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DURBAN – 15 April 2024: Car enthusiasts were treated to a spectacle when South Africa’s top drifters gathered at the Suncoast Arena in Durban to compete for this year’s Red Bull Car Park Drift title. After some heated battles, Motul’s Jim McFarlane from Johannesburg became the first driver to clinch the Red Bull Car Park Drift title for the third time.

This year’s competition was extremely tight with Christopher Long, Juan Stemmet, Jim McFarlane, and Riaan Stokes drifting their way into the final round having battled with over 40 other drivers. Unfortunately, Riaan had to step down due to car damage, leaving the top three drivers to showcase their best drifting skills in front of a sold-out crowd of 2500 spectators. In the end it was Jim who kept a cool head and impressed the judges with his accuracy and great skill which won him his third title.

“It’s incredible winning the title for the third time. I came in today wanting to get the treble and to do it in front of my friends and family, especially my son which is an amazing feeling,” said Jim McFarlane. “The competition has grown over the years and has become tighter. With so many young drivers coming into the fold and showcasing so much talent, there is no need to worry about the future of drifting in South Africa,” he added.

The qualifying rounds were held on Friday, 12 April with over 40 drivers from around the country battling it out to secure their place in the top 20 that competed in Saturday’s final. Consisting of a mix of old and new faces, the top 20 took on a tough obstacle course prepared by world-renowned motorsport champion, Guinness Record holder and Red Bull athlete Abdo Feghali.

Commenting on his thoughts about the competition, Abdo Feghali said; “This is the fourth Red Bull Car Park Drift in South Africa, and I’ve seen so much growth and love for the sport from the spectators and the drivers themselves. I am always amazed by the crowd that comes out to watch and support the sport. This is what makes us come back and host this competition here in Durban.”

The day was not short of any entertainment as Red Bull athlete and five-time South African aerobatics champion, Pat Davidson opened the event with his impressive aerial show. Local spinners Team Sidewayz displayed their skills that filled the Suncoast Arena with smoke and tyre screeching sounds while the drifting expert and host, Vic Pardal aka “the loudest man on African soil” kept the crowd, and drivers’ energy on a high throughout the event.

The drivers were scored by judges Brenton Gregory, Bruno Miranda, and Michael van der Linde according to how well they drifted, the accuracy of how they completed the obstacles, the look and sound of their cars, and much more.

Due to last year’s World Final not taking place, both Jim McFarlane and second place driver, Juan Stemmet, will represent South Africa at this year’s World Finals in Oman.

Final Results:

  1. Jim McFarlane
  2. Juan Stemme
  3. Christopher Long

Published by: Thuso Sekhaolelo

Photography by: Craig Kolesky/Red Bull content pool

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