SPINNERS OF CARS ARE GIVEN THE GREEN LIGHT

A CLUB of car spinners in Soweto has broken new ground by becoming the first group to be granted competition licences by Motorsport South Africa.

A CLUB of car spinners in Soweto has broken new ground by becoming the first group to be granted competition licences by Motorsport South Africa.

Founded by promoter Pule Motloung, New Nation Spinners held their first sanctioned event at Maponya Mall last month. Motloung said the licences gave them an opportunity to display their skills at organised events.

"This has given us an opportunity to participate in organised events without fear of harassment by the police," Motloung said.

Spinning and other forms of illicit racing such as drag racing on public roads are illegal in South Africa.

Enthusiasts can, however, obtain licences from Motorsport South Africa, which allows them to spin at protected tracks and racecourses or events officiated by the racing authority. The licences also cover spectators and participants from injury.

Regarded as an extreme sport, it involves the spinning of cars and the performing of stunts in certain models of BMW.

"Spinning is a culture and for some, a way to put food on the table. We are not that different from artists because we also entertain crowds," Motloung said.

"We do it to relax and have fun. It is how we entertain our business associates. We love it and we are passionate about it."

The spinners previously performed illegally on deserted streets, away from other motorists and pedestrians, Motloung said.

Affiliation with MSA has bound them to the body's rules and regulations, which govern where they can spin and safety measures.

"Our goal is for spinning to be legalised and to be recognised as a legitimate sport," Motloung said.

This would help enthusiasts to get sponsors and make a living out of the sport.

He said the public still held negative perceptions about spinning and regarded it as a sport of thugs. This came from the history of the sport when it was associated with car thieves.

"People who spin cars nowadays are professionals, some with nine-to-five jobs. They are husbands and fathers. When would they find time to be gangsters?"

Motloung is also director of Soweto Drift, a film that features spinning that will be released later this year.

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