StreetFest could only happen in Cape Town. Every city with a car culture has Show ‘n Shine displays and every drag strip has a big end-of-season ‘haal uit en wys’ event, while IASCA is recognised as the world authority for Sound-Off event – but only in Cape Town do all these genres come together to celebrate street-car culture each year on the day after Christmas.

After a gap of two years due to Covid-19 restrictions, StreetFest 2022 was always going to be one for the books; thousands of spectators filled the stands along the drag strip and the Joubert Pits where Cape Town’s most beautiful customised cars and bakkies hunkered down and showed how low they could go, and just how much detailing it is possible to do in the engine bay of a car and still have a driveable vehicle (note: we didn’t say street-legal!)

Sound addicts stood six deep around the cars in the Sound-Off garage, watching the computer read-outs and applauding every time the reading went over 150 decibels (note: a jet fighter makes approximately 140dB on take-off).

And in between we ate, we drank and we braaied, we applauded the winners and raised a glass with the losers – and the toast was always ‘Next year!’ – because StreetFest is more than a motorsport event. It is, in the best possible way, a gathering of the Street-Car family and a celebration of the love we share for our cars, our bakkies, our vans and our motorcycles.

The excitement was most intense on the drag strip, where Hermann Mostert and his Nissan Champ bakkie ‘Jack Russell’ topped the day’s scoresheets with a superb 8.84210 second pass at 196.89km/h, while the top two-wheeler was Reece Robertson’s Suzuki GSX-R1000; he posted a very creditable 8.99183 second run at an electrifying 249.08km/h.

Talha Daniels and his Barramundi-engined Ford Escort ‘Barrascort’ just missed getting into the eights on an admittedly very green strip with a best effort of 9.09784 seconds at 237.04km/h – good enough for second behind Mostert in Class OS and well clear of Scott Wyness’ Volkswagen Caddy bakkie (9.52839 seconds at 240.18km/h)/

Class OA, as always, belonged to Shaun Zurich and his immaculately prepared Honda Civic; his best run of 9.66628 seconds at 239.21km/h was almost two seconds quicker than Saud Bassa’s Toyota Conquest ‘Yster’ (11.33006 seconds at 191.64km/h) and Jason Williams in his VW Golf (11.36224 seconds at 192.93km/h).

Top Gun in Class 6S was Yaseen Ebrahim; he posted a 9.72993 second pass at 234.46km/h in his Nissan GTR R35 to take Class honours (only just!) from Waghied Jappie’s similar GTR (9.78375 seconds at 236.28km/h). Class 4S was almost as close, as Zahier Majiet and his Volkswagen Golf 7R posted a time of 11.01602 seconds at 202.58km/h to beat Royston Prestage’s best effort of 11.13400 seconds and 215.39km/h.

Riyaad Abrahams and his Opel Kadett topped the timesheets in Class 4A, posting 12.86167 seconds at 177.27km/h, while Mu-Een Gamieldien was the only entry in Class SL, recording a very creditable best effort of 13.01362 seconds at 178.68km/h in his Volkswagen Polo TDI.

Competition was tight in the two top motorcycle classes; Robertson had to work hard to stay ahead of consistent competitor Wynand van den Berg, who was only a tenth slower with a best time of 9.10527 seconds at 241.97km/h, with Abbas Brenner also in the frame at 9.53502 seconds and 235.86km/h.

Class MB went to Josh Maart and his Suzuki GSX-R1000, with a 9.62178 second pass at 235.93km/h, while Bianca Smith (Suzuki GSX-R750) and Nicola Ganz (Suzuki GSX-R1000) fought it out for second. Ms Smith narrowly took the honours in the end, despite her Suzuki being so new it was still under warranty, with a solid 10.62358 second run at 217.65km/h, against Ms Ganz’ best time of 10.73791 seconds at 211.45km/h.

Mention must also be made of Tohir Allie, the lone entrant in Class MB on his Suzuki GSR600, who posted a very creditable 11.27512 second pass at 185.84km/h.