Ramping and backflipping Monster Jam trucks will entertain Joburg fans this weekend. Picture: SUPPLIED
Ramping and backflipping Monster Jam trucks will entertain Joburg fans this weekend. Picture: SUPPLIED

If Formula One is the champagne and caviar of motorsports then Monster Jam is the equivalent of beer and extra-spicy chicken wings.

Monster Jam may be many things but refined it isn’t. This larger-than-life motorsport is one of those rare guilty pleasures that still allows you to escape the grip of our overly PC world, and watch as 4,500kg four-wheeled behemoths named Grave Digger, Megaladon, Zombie and El Toro Loco snarl their way around a makeshift dirt playground installed atop a football pitch.

They can wheelie. They can donut. They can ramp 15m into the air and perform backflips. They are equipped with supercharged big-block V8 motors that pump out around 1,120kW.

So go on: let your inner-hillbilly run amok and enjoy this motorised pantomime unlike any other.

After performing in Durban on April 20 and Cape Town on April 27, Monster Jam will be at Johannesburg’s FNB Stadium on Saturday May 4. Tickets are priced from R150 to R710.

For more more information visit www.MonsterJam.com or www.computicket.com


Tasmin Pepper starts Formula W 

Tasmin’s international racing career gets underway in Germany on May 3-4. Picture: SUPPLIED
Tasmin’s international racing career gets underway in Germany on May 3-4. Picture: SUPPLIED

SA’s Tasmin Pepper was recently picked as one of 18 drivers, representing 13 nationalities, to compete in the inaugural international W Series racing championship for women.

Hailing from Joburg, Pepper, 28, is SA’s reigning Volkswagen Polo Cup Masters champion.

The W Series will make history by being the first all-female single-seater racing series, and the six-round championship gets under way in Hockenheim, Germany, on May 3-4.

The women will compete in identical Formula 3 single-seater race cars.

Ferrari form ‘not as bad as it looks’

Valtteri Bottas celebrates winning Sunday’s Azerbaijan GP, with third-placed Sebastian Vettel looking on. Picture: REUTERS
Valtteri Bottas celebrates winning Sunday’s Azerbaijan GP, with third-placed Sebastian Vettel looking on. Picture: REUTERS

Ferrari are still seeking their first win of the Formula One season after rivals Mercedes chalked up four straight one-two finishes, but team boss Mattia Binotto was adamant things are not as bad as they look.

The Italian team started the year as favourites on the back of strong testing form yet all they have to show for their speed so far is a pole position, two fastest laps and three third-place finishes.

”I think that obviously four races into the season, no win for Ferrari, four wins for Mercedes, no doubt they are very strong,” Binotto told reporters after Sunday’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

“Certainly they [Mercedes] have got a slightly better car, but I think that the gap is not so big and the points of the result are not reflecting the true potential of the cars,” said the Swiss-born Italian.

Ferrari, Formula One’s most successful team, last won a title in 2008 while Mercedes have won every championship for the past five years and on Sunday celebrated the best start to a campaign by anyone in the two-car team era.

The Italians are already 74 points behind a well-drilled Mercedes team that looks dominant with 17 races remaining.

Binotto said, however, that Ferrari had the pace.

“We’ve got the potential for pole, and if you’ve got a car fast enough to score potentially the pole, you’ve got a good car overall,” he said.

“In the race, yes, we weren’t as fast as them, but we didn’t finish 20 seconds behind.”

Four-time champion Sebastian Vettel finished third in Baku with Leclerc fifth.


Hyundai scores one-two at Rally Argentina

High-flying Thierry Neuville en route to winning last weekend's Rally Argentina. Picture: SUPPLIED
High-flying Thierry Neuville en route to winning last weekend's Rally Argentina. Picture: SUPPLIED

Belgian Thierry Neuville won the Rally of Argentina in a Hyundai one-two finish on Sunday to stretch his world championship lead to 10 points.

Norwegian Andreas Mikkelsen finished second, 48.4sec behind, with reigning champion Sebastien Ogier third for Citroen after overhauling Toyota’s Kris Meeke who had a puncture in the final stage.

Hyundai lead the manufacturers’ championship with 157 points, 37 clear of closest challengers Toyota.

The sixth round of the championship will be in Chile on May 10-12.