in on the chase for high speed and intense angle, showing no mercy when it came to the tight transitions and displaying the experience they've gained at the Market over the years. Bruce Swartley is by far one of the most-skilled precision drivers to come out of PMB. They both performed really well on the day, considering the extreme conditions faced.

Durban-based drifter Reece Williamson failed to disappoint as he laid down the law in his monstrous Nismo-powered Beemer. Clad in the red-black of Keith’s Panel Shop, Reece had a deadly combination of precision and aggression, and the track proved to be no match for him. The overcast conditions and regular downpours seemed to only encourage this man to push his car to its limits, dumping out volumes of smoke from his rear wheels!

A few drifters from the SupaDrift Series also made an appearance at the event. The teams included KZN Drifting, [031] Drift Team, and Royce Munnery. These drivers compete in a class of their own with their incredibly high torque motors! This class always excites the local crowd, as high-speed precision drifting events rarely occur in Pietermaritzburg. The Open class, with the high-revving, tyre-smoking, and adrenalin-pumping action, keeps the crowds coming back for more! The drivers agree that the Sidewayz events give them some much-needed practice when not competing in the National Drifting Championship. It also enables them to promote motorsport in the province and encourage young racers to look toward legal racing events like these, instead of taking to the streets.

Michael Chetty, the event co-organiser, hopes the Sidewayz events will help cut down illegal racing, which is wrecking havoc on the province’s roads and claiming the lives of young drivers on a regular basis. Chetty expressed his excitement at the growth Sideways is experiencing lately. Sidewayz never fails to disappoint and continues to grow in the province, providing locals with a chance to get out and experience the spine-tingling sensation of having a car whizz past you at high speeds, expelling volumes smoke in its wake.

The Sidewayz Driftkana was nothing short of spectacular, and when the heavens opened up, it left many thinking that perhaps the club has gained a new fan from above?