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800m, 300km/h, 15 000 fans

2013-10-23 13:45

READY, SET... RACE! The eighth annual Saldanha Top End 800m Drags will be run on Saturday, Oct 26 2013. Image: Shiraz Williams / SSJ Concepts

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The annual West Coast drags in Saldanha Bay means three things: an old airfield used as a top end drag strip, 15 000 screaming petrol heads and some of South Africa's fastest cars racing for cash.

Saldanha Bay - The Cape's West Coast is revving up for the eighth annual Saldanha Drags scheduled for Saturday, October 26.

Eight years ago a group of young motor-racing enthusiasts saw the need to promote drag-racing in a safe environment and approached the Saldaha municipality to help get the speed demons off its public roads and West Coast Racing and the Saldanha 800m Top End Drags were born in 2005.

RACING FOR CHARITY

These petrolheads have not only tried to take racing off the streets but also give back to the community. In conjunction with the municipality and provincial and local traffic departments it was agreed to use the Saldanha Airfield to stage racing events and to use the proceeds to benefit poorer West Coast people. The event then became so popular that organisers try and hold two a year as racers come from all over the country for the R15 000 cash prize for the fastest car of the day.

Some participants run close to 250km/h, bikes beyond 300km/h in the 800m speed test. In 2012 the driver of a Toyota Corolla walked away with the prize when he reached 284km/h and a Suzuki Hayabusa driver took the win for motorcycles for reaching 302km/h.

As the event grows, so does the crowd. Organisers are expecting 15 000 people at the event. Due to the long entry queue, gates will open on Friday (Oct 25) at 6pm ahead of the event on Saturday.

Tickets at the gate cost R70 per person, under-12's free. For more information, visit the website.
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