‘Fast and furious’ race

2014-02-17 00:00

AN illegal drag race took place in one of Pietermaritzburg’s main streets over the weekend, but the police can’t comment because their computers have packed up.

Victoria Road turned into a scene from The Fast and the Furious on Saturday night with cars and petrol heads lining up for an illegal drag race.

At least 100 cars, old and new, with modified engines, parked on either side of Victoria Road between the Retief and Boshoff Street intersections in preparation for the race that began around 9.45 pm. The noise from revving engines could be heard blocks away.

Some of the crowd came from Durban, apparently by invitation. An SMS circulated publicising the event read. “To all street races and spectators in Pietermaritzburg and Durban … our racing passion has grown tremendously to an entire new level and therefore PMB dragsters would like to hand down the opportunity of formally inviting the Durban dragsters over.”

The SMS also listed the time and place of the event.

A spectator at the race said he had come from Camperdown. He was not sure who had organised the race. “We just show up … This [drag race] has started late. Often people show up around 8.30 pm and the race will start around 9.00 pm.”

He said unlike the scene from The Fast and the Furious, they don’t close off the road, which makes the race more dangerous, as Victoria Road is a two-way street and this increases the likelihood of collision with a motorist unaware the drag race is being held.

“What happens is that cars start down here, [at the Retief intersection with Victoria Road] and race up to the robots on Victoria and Boshoff. We do this all night or until people simply get tired.”

A police vehicle arrived around 10 pm, parked, and then departed a few minutes later.

Yesterday, when asked for comment, the SAPS said they were unable to do so as they could not access their records as their computer system was down.

The sound of the engines revving could be heard a few street blocks away and the odd car would race up the street alone, possibly just warming up.

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