ADRENALINE junkies are in for a Valentine’s Day treat as local and foreign car spinners will battle it out in celebration of Lesotho-born drifter El Nino’s birthday at Excel Garage Masianokeng.
According to the event’s organiser Tšoeu Lekopa, Slip Diff Association, which is also known as Team Lesotho, would host drifters from South Africa and Botswana. He said the event would also celebrate the birthday of renowned spinner El Nino.
“El Nino is one of our members currently based in Bloemfontein although he was born in Lesotho. We decided to coincide his birthday celebrations with the 2016 pilot spin and drift show which marks the expansion of car drifting in Lesotho since we have managed to invite drifters from Botswana,” Lekopa to the Weekender this week.
“Spinning and drifting is an entertainment sport that is growing in popularity in southern Africa. Our team consists of 22 members who practice every weekend, and our doors are open to anyone who would like to join.
“We are prepared to train new entrants and would be even more delighted if ladies took the bold step of trying drifting out.”
The event is supported by Excel Garage Masianokeng, Central Motors, Mocha o Chele Construction, Quadro Motors, Wilcorp and Over Rev Tyre Repairs among others.
The daredevil motorsport originated in South Africa’s townships in the early 1990s with the most popular cars from the 1991 BMW 3-series model range. The BMW 3-series cars have since been named Gusheshe for the sound their engines make when they are revved.
Although the motorsport was synonymous with car theft and township gangsterism during the 1990’s, it has since gained mainstream appeal with people from all walks of life participating.
“We mostly use a Matchbox (1990s BMW 3-series) or Nissan Skyline cars to drift and spin as both models have a limited slip differential gear arrangement which allows the output shafts to spin at different speeds with their speeds proportional to that of the input shaft,” Lekopa said.
“It is a very expensive sport since the tyres wear out easily or even burst. However, we are not gangsters as some people surmise, since I for one am a mechanic while other drifters have day jobs as well. Drifting is our way of refreshing during the weekends.”
He said while the motorsport had its fair share of risk, they always made preventative measures.
“We always take safety precautions by ensuring that the spinning area is barricaded to ensure the cars do not hurt spectators. The fire brigade and an ambulance are always on hand in case of an emergency. Thankfully, their intervention has not been necessary so far,” said Lekopa.
“We also never allow anyone to drift or spin while being intoxicated since it is common knowledge that it would be very dangerous. Even the law does not allow driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.”
He added that more shows were lined up during Easter, King Letsie III’s birthday, Independence Day and in December which would be held in various areas in the country.