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Drifting in Alberton

Broadcast dates : 17th April 2005
23rd April 2005

Alberton, that not-so-sleepy hollow southeast of Jo’burg, is known for its annual Mardi Gras, as well as its proliferation of modified cars.

Local tuning-firm Big Boss Auto decided on these two themes a few weeks back with a street party for cars and their owners.

The day’s fun included a show-‘n-shine competition and some hi-jinks in the municipal parking lot.
There are all sorts of sub-sections to the tuning business, the two major divisions being appearance and horsepower.

The parking-lot event started out as a gymkhana, with all sorts of machinery taking part.

Judging went on all day and it was taken seriously, with some generous prizes up for grabs. 

But for the spectators, the high-light was the new motorized art-form, known as "drifting".

The idea is to keep the tail hung out and those rear tyres smoking for as long as possible. Whereas in the gymkhana, keeping the car straight and neat is the quick way.

The standard of machinery was generally high. However it seemed as if some of the Saturday morning shoppers somehow… umm… drifted into the proceedings!

Judging by crowd reaction, drifting is a sport with a big future.

When the tyres bite, the car tends to straighten out and then bog down. So unlike track racing, grip is something you DON’T want.

The skill is predicting which way the car is going to slide and turning into the skid almost before it happens.

A celebration of car culture is what this motorized Mardi Gras was all about. 

All in all, a motoring street party we hope will be repeated.

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