Shane Green is one of the most talented drifters in South Africa. His skill and racecraft garnered him a revered reputation, one that puts him in serious company.
Green started his drifting career by entering his 'spin car' in a drifting event. Never did he think that what started as innocent fun would turn out to be one of the highlights of his adult life. He recalls how, after that first event, he finished the day in "third or fifth position."
The deciding factors for him to consider drifting more seriously was how his adrenaline mixed with the speed and power associated with the sport. Green never looked back after that first day and went on to compete in numerous events both in and around Cape Town, and the greater South Africa.
Over the years, Green proved himself, but in 2019 he lost out to rival Juan Stemmet at an attempt to represent South Africa in Japan. Green is adamant, though, that the 14 March event is his shot at redemption and proving that he is SA’s best drifter.
Winning Bragging Rights
"Yor! Jissis, I would give anything," says Green when pressed on how vital winning Bragging Rights this Saturday (14 March 2020) is to him. He is, of course, referring to the hope of wanting his car to last the duration of the event. Green has a very aggressive driving style, which often lands him in hot water with fellow racers, and race stewards. And it also has to effect the fact that his drift car will sometimes fail before an event comes to a close.
This is what happened in 2019 when Green and Stemmet competed for overall victory at one of the last events of the year. The victor would go on to represent South Africa at the official FIA Cup, where drifters from around the world will compete for global honours. Stemmet won the event against the drifter from Atlantis, but Green believed the spot was his had it not been for his car.
Changing his driving is also not an option, says Green, and reiterates that his car needs to be tough enough for him. "I will build it stronger and stronger and stronger. But I can’t change my driving style."
Intense rivalry with Stemmet
Green recalls that his rivalry with Stemmet began in 2019 at the afore-mentioned drift meeting. During the encounter, Green broke a side shaft on his car. According to him, Stemmet's driving style on the day was too slow, which forced the breakage.
But, says Green, while the rivalry with Stemmet has got everyone excited, to him it’s limited to the track. Away from the strip, he and Stemmet have a good relationship and understanding. Things do change, however, when you pull the helmet over your head. Then there is no time for emotions and friendships. The only thing that matters is the win.
Will they one day be friends?
Green says: "I'm friends all the time! But as soon as I get into my car, there are no friends."
Green and Stemmet have put up a R20 000 wager each, with the winner taking both bragging rights and a total of R40 000 that’s up for grabs.