Home / Social media / News / Mzanzi front-wheel drive-based drag race series to launch in 2023


There’s a new race series in town, well almost. The chaps from National Motorsport Mzanzi are normally the ones covering all manner of race events around the country, but with the crew all being thoroughbred motorsport fanatics, it was just a matter of time before they got involved in the planning and hosting side of events. The first event will be tailored to front-wheel drive cars only and judging by the response online, it looks like things will be action-packed from a very full field of properly strong cars. To get some awareness of the upcoming series, the folk from NMM set up an event at Formula K racetrack in Benoni where the rules for the event could be discussed and any interested racers could ask questions and voice concerns - drag race chaps always have concerns, especially when some tight rules are in place.  

The guys put together a prequel to the series at Formula K in Benoni, a track that when launched was rumoured to be committed to only allowing karts on the tarmac, but luckily that was either changed or was never a thing because there have been some absolutely epic events at the venue. It’s a new track, just a couple of years old, and the facilities are just brilliant. It’s one of those venues that you can take the whole family to and not have your missus complain about terrible loos and no shade and no food - this place has it all. It’s a circuit that was made to host massive karting events, and the course can be swapped and changed so that drivers always have a different route to take. When it was announced that NMM would be using the venue for their upcoming series it was a little confusing because none of the straits are suitable for straight-line racing. There’s also a massive elevation change between the top and bottom of the track and drag race chaps need a level playing field, so to speak. 
This is exactly what the event was for, to answer these questions. The drag strip is under construction, it will be located to the left (as you enter the main gate), where the old mines have been filled in and the ground is already levelled ready for the things needed to get a drag strip working. It’s amazing that in this day and age when most are tightening budgets a group of passionate people are shelling out mad money to give racers another venue as an option. It’s a gamble, but looking at the support online, and from those who came through to this event, things look like they will work. Another reason people wanted to attend this launch event is to clarify the rules that are planned for the racing and the classes.
With a country full of passionate car people, as soon as the organisers announced the series would be dedicated to front-wheel drive cars, owners of rear-wheel and all-wheel drive cars all started asking about something for them, and things will happen in the future but for now those chaps can go play in other events. Even the front-wheel drive guys wanted more clarity on things because the initial rules released are quite strict, and in the current form will exclude many of the more well-known racers in the scene. The aim of the series is to find the front-wheel drive four-cylinder production streetcar in the country, so that excludes the engine swapped cars rolling with VR6 or R32 powerplants, which are seen more often these days. The majority of cars that will enter will be four-bangers though, so the field will be quite big, but other rules will limit the field. Tyres are limited to 15-inch tyres, the normally aspirated crew are limited to a width of 205, and the boosted cars will be limited to a width of 225. These tyres are also not allowed to be slicks. Provision is made for those who run on 16 or 17-inch wheels to clear bigger brakes but in that case the width is limited to a 205 tyre.

We only had a short time available to spend at this launch event, but in that time we spoke to loads of friends both new and old who seem super keen to support this race series and the pending new drag strip. Racers are a good bunch like that, there were plenty of well-known fast rear-wheel and all-wheel drive cars in attendance which was a nice show of support and also let the organisers know that should they expand the rules or set up a dedicated event for these cars that there will be as much support. All in all, this looks to be a great race series at what will likely become a very popular venue. The area it's located in, the East Rand is known to be packed with copious amounts of fast cars, there are probably more turbocharged VWs per capita than in any other country in the world, not to mention those wearing other automaker badges. Big up to everyone involved with this series and the new venue, we’ll be watching the proceedings closely and will keep you posted on the building schedule and event updates. As it stand things are billed to kick off in December this year with the inaugural event and the rest of the series follows through 2023. It's going to be an interesting path to that R100 000 top prize.

Rules as they stand.

15-inch tyres only

- N/A class to run on tyres with a width of 205

- Boosted class to run on tyres with a width of 225

16/17-inch tyres - limited to a width of 205

- Drivers have 10-seconds to do a burnout & 30-seconds to get to the line for heads up racing

- Losers from the 1st round of racing will form a separate group and have a chance to race against one another. The Top 4 from this group will rejoin the series to have a shot at winning the main prize of R100,000.

- Weight restrictions are as follows: weight reduction has a limit of 50kgs. The car can only weigh 50kgs less that the weight reflected on the license disc. If anyone decides to add weight to their cars, they can add as much weight as they would like to. 

- Racers can run any fuel of their choice 

- Race distance + - 280m

- Only pre-2011 year model cars are eligible to enter. 

- No 4-wheel drives allowed. 

- R100,000 cash prize to the winner of the final event

- Full TV coverage to be aired on Ignition TV

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