Speedweek awakens the Kalahari desert
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Hakskeen Pan, Northern Cape – Right now, in the middle of nowhere, hundreds of oil enthusiasts have gathered for the third annual Kalahari Desert Speedweek.
Held in a remote part of the North Cape in a barren place known as the Hakskeen Pan, Speed-week is a racing event like no other. It’s billed as a high-speed competition where vehicles of all kinds open full blast over a 5km stretch of a dry, flat lake bed – to see how fast they can go.
But, since its inception in 2012, the event has exploded into a mechanical fashion show where attendees are often judged more by style than top speed.
Due to its remote location at the northwestern tip of South Africa about 10 km from the Namibian border, Speedweek attracts a quirky group of car enthusiasts. For every 300 km / h Lamborghini has, there are at least 10 rusty cars lowered to mind-blowing altitudes and loud enough to remove dust from a Karoo lamb from across the pan.
Think of it as a fuel-powered Oppikoppi-type gathering where old leather bikers can share a dop and spin a chop with well-groomed, well-heeled supercar drivers. Expect everything from 1940s Nash sedan models limping in vintage warbird liveries to finely tuned Italian exotics buzzing at breakneck speeds, swelling clouds of dust in tow. Everyone and everything is welcome, and the organizers say if he has an engine, he is eligible.
The Kalahari Desert Speedweek takes place over eight days at the end of each September, with this year’s meeting ending on Sunday, September 28. When it comes to top speeds, the Star’s Motoring team leads the current standings with a maximum of 266 km / h reached with a Mercedes E63 S AMG, but last year’s winner Greg Parton is expected to defend his title of 304 km / h this weekend in his Lamborghini Aventador.
Look for a full review and photo gallery on October 3.