'Cutta' is king
WITH hundreds of fans cheering from the sidelines, it was the battle of the Toyota Starlets at the fifth round of the Jamaica Millennium Motoring Club's 2012 National Dexterity Championship on Sunday.
In an event dubbed Drift Masters, 19 of the island's top drivers took to an obstacle course set up at the Master Block Factory in Knockpatrick, Manchester, to face the ultimate test of car control.
Cleve 'Cutta Hype' Ottey emerged victor after a series of blistering runs becoming the first person to defeat reigning Dexterity Champion Maurice 'Wurl Boss' Whittingham since the start of the season. Only seconds separated the two.
"It's a great feeling; I haven't won an event in close to a year now. So I'm quite happy about it. Usually I'm more concerned with putting on a show than with winning, but this time it was about both. I wouldn't say I was timing myself when I was out there, but if you know your car you can tell when you're wasting time," Ottey told Auto.
Driving his blue Toyota Starlet, Ottey conquered the highly competitive rear-wheel drive with limited slip differential class, clocking the overall fastest time of the day (1:38:79 seconds) and the fastest two-wheel-drive time on his second run of the course.
Maurice 'Wurl Boss' Whittingham, driving the Team Mad Dem Toyota Starlet, was a close second at 1:40:75 seconds just ahead of Jamar 'Sckoolaz' Kinkead — sharing Ottey's Starlet -- scoring a time of 1:42:56 seconds.
Sole competitor in the rear-wheel-drive class, Matthew Robinson gave the crowd some entertaining spins in his Volkwagen Beetle while Kirkland Billings drove his Nissan Sunny to the top spot in the front-wheel-drive class.
Tony Fu (Toyota Corolla GT) and Richard Chan (Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IV) were the sole competitors in the front-wheel drive with limited slip differential class and the four-wheel-drive class, respectively.
Dennis 'Krossbreed' Bicarie in his Toyota Starlet, and Ian Wright — competing in his Toyota Corolla for the first time — were also among the crowd favourites.
Just before Whittingham defeated Fu and Chan in the championship run, everyone from quad bikers, including a go-karter and a man with motorised bicycle, tried their hand at the course, much to the delight of the spectators.
As the evening drew closer, the ever entertaining Whittingham took to the course for a freelance run. Donning his Mexican wrestling mask he sped into the newly paved 'skid pad', twisting and turning around the cones before picking up his Team Mad Dem teammate Ameer Johnson — who stood dangerously close to the cones in the centre — mid 360. In the time it took to complete the spin, Johnson had taken over as driver, letting out Whittingham with the car still in motion, bringing the event to an exciting close.