Anyone paying attention on Twitter last week would have seen the updates for #BlacktopLive and @BlacktopRally . Basically the rally was an attempt to recreate the legendary Gumball 3000 Rally in South Africa. I don’t like your event. Here’s why: The Blacktop Rally describes itself as “A six day, rip-roaring, epic, rock-star, hard driving, hard partying, no-blue-lights, 3,000 km road rally from Jo’burg to Cape Town.” The “no-blue-lights” bit is a little worrying, but all seems ok so far. It’s just a party roadtrip
Disclaimer: I actually like #BlackTopLive. These 3 guys managed to raise R40 000 for Missionvale Care Centre. They can stay, and should be excused from this rant.
The premise is that you drive across South Africa to racetracks in your own car with a bunch of other guys, where you get to drive really fast with only 2-3 other cars on the circuit. At night, you party hard at a party hosted by FHM. All still sounds fantastic.
It was. The rally got a lot of attention on Twitter with a few teams getting some radio exposure before the event. All’s well.
Except it isn’t. I was going to let my gripe go until I saw this Tweet today.
Ya… 149km/h in a 120km/h zone. That’s a R1000 fine, if I’m correct? And you have the nerve to brag that you basically bribed your way to a reduced fine with a magazine and a hat? The lack of responsibility doesn’t stop there. Just before the rally started I was on the N1S, just before Rivonia Rd, when a red Nissan Navara covered in Blacktop Rally stickers passed me. I chased it to get a pic of the plate and missed. That was at 150km/h around 1pm on Freedom Day. Nice one!
Finally, we turn to the images from the rally. Racetracks are notoriously anal about safety, and rightly so. Every racetrack has had its share of fatal accidents, some more than others. But no, you were charging around a racetrack in the KTM X-Bow with competitors sitting on the side of the track having a picnic.
No trained race marshals in reflective clothing to help if things go wrong – just normal civillians.
If the event had been properly organised, there would have been trained marshals keeping people off the circuit. What would have happened if the X-Bow had lost control and ploughed into the crowd? We live in a world that has a suing culture, and an incident would have resulted in this event being banned forever – not to mention fatalities. Why my grumblings? Well, like I said, you are trying to be Gumball 3000. Except, you are failing. You are missing the exotics, the craziness, the true hooliganism. The guys who do Gumball Rally are like 1%ers. Your outfit exists to simply drive like a knob. You’re like a group of 18 year old boys who just got their licenses and “know everything”. You think you’re invincible and untouchable. 149km/h, a reduced fine and complaints about corrupt cops? Pffft. I hope you get your act together before you kill somebody.