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Drift Matzuri

Posted on Feb 17, 2015 by in Blog Posts | 0 comments

The Drift Matzuri event is slightly different from the other competitive layouts of the SupaDrift Series. Instead of only featuring the drivers from the SupaDrift circuit, this event was open to anyone looking to hone their drift skills. Due to this fact, the cars on the track ranged from pro drifters, to the average person who wasn’t too sure what the whole going-sideways thing meant.

As with any event I attend at Dezzi Raceway, the day always starts off with a one and a half hour drive down the coast. The industrial surroundings of Amanzimtoti soon give way to the rolling hills of the south coast, which in turn then flatten out and merge to seaside vistas. It’s hard to say anything more about this drive, as its rather uneventful. But the scenery is nice to look at.

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Once navigated through the bustling metropolis known as Port Shepstone, I arrived at the now familiar entrance to Dezzi Raceway. Being a Saturday, a small handful of locals had come out to spectate, and to see what all the drifting fuss is about. It often makes me wonder how much money these events are able to inject in to local tourism, since I barely hear of anything else happening in this section of the world. This event wasn’t as punted as much as previous events, so the minimal turnout was hardly surprising. A subsequent Google search reveals no immediate tourist attractions, but plenty of accommodation options. Still, if anyone from out of South Africa reads this, go take a drive down the coast on your visit to SA. You won’t be disappointed.

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This was also the first time that I was able to lay my eyes on the newly extended section of track. While the drifting didn’t take place on this particular part, it was still nice to see all the hard work that had been put in over the last few months for myself. The diversity of racing events on offer here now must be staggering, and it will be interesting to see how the track can be utilized (and I’m sure some non-racing events can also happen here). But for now, back to the drifting…

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Shooting on this day was made possible by an associate, who somehow trusted me enough to lend me his Canon 1D MK3, to which I threaded my 50mm f1.8 on. 1/8000th shutter speed with f1.8? Yes please! As a backup, I dragged the now very weary 550D along, with a 55-250mm lens on. Useful for those long panning shots.

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Walking around the garages, it was evident that the turnout could have possibly been a lot bigger. It was later discovered that one of the first SupaDrift events of the year was happening that weekend, roughly 500km away in an entirely different province. Clearly, most of the potential drivers were looking to start the year off with some extra points, so they had bypassed our small corner of the African coastline for a day of drifting shenanigans. Still, there was a decent selection of JDM machinery on offer. And it was also good to see a few new faces attempting to tackle the fearsome rises and drops of the circuit.

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As with my last experience shooting here, the less crowded layout worked well in my favour. Being able to stand wherever the hell you please to take your photos is a refreshing experience, as opposed to elbowing minors in the face in order to reach the front. Being mid-February on the south coast, the temperature was touching the low 40’s. I was suffering enough just standing in the shade, so I’d hate to know how the drivers felt in full race gear, cooped up in their cars with no aircon. The things we do for fun…

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With three more drift events lined up this year for the hallowed ground of Dezzi Raceway, I’m excited to see how this year unfolds. Also, there are bound to be a few more events scattered in throughout that, such as time attacks. The track has already been receiving a bit of international recognition, and repeat events there can only boost the worldwide popularity of our small chuck of planet earth. Also, this means I’ll be visiting Dezzi at least three more times this year. Let the fun begin…

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