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A wet and wild start

Observer senior writer

Friday, March 08, 2019

W ith a total of 27 competitors turning out for last Sunday's Asphalt Assault dexterity meet held at the Palisadoes International Raceway in Kingston, event organisers Team Streetz are pleased.

The occasion was the first for the year.

“It was a great event for us, filled with intense competition between some really beautiful and unique machinery that came out. We had the new Civic Type R and KIA Stinger from the ATL Automotive Group which were fun to look at. There was a strong spectator turnout and all had a great time. My team and I are exhausted but very happy,” Christopher James of Team Streetz told the Jamaica Observer's weekly Auto magazine.

Team Streetz took over the dexterity series in December 2017 and have been running it with a successful formula of Wet and Slide for tarmac events and Dirt Splurt for gravel events. However, in 2018 they added their first mixed surface event at the Advanced Driver Training Centre (ADTC) in Portmore, St Catherine.

“We have five events remaining. We want to revisit ADTC and expand to our series west into Montego Bay,” James said.

Asphalt Assault: Dirt Splurt will also involve its normal location, the Tru-Juice Orchards in Bog Walk, St Catherine.

As for the event itself, it saw the revival of the friendly battle between the east and west drivers as Montegonian Ian Wright, scratched out a victory over his Kingstonian counterpart Daren Givans. Wright, a Dover Raceway and dexterity veteran, who showed up in a loaner vehicle.

“It wasn't my 1983 Toyota Corolla SR5 that I am used to and definitely more comfortable in. However, the cost of transportation to Palisadoes and back, which I might add I have done on several occasions, is very expensive and not feasible so I was kindly lent by my fellow long time teammate from speed days his rear-wheel drive 1983 Nissan Datsun 210. I literally hopped in from the garage and drove to track,” Wright explained.

Despite being in unfamiliar territory, Wright gave his all having it finally come together in the last run where he put down a time of 1:06.967.

“The event was okay, but I thought it took too long to get through the rounds. I lost my momentum after the second round but regained it for the last one; however, it was good nonetheless,” Wright added.

Up until then, Givans looked the favourite lowering his times with each run and posting a 1:07.003 on final run as well. It was his fastest of the day in his front-wheel drive Toyota Corolla, but not enough to better Wright.

“It was very exhilarating for me, being a newbie pretty much and holding to up to that level of competition, almost winning the Pro class. It's a tremendous feeling and I'm truly humbled. I'm extremely proud of myself,” Givans said.

The surprises continued as Geoff Owens, in his Toyota Auris, put in the third fastest lap. Stephen Silvera thrilled the crowd with his 350Z as its powerful V8 engine provided the perfect soundtrack to the crazy sideway slides he put down during his runs. Matching Silvera in visual excitement, and rounding out the top five was Timothy Stewart in his BMW 1M.