Dexterity opener hits the right notes

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Dexterity opener hits the right notes

By Rory Daley
Observer writer
daleyr@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, March 20, 2020

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Christopher James — member of Team Streetz Jamaica, organisers of the Asphalt Assault dexterity series — is ecstatic with the start of their first-ever championship season which took place at the Palisadoes International Raceway in Kingston on Saturday, February 22.


“The event was great. New competitors coming out, exciting cars, great driving, sponsors are happy, the event got mileage, I mean we couldn't ask for more. God blessed us with a great event,” he told the Jamaica Observer's weekly Auto magazine.


James is already looking at the next event in June at the Advanced Driver Training Centre (ADTC) in St Catherine.


“For the next event, we're looking at Lakes Pen in St Catherine, the ADTC property, beautiful grounds, and a beautiful site,” he said.


Whereas the championship opener — Asphalt Assault: First Strike — was wet tarmac, the ADTC is mixed surface, using gravel and a cement skid pad section. This will make for an even more creative implementation of the Lubit Smash, a part of course where competitors are encouraged to hit the obstacles to gain time, rather than avoid the regular cones and their accompanying time penalties.


“We realised that a lot of persons, as is true with all motorsports, they love the snap, crash, bang, and pop. Dexterities are usually about avoiding obstacles, but it was raised to us by our lead sponsor Lubit, why not create something people can hit,” he said.


It was first tried last year December at the closing event in Montego Bay, as an exhibition and proved a hit with the crowd.


“We tried it in MoBay and we decided to incorporate some aspect of it in every course we do this year, to create another sense of hype, create a different style of instructions and challenge for the drivers,” he said.


The set up for Asphalt Assault: First Strike had five swing arms set up in an arc for drivers to attempt to rotate their cars around a cone to hit each one.

Contact with each arm resulted in quarter second bonus for a maximum of one and quarter seconds taken from the competitor's overall time.
“The spectators love it.”


In all, 30 drivers showed up at the 2020 dexterity championship start to vie for a part of the $500,000 prize package available at the end of the season.

Things began later than expected, but the short course and competitive driving held the crowd through the night. When the final flag fell, it was Nicholas Barnes that was the fastest driver, continuing his victory total from last December.


“As the first event for the year, it's a great feeling. I couldn't ask for a better start to the season,” he said.


However, Asphalt Assault is a championship now and it was fellow Montegonian Yohan Townsend that leads the title chase having secured a points lead under the current rules. Townsend has 169 points total, gaining 150 for leading his class consisting of nine drivers. He gained 19 bonus points for putting down the fastest first lap of the event, and winning his class. Barnes is second in the championship with a total of 164 points.

Rounding out the top five spaces on the championship table are Daren Givans, Chris-Jon Addison, and Shamar Urquhart.


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