Tar oval racing feels sort of like the unloved cousin of Motorsports.
And truth be told – it sort of deserves that reputation. The flat circular track offers none of the dirt slinging thrills of an unpaved one, combined with the monodirectional racing that ovals are notorious for.
Sure, the event offers cheap fun: the entry ticket for this event was less than a large coffee at Dunkin Donuts. But small prizes don’t really provide the funds to get the high-octane cars to provide the glitz and bang.
The Oval Track Stars
This night’s event as stocked with entries from the Cape Hell Drivers club. Focusing on the tar oval, the drivers club hosted classes such as “The Farrell’s Auto’s Junior Mini Class” and the “The Oasis Auto Lexus Class.
As mentioned before, these locally sponsored classes don’t really attract flat-out track beasts, but the low-tech cars mesh perfectly with the lack of speed on the oval track. Since the tar oval featured short straights and unbanked curves, retaining speed was key, not accelerating hard.
As a result, packed classes such as the 1660 mod class featured several bouts of intense action as drivers vyed for position deep in the breaking zones. Of course, these rubbing antics would go wrong at some point - usually announced by a cloud of dust as the sand traps brought the driver to a gentle halt. But the low-key action on the track meant that tempers were kept to a similarly low level.
Always an Excuse to Drift
In addition to the tar oval teams, the coordinators used this as an excuse to showcase the local drift talent. Considering how popular drift is in South Africa, it was a nice to see the drift getting plugged in, even at an ill-suited oval.
This brought the separate Drift and Oval Track communities together. As I understand it, the younger drifting demographic generally doesn’t share much in common with the middle aged, family oriented oval track action.
By linking these two groups in one event, the coordinators kill two birds with one stone. Since the two demographics don’t overlap, getting the two of them together increases ticket sales, and exposes two different motoring worlds together. Since I’m always in favor of exploring new realms of motorsports, this struck me as a great move.
So ultimately, the oval track hosted some cheap, fun, family friendly action that appealed to diverse bands of people. What else could you want in a race night?
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