Event date: 19 April 2014 | Words: RaceMasteR J | Photos: RaceMasteR J & Chevan Davids | Location: Saldanha Airfield


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There’s no denying that there has been a lot of talk about the previous two Saldanha drag events and in all honesty I wasn’t sure what this one was going to be like. But in retrospect I am glad I went. From pulling into the main gates, to parking, everything went smooth and was so relaxed. Not to say that there wasn’t an atmosphere, yes there was, but it was fueled by nitrous oxide and avgas rather than the kind you need to be 18 years or older to purchase.

Walking around in the pits before any racing started I noticed all the usual suspects, cheesy, yes I know. The XR8 TT, Suspect, Shamiel with the orange box Corolla, Big Joe in his mental 2J box Corolla, turbo charged this and nitrous that, they were all there for the glory.

Not forgetting a whole contingent of mighty Supras, about 5 of them. Throw into that mix a few exotics like an Audi R8 and even a Porsche GT2. Nice!

The Air Developments NOS’d Busa was there as well trying to take back his title, but would Laimy in his NOS’d Busa let him? I’ve been hearing a lot of what’s happening on the local biker rally scene and Laimy has apparently been cleaning up. Could he do the same here? But, bikers will be bikers… sorry, I just had to throw that in for old times’ sake.

That being said, standing on the start line reminded me of what this event used to be like a few years back - purely about racing. Yes the crowds admittedly weren’t what were expected, but that was a good thing because every single person there was a petrol head. No alcohol allowed this year was the biggest change which saw the greatest overall improvement. Everything was just so much more manageable, at least from my eyes.

After the mandatory parade lap by all the competitors and making sure they warmed up their tyres as well as the mouths of every single spectator, the single thing that everyone came here to see started. Hard core, high powered top end drag racing!

At this year’s event, if it wasn’t an actual Supra, it was almost certainly powered by a Supra engine, either in the 1 or 2J form. One of them was previous record breaker and holder, the insanely quick upcountry visitor, Schalk, in his box shape Corolla.

The CPI Tuning crew was here in full force as usual with their Golf’s. Pity we didn’t see more tuners fighting it out. Competition is always great, but not when the other person is sore.

This A45 AMG is a new comer to the strip, but doing only one run managed a slightly disappointing speed of 201km/h. Maybe the aftermarket wheels were too heavy?

A total shocker was seeing this, the fastest car in Cape Town, fastest on the quarter mile that is, 8.8 seconds fast. What was Ralph doing here? This was a top end event. I guess sometimes 400m’s just isn’t enough for some people. After changing many drive train and gearbox parts Ralph was having boost pipe issues but still managed a very impressive speed of 267km/h. Well done!

If anyone was here to win, it was last year’s winner, Shaheen aka Suspect. This Chevy Lumina sounds like a jet fighter as it blasts down the runway. Unfortunately he was also having boost pipe issues but still managed an awesome speed of 273km/h.

Zain Ryland, the owner of the XR8TT was cool, calm and collected as always. One run was good enough for him to take top honours for the day with the winning speed of 275km/h. Well done once more!

Even though this Porsche only managed 235km/h, I’d still have it every day, all day! What a stunner!

Two Suzuki Hayabusa’s, both running with Nos, both ran 290km/h. But I think due to Sulaiman being a few kilo’s lighter, he took the win by 0.4km/h. Well done Laimy, I hope to see you back at the next one.

Overall, I think it was an awesome event, even though the numbers might have been a bit down, I hope the word spreads that the next event will be the same, if not better. To the West Coast Racing Team, thank you guys, your hard work is paying off! We look forward to the next one.

Be sure to check out our coverage on Be Driven TV – Powered by, channel 152 on OpenView HD and channel 355 on StarSat, coming soon!

RaceMasteR J

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