DRIFTING CAPE TOWN ALIGHT: Round 5 of the SupaDrift series took place in Cape Town and delivered all the hype in buckets. Image: Reynard Gelderblom
Cape Town - With the 2016 WPMC Supadrift Western Cape Regional season heading into the final few rounds, the championship still remained wide open prior to round five at the Killarney International Raceway on Saturday, September 10.
Defending national champion Jason Webb took the lead after his victory in the previous round, but the likes of Juan Stemmet, Jacques Lemmer and reigning Western Cape champion Daniel Blaser arrived eager to upset the standings.
Issues from the get-go
The day didn’t start out well for Stemmet, though. While round five saw him returning to competition, the mechanical gremlins returned as well during qualifying bringing a halt to his day. No doubt the former points leader will be back with a strong charge.
Stemmet’s failure to qualify didn’t take anything away from the elimination rounds though. Eight of the strongest competitors were ready to do battle in what will be remembered as one of the best exhibitions of the quality of drifting that Cape Town has to offer.
Gallery: SupaDrift Round 5
First up was Webb taking on Shane Green in his brand new BMW. Green is by far one of the crowd favourites and the support he receives always adds that little bit of extra motivation to his campaign, but it would take a lot to beat Webb who didn’t put a wheel wrong throughout the day.
Despite two very good and clean runs from Green, it was Webb who progressed after a dominant display of car control.
SUPERB CONTROL: Jason Webb showing his class. Image: Reynard Gelderblom
The second battle saw Christopher Long taking on Bronny White. Long is fast becoming one known to be one of the coolest customers in the championship and had little trouble securing another semi-final spot for the season. Blaser had to put pull out all the stops to progress against an in-from Yaseen Damon. Damon wouldn’t go home empty handed though, as he recieved the Driver-of-the-day award.
WATCH: Jason Webb victorious in Supadrift thriller
The last elimination battle saw Lemmer taking on Izak van Zyl. Although Lemmer scored strongly during the first heat, the switch brought a sad end to his day with him spinning off resulting in Van Zyl merely having to complete to progress.
WHAT A PERFORMANCE: Yaseen Damon walked away as with the title of driver of the day. Image: Reynard Gelderblom
Mounting the challenge
The semi-finals kicked off with Webb and Long doing battle, but a dominant streak for Webb almost came to an end following mechanical problems on the rear axle. Webb did complete the first heat though, but the team would have their work cut out with only five minutes until he they had to be out for the switch or be forced into retirement.
READ: Comeback kid Lemmer victorious in WCape Supadrift regional
They however made light work of this challenge. With the rear differential mounting not 100% secured Webb progressed to the finals. Blaser and Van Zyl were up next and like the first semi-final there was nothing between this duo either. Two heats of edge-of-your-seat action saw Blaser progressing to the final.
INTO THE FINALS: Daniel Blaser drifting into the finals. Image: Reynard Gelderblom
Long and Van Zyl found themselves eliminated from the fight at this point, but nothing could eliminate the fight in them – not when third spot was still up for grabs. They certainly saved the best for last to deliver two very closely-contested heats narrowly won by Long. And this was certainly just a curtain raiser for final - a battle of reigning champions. Throughout their two runs it was quite evident to see exactly why they are champions.
Blaser didn’t put a wheel wrong and hooked every aspect up perfectly, but it was Webb that just managed to find that little bit extra to impress the judges - broken differential mounting and all. Webb finds himself in stronger position at the top of the points table, but in a championship where we’ve seen that anything can happen on the day - do not be surprised if there’s still a few more twists to this story.
NARROW WIN: Christopher Long narrowly won his last battle. Image: Reynard Gelderblom