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'Cutta' takes dexterity meet

BY JARMILA JACKSON Observer writer

Friday, February 01, 2013    

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THE smell of burning rubber filled the air as Montego Bay Sports Complex's parking lot in Catherine Hall, St James, was transformed into a race track on Sunday.

The venue played host to the first in a series of dexterity events, dubbed Bay Speed.

Hundreds of spectators came out to feast their eyes on an entrée of death-defying stunts by the island's top 'drifters'.

MoBay's finest were out in impressive form, including dexterity giant Maurice 'Wurl Boss' Whittingham and hot shot driver Ameer Johnson. However, it was crowd favourite Cleve 'Cutta Hype' Ottey who would pull off the thrilling win in the Championship run, despite having lost an axle and a wheel after crashing into a curve wall in the previous round.

"I had to run home to get the parts. Luckily, I always keep spare parts," revealed Ottey.

"So it's definitely a great feeling to come back from that and still get the win," he continued.

Ottey dazzled spectators with the flashy slides he is famous for.

Whittingham, who clocked the fastest time in the "1 Lapper" and the second-fastest in the Championship run, also kept spectators on edge, particularly in his Freestyle run.

Dennis 'Krossbreed' Bicarie also proved himself a formidable contender, earning himself the third-place spot in the Championship run. Ameer Johnson took the Front-Wheel Drive with limited slip differential class, while Christopher Ennis was the lucky winner of the Rookie round.

The veritable 'show stealer' was 14-year-old Chris-John Addison — son of racer Christopher 'Chippy' Addison — who won the Front-Wheel Drive class. Young Addison conquered the obstacle course ahead of the competition, driving a Toyota Corolla.

Even spectators got in on the action, including tiny tots Zidane and Mikaili Madden — four and six years old, respectively — who tried their hands at navigating the course on their mini bikes.

Event promoter Ameer Johnson seemed pleased with the success of the series' debut.

"The turnout was great, especially considering this was our very first event. Unfortunately things got off to a bit of a late start, so much of what we had planned we didn't get to do, like the relay element of the competition — so we'll have to work on that for the next event," Johnson told Auto.

According to Johnson, plans are already in place for the next event in the series — which is set for February 24 at the same venue — adding that efforts are being made to have the series sanctioned by the Jamaica Millennium Motoring Club (JMMC) so as to ensure a larger number of entrants in the competition.

"We're also making a greater effort to personally reach out to more rookie drivers and encourage them to participate. I think that after people saw how well a 14-year-old could do in a Toyota Corolla, they understood that you don't need to drive a race-car to be competitive," he concluded.

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