Warming up for dragracing on revamped strips

‘First off the line’ and ‘first over the line’ are terms that give many a drag racer the shivers.

This reminds them of the high speed, tension and adrenaline when starting a race.

It’s all about the fastest times between two dragsters over 400m.

Deon Diergaardt, a former drag racer and drag race organiser, says since national interest in the sport is lacking, an event at the Tony Rust Raceway on 2 March will take place as a club event.

“We only host club events to see if we can grow the sport to encourage participation for a national championship,” he says.

He says they expect around 30 entries, but do not rule out the surprise entries, since many drag racers withdraw at the last minute due to technical issues, while others only enter at the event.

Private entries is allowed with a day licence as long as it complies with the rules and regulations of the Namibia Motor Sport Federation.

These rules include that all vehicles must be scrutinised for safety, and alcohol screening is also done on all drivers.

Safety helmets are provided by the club.

Some of the dragsters that indicated they would show off their skills, speed and agility behind the wheel on 2 March are Michel van Zyl in an Audi, Xico Coetzee in his Toyota Corolla, nicknamed ‘Taxi’, and Waldo Beukes with his M3 BMW with a 2JZ motor.

Diergaardt says the benefit of the newly renovated and extended drag strip is safety, as dragsters have a longer, flatter surface to brake safely and return their cars to the starting point.

Another plus is that the finishing line is around 50m closer to the spectators’ block, meaning they can witness the racers crossing the finishing line.

The strip offers a longer levelled surface for better times on the clock.

The surface at the starting block is now replaced with concrete, which, unlike the interlocks in the past, provides better traction for a better starting time.

This block’s surface will be treated with a compound called ‘track bite’, which will enhance traction.

The event on 2 March will start at 17h00, Diergaardt says, and spectators will be entertained by some drifting and spinning between the drag races.

The entry fee at the gate is N$80.

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