After its debut in 2016, it was only fair for the organisers to bring back the Drift City for the second time. The idea of a Motorsport event at the Grand Parade was crazy. No amount of bashing however, was going to stop Monster Energy and other supporters from giving the Cape Town community another world-class experience.
This time round, the event was packed. There was more activity, more entertainment and a few great Motorsport participants from out of town. Following some great feedback from the previous year’s event, fans were provided with grandstand seating. The main attraction was the Driftkhana but the Cape Town Drift Squad also burnt more rubber and showcased some suicide rides for the die-hard fans.
A Cape Stance custom-car show and a go-kart track for the little ones were an addition to the event’s greatness. Drivers were given the chance to take a walk around the “Driftkhana” course and familiarise themselves with the challenge that lay ahead. The track was officially opened at 1pm prior to which, drivers had made a couple of practice runs.
The concept is simple; two drivers compete against each other. The one with the least penalties and the fastest time after 2 laps wins. The technical course is usually the most challenging. Drivers at the Drift City 2017 had a rough time manoeuvring around the cones in good time and without killing them.
The first round comprised of 32 drivers all fighting to get into top 16.The pressure was real. The vehicular mayhem witnessed by the fans proved to them that this was no joke. Everyone was thirsting for the top prize. Through top 16, the remaining drivers had already gotten accustomed to the track. They started shaving off some split seconds to qualify for top 8. A decrease in surface temperature as nightfall approached,meant that they had to adjust and find ways of handling the reduced traction on the paved square.
By the time drivers were getting into top 8, darkness had befallen. Participants had been at it the entire day. Their machines were almost calling it quits. This, however, was not the moment to despair. A couple of hard fights left the track with just 4 men: Izak Van Zyl, Christopher Long, Otto Graven and Jason Gorman.
The first battle was between Izak Van Zyl and Christopher Long. These two had driven almost flawlessly throughout the competition. At the end of it, Izak emerged as the better man with his 1UZ V8 Toyota Corolla. Jason Gorman and Otto Graven were up next. Gorman fought hard with his 4cyl SR20 Nissan 200SK, but it was no match for Graven’s 7L V8 Nissan Sylvia S15.
In 2016, Gorman managed to take the 3rd spot. This time around, he was defending his title against Long. Long was, however, determined to claim it, and his determination did pay off. He steered his gracefully muscled 200SX straight into the 3rd spot.
The moment that everyone was waiting for was finally here. Crowds were no longer clenching their fists at the edge of their seats, they were up on their feet. Majority of them had their phones up in the air ready to capture the best moment in a Motorsport battle in Cape Town. Otto Graven and Izak Van Zyl were both aiming for the “King of Drift City” title.
They went head to head against the clock all through until they reached the donut-shaped segment. This went on with each driver proving why they deserved to be racing for the title. Izak was ready and determined to improve on his second position which he had claimed in 2016. Otto was, however, not willing to let it go. Both got to the finishing boxes barely a second apart.
Upon totalling all the points, Judges Luke Woodham and Francesco Stemmet awarded Otto Graven the win after it was discovered that Izak Van Zyl had knocked over a cone. In 2016, Izak had lost to Otto in the exact same way. What a déjà vu! Otto was crowned the “King of Drift City”, again!