Spinning out of the shadows

2014-11-21 00:00

WHEELS last week set the cat among the pigeons with its front-page report on Sports Minister Fikile Mbalalula’s call to regulate drifting and spinning. Someone did us the honour of linking the article to SA Race & Motorsport Trivia on Facebook, which is presided over by publisher, racer and bad-boy Michele Lupini.

Some of the comments that followed the posting were best described by SA’s queen of spin Clare Vale as “dinosaur mentality”. Filming at Spin City last weekend, Wheels correspondent Andre Karrim asked the head of Parks, Recreation and Culture for eThekwini Municipality, Thembinkosi Ngcobo, for his views on regulating spinning events.

In line with the Sports minister’s dream, Ncobo sponsored the first Spin City hosted in Durban, which attracted thousands to Centrum Park, opposite The Workshop.

Ncobo said eThekwini’s vision is to bring spinning out of the shadows into the mainstream, with resources and platforms to ensure safe conditions are provided for spinners to show their talents.

He said spinning events could become part of sport tourism in the future and could be more beneficial to the city of Durban than larger, Top Gear-style events.

In Pietermaritzburg, it has long been the experience of the Msunduzi Municipality that spinning events provide both tourism revenue and a safe outlet for the energies of the city’s young racers.

Monthly driftkhanas and spinning combinations are arranged by the drivers of the Sidewayz club at Mkondeni Market.

They have a standing invite to the capital’s young drag racers, who gather for the twice weekly illegal events, to contact the Sidewayz crews to learn about safer car control.

The drag racers can also control a car in a turn instead of just going as fast as possible in a straight line — they can compete between the loading docks of the Mkondeni Mar- ket. The high sidewalls of the docks ensure safe viewing for the punters, who can stand almost on top of the action as the drivers aim to brush the walls with their rear bumpers, often doing less brushing and more smashing.

• The next monthly Sidewayz event at the market is on December 13, when Michael “Blacks” Costa and Dogg Pound Inc will host KZN’s top drivers.

Entry is R50 per adult and the gates open at 1 pm.

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