In 2019, Red Bull shocked the spinning community when it revealed it was hosting a spinning competition called the Red Bull Shay’ iMoto at the Wheelz N Smoke Arena in Alberton, south of Johannesburg.

At the time, the spinning community didn’t know how the selection and judging process worked, but fans were excited and bought tickets nonetheless, and the stands at the world-class event were packed.

Red Bull completely revamped the venue, installing a stage, adding concert-worthy lights and plenty of bleachers to cater to the crowd.

They also changed the venue, added resin and paint, and voila, they turned what is considered a ghetto motorsport event into a world-class motoring event.

SEE ALSO: Red Bull Spinning: Introducing the 12 best spinners heading to Shay’ iMoto 2022

Shay’ iMoto’s first event

In the inaugural event, Vernon Hendricks, more affectionately known as Vijaro, took the crown, beating his Southside teammate and spinner Kailyn Oliphant.

Event winner Vernon “Veejaro” Hendricks poses for a portrait during the Red Bull Shay’iMoto in Johannesburg, South Africa on October 19, 2019. Photo: Craig Kolesky, Red Bull

Many fans were not happy after the event because they said that the selection process and judging criteria were not transparent and that the Southside crew competed in 3-spinning events, which put them in an unfair position against other spinners.

Another problem that night was that fans were given a card at the entrance to vote on.

One side of the card was red and the other side was blue, and after the two spinners battled, the crowd was asked to be the fourth judge and place their card.

What Red Bull didn’t realize was that blue was less visible than red at night, so we found that the red spinner would win.

Vernon ‘Vijara’ Hendricks competes at the Red Bull Shay’iMoto in Johannesburg, South Africa on October 19, 2019. Photo: Mpumelelo Macu, Red Bull

However, Veejaro put up a great fight to make it to the finals and he deservedly defeated Kayla in the finals to become the inaugural Shay’ iMoto Champion.

Edition of COVID-19

In 2020, the world stopped when the Covid-19 pandemic changed our way of life.

At the time there were restrictions on the number of people who could attend events and we were unsure how the sport would cope with this challenging time.

Winner Katra speaks during the Red Bull Shay’ iMoto in Johannesburg, South Africa on September 19, 2020. Photo: Craig Kolesky, Red Bull

Spinning has been hit particularly hard because spinners are happy to cheer on their fans, and without fans the whole atmosphere of the event just changes.

Red Bull surprised us when they announced that they will be holding the event behind closed doors from a secret location, and that the event will be live streamed for anyone who wants to watch it live.

This time, Red Bull moved the competition to a warehouse in the eastern part of Johannesburg, where the winner and runners-up from the previous year automatically qualified.

Some spinners have been replaced by new faces such as Cape Town spin legend Eddie Rasta and fan favorites Bareng Mpane and Katra Mokgoshi.

Eddy Rasta performs during the Red Bull Shay’ iMoto in Johannesburg, South Africa on September 19, 2020. Photo: Craig Kolesky, Red Bull

Spinners found it more difficult to spin in this indoor arena due to the heavy duty epoxy surface that was stock and this caused mechanical problems in many of the spinner machines.

Some may even remember that Barengo’s E30 caught fire and the live broadcast had to be paused to put out the fire.

As the competition continued, Eddie Rasta and Katra battled it out in the finals, where Katra beat Rasta to win the competition on her first try.

Katra (right) poses for a portrait after winning the Red Bull Shay’ iMoto in Johannesburg, South Africa on September 19, 2020. Photo: Craig Kolesky, Red Bull

As in the first year, there were more complaints from the live audience and spinners. In particular, taking into account the fact that some spinners were allowed to come to the competition with more than one car.

This meant that if their main car was giving them problems, they could just switch cars. It was a rule that Red Bull immediately revised for the 2021 event. Participants were allowed only one car during the competition.

SEE ALSO: Sparks fly, adrenaline surges in SA car circuit

The third part – Still behind closed doors

Although the lockdown restrictions were lifted in 2021, Red Bull decided to hold the event behind closed doors at Wheelz N Smoke, but the difference was that they allowed spinners to participate in the competition by posting on the web – website Red Bull videos about themselves and their fans could vote for them in the contest.

Judges are seen during the Red Bull Shay’ iMoto in Johannesburg, South Africa on September 11, 2021. Photo: Craig Kolesky, Red Bull

This shows that Red Bull has listened to previous complaints and tried to improve the competition for fans and spinners.

The shocking news about the 2021 event was that Katra, the previous years champion, declined the invitation to defend his title, citing fan politics and even harassment from some fans as the main reason for pulling out.

This meant that the third place in 2020 received automatic participation in the competition.

In 2021, new spinners like Boxy, Mr. Wills and Shakir, along with old faces like Kayla and Sunesh, competed for the title again. This meant that even when the fans voted, they definitely had their favourites.

Many of the spinners had problems with their cars, but thanks to Red Bull’s one-car rule, they had to repair their cars between rounds or give up their place to one of the two reserve spinners.

Samkelisa Thubane almost didn’t make it to the competition because their team had to replace the clutch and dyno car before he arrived to compete. This meant Sam Sam had much less training time than the other spinners, but he managed to qualify and it was no surprise when he met Boxy in the final to win the 2021 Shay’ iMoto Final.

Sam Sam poses for a portrait after winning the Red Bull Shay’ iMoto in Johannesburg, South Africa on September 11, 2021. Photo: Mpumelelo Macu / Red Bull

This year, Sam Sam returns to the competition with the hope of becoming the first rider to retain his title, but the competition will be fierce, with the Kruger brothers, Vaaiji, Boxy, Sunesh and Kayla all keen to try and win after coming so close in previous years.

Judges; Magesh Ndaba, Geoff James, Shahiem Bell and the fourth guest judge, along with the live audience, are sure to have their hands full deciding who will walk away with the title this year.

Judges Jeff James, Magesh Ndaba and Shahiem Bell (left to right) during the Red Bull Shay’ iMoto in Johannesburg, South Africa on September 19, 2020. Photo: Craig Kolesky, Red Bull

Tickets for Red Bull Shay’ iMoto can be purchased online at www.redbullshayimoto.com and at the door. For those unable to join the Wheelz N Smokes action, you can catch all the action on SABC 1 in September.

This content was created in partnership with Skid Marks, one of South Africa’s premier spinning and motorsport platforms. You can follow Skid Marks on YouTube.

Source by [author_name]

Previous articlePlans are being drawn up to revamp defunct clinics across the province: Northern Cape Health – SABC News
Next articleKolisi calls for better Boks discipline – SABC Sport