In many growing pursuits, when the playing field starts getting crowded and a bit too commercial, the originals band together and go outlaw.
In the drift world, it has grown to a size where just that is happening. The Drift Outlaws, a ‘renegade’ band of ouens who take their sideways action seriously, have been getting their act together in a big way.
With the Fisantekraal airstrip now as an official base, these guys and girls are set to rock the local Drift scene.
Bobby Nitro spoke to Raziek Rajah, who heads up Razor Custom Cars and has been spearheading the development of Fisantekraal as a dedicated motorsport pitch.
Oh, and the outlaws had a vuurwarm practice session out at the airstrip last weekend, an opportunity to test set-ups and tweak their rides before the season starts this month.
Raziek says: “At the weekend, we took people out on suicide rides, and this time they got to experience the full thrill of high-speed drifting with local drift celebs, as opposed to the usual figure of eight stuff.
“The experience is like sky- diving, except you go sideways and not down, the adrenalin is the same. I think the people riding shotgun got to crap their pants and have the thrill of their life doing it.”
The Razor Custom Car Show is being filmed at such events, so the guests got to see firsthand how that is done, as well as rub shoulders with local Drift TV celebs.
The really big news is that Fisantekraal, according to Raziek, has been approved by the City of Cape Town as a venue for motorsport activities done by GHC Racing and Razor Customs. The clearance lasts for two years. That’s a breakthrough, the more venues available, the better.
Raziek says it has been a long road to motorsport freedom. He says: “Last year we handled eight separate noise complaints, including one where the noise of the tyres was thought to be affecting horses in the area, as well as the effects on fauna and flora.
“However, we have now passed the final noise exemption test and are 100 percent good to go. We aim to open the venue to public in two months’ time and are presently looking for sponsors.”
Sponsorship is always a hurdle. The sponsors want to know an organizer has drawn the crowds, but the organizer needs to get the sponsor on board to get those crowds in the first place. Bit of a Catch-22. Bobby, having noticed how drift has grown into a huge motorsport over the years, and how many mense flock to these events, thinks the sponsors should be falling over one another to get in early.
And underneath all of this, there is the social safety aspect. As Raziek puts it: “I said to the City, we are taking the cowboys off the public roads and onto the track. The more Drift Outlaws grows, the less we will have unsafe driving on public roads.”
Bobby has noticed that the Drift Outlaws way of doing things actually lowers the barrier to entry for drift.
You don’t need a fancy car, just one that holds together as it goes through basic scrutinizing, and you can get on the track. The experienced drivers to mentor the newbies are available in the pits.
Asked what is next, Raziek replies: “Next we have the Drift Outlaws series starting [this month]. Then we will see the guys, who are so friendly and gesellig in the pits, go to war.”