No one could have imagined just how incredible Saldanha Drags 2014 would be. The event itself has gone though various changes and damn did those changes make a difference. Saldanha Drags 2014, hosted by West Coast Racing was without a doubt the best one thus far. The event kicked off with an engine roaring, turbo screaming, tyre slaughtering parade lap that left the fans cheering with their hands raised high up in the air. The line-up this year was second to none with regulars and new blood competing side by side for the R15000.00 purse which was up for grabs by the fastest drag racing superstar of the day. Drivers and riders were out for blood this year. The event jumped off at 10:30am after the Silver Falcons entertained the crowd with their aerial stunts. Drivers took advantage of the early morning runs where there was virtually no head wind hoping for higher speeds. As the day progressed the wind picked up but this did not dampen any spirits and just made the drivers push their machines harder. During the lunch break Cape Towns Drift Squad took to the track for a drift demo. DJ Ready “D” took center stage as he hung out of the door of his Nissan 200sx while throwing the car into a series of drift donuts. After lunch it was back to tar slaughtering awesomness as the cars and bikes hit the 800m strip once again trying to smash the tracks record top speeds. The record for cars is currently 284km/h set by Schalk Hartzenberg in his 2jz powered Toyota Corolla a few years ago. The record for bikes before Saldanha Drags 2014 was 301.9 Km/h.
As hard as they tried racers could just not catch the top speed. The closest contender was previous record holder Schalk, who, chasing his own record, posted a top speed of 280km/h flat in the Corolla. 2nd place on the day went to Cape Town favorite Zain Ryland in his Ford Sierra xr8 twin turbo who posted a top speed of 270.2km/h in a run where the car misbehaved after about 500m down the black stuff. Third place on the day went to Ralph Kumbier in his Chevrolet Firenza with a top speed of 268km/h. Ralphs car also succumbed to the pressure and left the 800m gauntlet with a sick motor.
As they say records are meant to be broken…and man were they annihilated by the two wheeled demons. The previous record of 301.9 was smashed by Achmat on the Air Developments Hayabusa with a neck breaking top speed of 302.6km/h. This is the highest speed ever set at Saldanha Drags.
In the end Saldanha Drags was an extremely successful event. Thank you very much to our sponsors, Pertamina Lubricants, CPI Performance Tuning, Monster Energy and Speed and Sound Magazine for assisting with making Saldanha Drags 2014 one of the best events ever. Their contributions, and yours will go a long way with ensuring that we put smiles on the faces of those who are less fortunate than us when we begin our charitable donations over the next few months with the proceeds of Saldanha Drags 2014.
In closing we would like to extend our thanks and appreciation to all who attended Saldanha Drags. Thank you to all the drivers who spent months preparing and getting their cars ready. To all the fans who braved the insane heat, you guys rock. To all the staff, media and the West Coast Racing team, none of this would have been possible without you and we appreciate all of your efforts.
We look forward to seeing you at the next one. Talks are already in place discussing how will will make it better as we continually improve making it more enjoyable for everyone.
Yours in racing
West Coast Racing.
First place winner Schalk Hartzenberg who ran a top end speed of 280km/h
2nd place went to Zain Ryland in his Ford xrt twin turbo who did a top speed of 270.2km/h
3rd place went to Ralph Kumbier who laid down a top end speed of 268km/h
Feel free to browse through the gallery below. These are not all the images. We will be loading most of the images to facebook so keep and eye on the West Coast Racing facebook page. (All images by Basheer Khan and Natalie Williams)
ps: The full, official results link is just below the gallery images.
Click on the text below to download the 2014 Drag Racing results.