SPIN CITY: Shaheen ‘Suspect’ 
Barmania’s Lumina struggled. Photo: Jason Williams

It just seems to get better and better, and faster. Bobby Nitro is referring to the now iconic Saldanha Drags event out at the airfield near the coastal village.

The top-end drag races pit the fastest cars in the country against one another as they vie for the fastest speed over the line at the end of the 800m strip.

Nitro chatted with petrolkop media legend Jason “BoostSA” Williams after the event.

He says: “What an incredible weekend. The sleepy town of Saldanha was once again brought to life with the roars of mighty engines and screaming petrolheads. As always, Saldanha Drags opens its doors to everyone who has a real passion for drag racing. 

That philosophy has made sure that we have cars and bikes of all kinds and in various stages of modification taking to the 800m black stuff.

BLITSVINNIG: BMW powers down the 800m drag strip in a bid for glory. Photo: Jason Williams

This year was no different. Saldanha attracts everything from garage builds all the way to fully specced, purpose-built drag racing cars and incredibly fast bikes.

Jason adds: “The beauty of it all is how everyone rubs shoulders and gets along, all for the love of racing.”

The storm from the North, once again, ruled the day with Stellios Sissou being crowned King of Saldanha. He won before in 2016.

TOP FORM: Stellios Sissou and his Alpha 16 GTR was fastest on the day. Photo: Jason Williams

Bringing his modded-to-the-hilt Nissan GTR R35 Alpha 16, Stellios put down a blistering 348.3km/h run over the 800m strip, shattering his previous record.

Jason emphasises: “I will say it again just so that it sinks in. We’re talking 348.3km/h down the 800m strip. Not over a kilometre. Over 800m. That’s just incredible.”

The fasted bike on the day was none other than Garion Slamet, a veteran of this event and always a man to watch. On his first run out, he recorded a sweltering top speed of 310km/h. 

Unfortunately, the team could not complete another run due to issues with the engine, so we will need to wait for next year to see this man go faster, which he undoubtedly can.

Jason says: “Nobody was able to make those speeds for the rest of the day which cemented Garion’s victory for the day.

UP IN SMOKE: Two Beemers entertain the crowds with spinning show. Photo: Jason Williams

“Cape Town favourites, Shaheen ‘Suspect’ Barmania and crew were struggling a bit with their Twin Turbo Lumina. Their fastest run was a 290.2km/h pass which is extremely respectable in our books. The team was, however, gunning for that magic 300km/h mark.”

During the intervals, the Spinners from Damon and Sons took to the strip in their legendary orange BMW e30s to entertain the crowds. These guys made quick work of changing the weather in Saldanha, turning a clear day into a smoke-filled tyre-slaying murk.

FASTEST: Garion Slamet was king. Photo: Jason Williams

Bobby asked Jason what, in his opinion, was a stand-out moment of the day. He says: “Another local who deserves serious mention is Riyaad Isaacs, also known on the scene as ‘Boenie’. 

Riyaad piloted his normally aspirated, four-cylinder Honda HRX to an unbelievable 238km/h over the 800m run. What’s even more impressive is that he did it in only 19.61 seconds. 

You all need to stand up and give this man a solid round of applause. Congratulations Riyaad Isaacs, you did insanely well, bud.

GOOD TIMES: The large crowd had a good time watching the day’s action. Photo: Jason Williams

“We want to give a heartfelt thank you to all the racers and fans who came through to enjoy Saldanha Drags with us. It was awesome having you there. We would also like to say thank you to the following business for their support with Saldanha Drags 2018. 

They are CPI Performance Innovation Cape Town, Pertamina Fastron SA, Turbo Repair Master, Maistry Motorsport, Mike’s Place Engine Importers, RMZ Motorsport ZA, Hiray Motorsport and Maranoux Performance Tuning.”