Spin has been called part theatre, part driving art, and a whole lot of burning rubber.
Not just a sport but a culture that binds the people of Mzansi, it is the most accessible motorsport to be had from the back streets to the bright stadium lights.
Once a year, Red Bull splashes out on a kwaai Spin demo and competition up country, where 12 of the country’s most able spinners are invited to battle against one another for the Shay’iMoto title.
After last year’s Covid cancellation, this year was eagerly anticipated by all, even though numbers were kept to a minimum. That said, the online coverage was awesome.
Staged in an open venue this year, the pitch sets out several cool obstacles like the “Kitchen”, where a driver throws the car as far as possible backwards between two barriers. Then The Make-out Corner is a tight 360° spin in a contained space, and more.
Basically, with a lekker venue, MC Vic Pardal, sound and lights and high-profile judges including our very own Shahiem Bell, Jeff James and Magesh Ndaba, Shay’iMoto is a humdinger.
Cape drivers included the iconic Eddie Rasta, Yaseen Damon, Kayla from Kimberly and Chadwin “Boksie” Hadjie.
But it was Boksie, a newcomer to this event, who caused the biggest stir, getting all the way to the finals against renowned Mpumalanga driver Samkelo Thubane, better known as Sam Sam.
For Sam Sam, it was quite a journey to those finals.
He says: “This year I brought my favourite car, an M20 2.9 nicknamed The Prince, but we had car problems.”
Going into the quarter finals, Sam Sam’s gearbox packed up an hour before the start and his team had to replace that gearbox in a record time of 45 minutes on the side of the road.
He says: “This was the most stressful competition I’ve ever attended because on both days, I had no practise runs while all the other spinners were getting a feel of the spinning pitch.”
But Sam Sam had something to prove, after being knocked out in the last semi finals by Eddie Rasta.
Boksie brought all he had into the finals, with an adept display of the kind of showmanship that gets a Spinner a huge following.
But it was Sam Sam with a signature stunt that took the honours.
His manager Laudrick describes the stunt like this: “Sam Sam stole the victory at sudden death with the most suicidal stunt in our playbook, that we had reserved for an occasion just like this. It involves Sam Sam exiting the car on an anti-clockwise spin, and jumping back in and out for a gear change.”
Think about it, an anti-clockwise spin means the rear of the car is whipping towards you as you hit the tar.
In the video (posted on the Bobby Nitro Facebook page) you see a very nimble Sam Sam getting the hell out of the way like fast.
Sam Sam, who has been spinning since the age of 12, says: “Winning the Red Bull competition was something very special, taking into account the challenges that I had towards the start of the competition, but yeah, I’m happy that I came out tops during this tough encounter with other talented spinners.”
His plans include defending this title and building a drift car, and his advice to young spinners is: “Always keep calm and humble, stay away from all negative publicity and respect fellow spinners young and old.”