The undoubted star of the final MSA Drag Racing event of 2021 at Killarney on Thursday 16 December, was Mitchells Plain’s own monster truck, the Chev Lumina Ute ‘Suspect’, which we hadn’t seen since its builder and original owner, Shaheen Barmania, passed away in January.

Now in the custody of Barmania’s son Taariq, the huge green bakkie with its ‘Godzilla’ plumbing up the middle of the windshield has lost none of its hulking presence – or its authoritative voice. Powered by a new 6.2-litre LSX V8, it was driven by Taariq himself at the Reconciliation Day event in what was essentially shake-down outing and posted a conservative 12.83554 second pass at 167.63km/h.

Almost as spectacular – and almost as noisy! – were the first two Harley-Davidson baggers ever seen on the Killarney drag strip. ‘Bagger’ is a slang term for a Harley-Davidson tourer, so called because they often have pannier bags for luggage on either side of the rear wheel. What the internet videos don’t say, however, is that racing baggers, although they look standard on the outside and run on standard road tyres, are fitted with high-performance V-twins of more than two litres capacity delivering up to 105kW and 200Nm of torque through very authoritative open exhausts.

The result was a pair of 300-plus kilogram slithering monsters that spun their rear wheels for at least the first 200 metres of the 402 metre drag strip. South Superbike star Jacques Ackermann did his best on an outrageously overpowered Softail and managed a white-knuckled 11.51570 second pass at 191.27km/h, but was just beaten by owner Henrick Ehlers, on a slightly more rideable Road Glide – complete with barn door fairing and panniers! – who posted a best effort of 11.45788 seconds at 190.15km/h.

Both, however, were soundly spanked by petite Bianca Kilian on her near-stock Suzuki GSX-R750 K9, who laid down a 10.42349 second pass at 213.59km/h to take the honours in the street-legal MB Class, while Wynand van der Berg, the sole entry in the long-wheelbase MA Class, posted the fastest run of the day at 8.82772 seconds and 235km/h.

The quickest time of the day on four wheels, however, as Jody van Schoor’s 9.49527 second pass at 241.35km/h in his Volkswagen Golf Mk1, significantly quicker than Class OS rivals Morgan Smith, also in a Golf Mk1, and Isgak Allie’s Golf 7, neither of whom was able to break the 10-second barrier.

Class OA was won by S Mugienkar in a very rapid Opel Kadett, with a best effort of 10.21612 seconds at 228.05km/h, ahead of Jason Williams’ VW Golf Mk1 (11.16425 seconds at 190.59km/h) and Romano Crowster (11.77238 seconds at 184.20km/h).

Class 6S, however, provided a surprise in the shape of Shurud Jacobs’ brand-new bright red Toyota Hilux bakkie, which posted an impressive 10.69722 second run at 208.36km/h to beat Ismaeel Davids in his BMW M4 (10.94819 seconds at 216.77km/h) and Mierwaan Thomas, whose BMW M3 clocked 11.06754 seconds at 210.16km/h, while Renzo Torrente, of whose BMW G80 xDrive M3 great things were expected, could manage no better than fourth with a best run of 11.42252 seconds at 195.80km/h after the grey ‘Night King’ began misbehaving.

Class 4 S went to yet another VW Golf Mk1, in the hands of Zachary Matthys, thanks to a superb 11.55052 second pass at 205.93km/h – way quicker than Junaid Abrahams’ Fiat Uno Turbo (15.44051 seconds at 138.41km/h) and Iebrahim Filander, also in a Golf Mk1, who recorded a 15.61538 second run at 140.97km/h.

Class 4A went ‘old school’ with a best effort of 13.09347 seconds at 163.72km/h by Yusuf Allie in one of the Allie family’s numerous 1970s Ford Escorts, ahead of W Willemse’s Honda Ballade (13.39001 seconds at 172.77km/h) and Isgak Allie in another Allie Escort with 13.60327 seconds at 156.94km/h. Mention must also be made of George Finck, the sole entry in the Street Class, who kept it real by retaining full street trim in his Honda Ballade and still managed a very creditable 14.22437 second run at 161.75km/h.