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Red Bull Car Park Drift set for second staging on local soil

Published:Friday | June 9, 2023 | 1:19 AMOrane Buchanan/Staff Reporter
Last year’s winner Nicholas Barnes poses for a photograph at the Red Bull Car Park Drift in Montego Bay, Jamaica on October 1, 2022.
Last year’s winner Nicholas Barnes poses for a photograph at the Red Bull Car Park Drift in Montego Bay, Jamaica on October 1, 2022.

ON the heels of a successful 2022 staging of the Red Bull Car Park Drift competition, organisers are eyeing another season filled with tyres screeching and engines revving. This year’s qualifiers, which is expected to be a thrilling showdown of precision driving and high-speed stunts will take place on June 30 in Montego Bay as participants will battle on a challenging course designed to test their mastery of drifting techniques and vehicle control.

Dean Corrodus, race coordinator and member of the organising committee, believes that based on what took place at the previous staging, it was a no-brainer that Red Bull would have decided to be on board for another year.

“Red Bull themselves were surprised by the tremendous success that the event had. The car and racing culture that exists here in Jamaica came as a surprise to the persons who came from the head office, along with the Red Bull driver (Johannes Hountondji) who came here from Germany,” he stated.

Among the new additions this year, top performers from the qualifier will earn a spot in the grand finale where they will compete against the top four performers from 2022, which includes the reigning ‘drift king’ Nicholas Barnes, Cleve Ottey, Sheldon Johnson and Chris Addison. The final which is also set for Montego Bay will be contested on July 1. Corrodus added that among the other changes for this year’s staging is the format of the competition which has already created quite a stir in the southern part of the country.

“The format this year will be a two-day event in which we will have a qualifier, then a final. Already we have 30 competitors signed up so we’re looking for 16 qualifiers. We are hearing that drivers from the southern part of Jamaica are already practising and are coming together so the excitement is high,” Corrodus said.

With the eventual local winner representing the country on the world stage at the Red Bull Car Park Drift Finals, Corrodus said that this provides a tremendous platform for drivers to showcase their talents.

“Red Bull Car Park Drift provides the greatest platform with the brightest lights for the Jamaican talents to be showcased. On our own, most of us couldn’t afford to make that trip (Red Bull Finals) so this is a gift falling in our laps, not only the winner, because there’s something for every competitor. No local series or organiser has the wherewithal to put on a show of this magnitude so just being a competitor at the show is something rather historic,” Corrodus highlighted.