It began oppie Vlakte, met ‘n ou Ford with a V6 and klomp spare tyres, a renegade pitch somewhere and ‘n kwaai crowd of petrolkoppe.
Spinners, the wildly entertaining jesters of motorsport, who throw their vehicles into whiplash angles as they whip around the arena, smoke from furiously spinning tyres turning the scene into a post apocalyptic carnival. Mad Max se ma se pap wiele!
That about describes the somewhat lawless cultural sport and Sunday attraction of spinning, the art of wilfully throwing a car through amazing contortions, sometimes exiting said car while it is still in motion, performing for the adoring crowd and finally limping off the pitch when the tyres turn to shredded rubber.
Thing is, spinning in the Cape has long been a touch and go thing without there being a dedicated pitch. The guys and girls involved have become accustomed to travelling long ways to get a good practice in.
The Kraaifontein pitch was for years a semi reliable place to go, but earlier this year the authorities saw it fit to tear up the tar. So that one is over.
Bobby Nitro spoke to some of the better known spinners to find out more.
Gerald Andrews from Eagle Park says: “Well, just recently Killarney has opened up a small pitch for spinners next to the main stands, and so far they have held two events there.”
Erefaan van Schalkwyk, who drives a red SSS with gold wheels and a Skyline motor, adds: “The Killarney pitch is a really good thing, but it suits experienced drivers only as there is no room for error.”
He says that although spinning is growing in the Cape, not having the structure for a practice pitch is a problem. “You can’t take your young son to Killarney to teach him spinning,” he explains, “not during an event at any rate.”
Gerald tells Bobby about the places they do find to practice, saying: “We spin at schools, and 21 Jump Street in Grassy Park (also known as number 10) just about every Sunday. We spin, they chase us away, we stay away for a while then we come back. It’s a real pity about he Kraaifontein pitch that was chopped up, they could have supported us instead.”
Ashiya “Bad Mom” Fakier, who got famous on the show * shine scene, says: “Since I left the custom shows I have been spinning for eight years now. As a woman in a man’s game I get a lot of respect.
“I’ve been a spectator, then a passenger. Now I’m behind the wheel of an Escort V6. The adrenalin is amazing.”
Ashiya says they see new cars almost every Sunday, which proves the sport is growing.
Sebastian Maxwell, 42, from Lentegeur, says: “Spinning is growing but there is always something that stops us getting a fully legal dedicated pitch.”
Bobby notices that, despite not having the pitch, these guys tend to get out and spinning almost every weekend anyway. You can’t keep a good thing down.
Sebastian agrees, saying: “Yes I do get my car out a lot, somehow we get out and spinning.”
Sebastain, who drives a SR5 Toyota with a 2.8 litre six cylinder Nissan block inside says: “If you are an up and coming spinner, and you’ve got something to prove, just be safe and don’t drive the dangerous pitches. Above all, have a good time.”
Erefaan says: “It’s getting stronger and I reckon some people are going to start sponsoring.”
The Cape spinners go where they are invited, and the next big thing coming up is a biannual spin fest in Mossel Bay right on the beachfront on October 1 and 2.
Spinners from all over put their cars on trailers and haul them down to this event.
Stalwart John Minords says: “We have built quite a few vehicles lately, strong and safe spinning cars. Only thing is, we have very few places to go so we go where the invitations are, like Joburg, Mossel Bay, Upington. But travelling like that is quite a cost.”
“If there was a pitch in the Cape, anywhere, we would get there.”