THE Montego Bay Sports Complex in Catherine Hall, St James, had its first taste of drifting action at Wet n' Slide on Sunday evening.
The event — the Jamaica Millennium Motoring Club's (JMMC) seventh dexterity meet for the season — saw 15 of the island's top drivers competing for supremacy as they tackled an obstacle course with 180 and 360-degree turns while scores of supporters watched from the sidelines.
The smell of burning rubber was dominant as the drivers opted to save the excitement of a wet track for the final championship run. Those who scored the day's fastest times battled for the chance to increase their overall point standing in the 2012 National Dexterity Championship.
Multiple Champion Christopher 'Teach' McFarlane defeated the competition in his Mitsubishi Lancer, collecting a total of 4 trophies: first place in the Front Wheel Drive with limited slip differential class and in the championship run; fastest two-wheel drive; and fastest overall time of the day. McFarlane, who was also victorious at the last event in August, demonstrated his mastery with some smooth runs of the course.
"The venue was superb. It was really a driver's course, one that tested the full extent of everyone's abilities. You got to see who could run the course without hitting the curbs and how well people adjusted to things like gravel," McFarlane told Auto.
"The dry track is a great equaliser; everyone has the same chances of winning. When you have a wet course, it's never the same for everyone. I'm looking forward to the next event. My plan is to cut everyone down to size, including Maurice Whittingham," he continued.
Always up for a challenge, reigning dexterity champion Maurice 'Wurl Boss' Whittingham shifted gears for the event, competing in the Front Wheel Drive with limited slip differential class (FWD LSD) instead of his usual Rear Wheel Drive with limited differential class (RWD LSD). Whittingham shared the Team Mad Dem Toyota Corolla Levin with Ameer Johnson, who edged him out to take second place in the championship run.
Flashing lights and exciting spins were part of crowd favourite Cleve 'Cutta Hype' Ottey's blistering runs of the course, with the crowd erupting into cheers with each spin into the stop box. Dennis 'Krossbreed' Bicarie, who shared the wheel of Ottey's Toyota Starlet, also created sparks on the tarmac. The two tied for first place in the RWD LSD class with Andrew Essing and his Toyota Corolla taking third place.
It was Mini Moke versus Mitsubishi ASX in the Front Wheel Drive class as Clasford Woolery Jr and Courtney Wilson battled for the top spot. To the amazement of the spectators and Wilson, Woolery Jr and his Mini Moke took the first-place trophy.
Matthew Isaacs (Volkswagen Beetle) and Damian Johnson (Mitsubishi Mirage) also walked away victors in the Rear Wheel Drive and Four Wheel Drive classes respectively.