The calm and serene town of Saldanha Bay becomes the focal point for racers and petrol heads alike on November 30 as they descend upon the famed airstrip for action-packed top end drag racing.
Crowds pull through in large numbers on the Friday evening and line up on the side of the road waiting for the gates to open.
What you can expect
The Friday evening is more of a precursor than anything else with the vast majority of people braaing and playing some (loud) music. Don’t expect to get much sleep in though as festivities can continue until the early hours of the morning.
The event kicks off with 400m ‘Street to strip’ drags on the Friday evening. Registrations are already closed for the main event on Saturday. Those who wish to participate in the 400m event can private message the Saldanha Drags Facebook page or register on the evening at the track, provided there are still open slots available.
I’ve been to quite a few of these events in the past and each time the level of competition just gets bigger and better – its something of a sacrilege to take your eyes off the action.
Take a look at the parade lap during the 2017 edition:
I’ve seen everything from supercharged MK1 Golf’s to pristine Mazda 323 EGI’s and not forgetting the Schalk’s Conversions 2JZ powered Corolla that decimated all in its wake not too long ago.
If this is your first time attending the drags and wondering where the best spot is, its the first 50 metres from the starting line where the burnouts and launches take place.
The countdown has begun
Because rain can call a premature end to any drag racing event, I’ve went so far as to check the weather forecast for Saldanha and the surrounding area beforehand and it shows a modest 23degrees Celsius with no rain predicted. Yes!
Motorbikes also get their chance to tackle the 800m – not everything is about the cars you know.
One thing I can say is that these guys aren’t afraid to put their brand new performance toys on the strip. AMG’s, GT-R’s and M3’s are regular visitors to the strip and they are driven hard.
If your stomach is starting to sound like a dubstep beat, there is plenty of food stalls to choose from. Those wanting T-shirts, caps or stickers can browse through a selection of stalls and other novelties and memorabilia.
I am fortunate to cover and attend this year’s event so be sure to keep your eye on the Wheels24 social pages.