The second annual Kalahari Desert SpeedWeek roared into life early yesterday morning. Held on the Northern Cape’s expansive Hakskeenpan and inspired by the world-famous Bonneville Speedweek that plays out in North America every August, this unique South African motorsport event panders to adventurous petrolheads from across the country. As such the campsite has been filling-up with a diverse spread of men, women and machinery.
The most interesting of which have to be the many custom-built hot rods, rat rods and classic American muscle cars. Piloted by tattooed rockabillies dressed in denim and leather and bandanas, they imbibe the event with some proper old-school flavour. Seriously, it feels like you have been transported back to the golden era of the American hot rod scene. You know, when those pioneering rebels first descended on the dry lake beds of California in the 1940s and 1950s.
Adding to this nostalgic vibe was a surprise visit from a North American P-51D Mustang – arguable the most beautiful fighter plane built during the second world war. Arriving in the morning, it performed two incredible beat-ups over the campsite. Its pilot, clearly an experienced flyer, would dive out of the sky and then skim mere metres above the hard clay surface. Being a longtime P-51D fan, this was pretty much a life-changing experience. Click here to watch one of the fly-bys.
But SpeedWeek isn’t just for lovers of analogue. In between all the vintage metal was a collection of cars very much from the digital age. Like a 2012 Lamborghini Aventador driven by one Greg Parton. Unperturbed by the dust, the man probably did about a dozen runs over the course of the first day. And his quickest saw him hit the magical 300km/h mark. This means that he is currently at the top of the leader board. Also at the top of the modern car pack is a Mercedes-Benz SLK55 AMG, Subaru BRZ, Chrysler 300C, Ford Mustang GT as well as Chevrolet Lumina SS. Oh, and yours truly in a Honda CR-Z sports hybrid.
Here are some photographic highlights from the first day:
Chris Dahl posted a 251 km hr run on his 3rd attempt running his twin turbo 370z. He and his crew are after more….. More to come…
Cool. Keep me posted Gareth. Interested to see what speed he can get up to.