Red Bull drift contest on Saturday
Nicholas Barnes is one of the top Dover Raceway names who will be in attendance at the Red Bull Car Park Drift competition at Catherine Hall Sports Complex in Montego Bay, St James, on October 1, 2022. (Photos: Rory Daley)

Jamaican drifting will hit the world stage this Saturday, October 1, as the inaugural round of the Red Bull Car Park Drift (RBCPD) competition will take place at the Catherine Hall Sports Complex, Montego Bay.

Action is scheduled to begin at 7:00 pm.

"Red Bull chose Jamaica as the first country in the Western Hemisphere to host the Red Bull Car Park Drift, a series that has been conducted in the Middle East and Asia since 2015. Our Country Manager Carlesa Beneby jumped at the opportunity to showcase Jamaica when the possibility came up," Dean Corrodus, event organiser, told the Jamaica Observer's weekly Auto magazine.

With the resumption of the motorsports in March, Corrodus has been scouring the island for drifting talent via his Racezone Plaza Drift series.

Lovers of local drift events will be familar with driver Maurice Whittingham.

"There are 20 qualified entrants who were chosen from the Racezone Drift Kings series, placing in the top five for the first four events in the series," said Corrodus.

The entry list reads like the who's who of the drift and dexterity genre. Fans in attendance will get their fill of sideways action from the likes of Cleve "Cutta Hype" Ottey Jr and Maurice Whittingham. While those two have made a name for themselves on the western end of the island, circuit racing aficionados will also recognise Demar Lee, Lee Vaz, Chris Addison and Nicholas Barnes.

Competitors will face a course that taxes their rear-wheel drive control skills to the maximum.

"The course varies according to the available space and layout, but the dimensions of the obstacles such as the figure 8, the spiral — a decreasing radius donut, the box — which requires a 180-degree turn, the 11 and the flippers are all standard across the world. The obstacles are then placed in whatever best sequence allows for safety, excitement and an entertaining run," said Corrodus.

Red Bull Car Park Drift competitors will have to navigate a complex course of obstacles testing their car control skills.

He went on to further explain that the event is scored by three judges, each allowed to give a maximum of one hundred points.

"Points are gained for style, accuracy in completing the course, tyre smoke, vehicle presentation, drift angle, etc. As well as hitting the obstacles such as a pendulum and flippers in the correct manner," said Corrodus.

The judging panel consists of Jamaican race car driver Doug Gore, former sprinter and racing enthusiast Asafa Powell as well as RBCPD representative Yusif Bassil.

All 20 will be competing for a shot at international immortality as the local winner will be sent to represent Jamaica at the RBCPD world finals in Saudi Arabia for a shot at the title of Red Bull Car Park Drift Champion on November 25.

Drifting originated in the hills of Japan and made its way into mainstream motorsports as the Red Bull Car Park Drift series was created in 2005, and over its fourteen year history has become one of the largest drift competitions in the world.

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