As the Asphalt Assault: Dirt Splurt dexterity series held its penultimate round for 2019 at the Tru-Juice Orchards in Bog Walk earlier this month, it managed to pull sizeable crowds and competitors with 22 drivers showing up to tackle the challenging course set up by the organisers, Team Streetz Jamaica.
Racing through mud
Christopher James, of Team Streetz, admitted that the event was almost cancelled due to concerns about the venue being inundated due to the rainy weather leading up to Asphalt Assault: Dirt Splurt. There were also worries that this would affect the turnout of both fans and competitors. While the dirt surface was far from perfect, motorsports enthusiasts came out in their numbers to see their favourite drivers.
Inspired by the conditions, James and his team included sections of the venue that had been affected by the wet in the course layout, setting up some exciting action and the random chance that racing through mud creates.
Despite the complex course, with its delish 360 degree turns and surface changes, the old adage that the cream always rises to the top was in full force, as Lee Vaz and Joel Jackson once again were the class of the field, continuing a battle that emerged from Asphalt Assault’s creation in late 2017.
This year the two have been trading fastest times for outright honours, with Vaz getting the upper hand most of the times the two drivers have gone head-to-head. This event would be no different, as Vaz emerged victorious after a last-minute push. For the first two runs at the course, both were separated by as little as .4 of a second.
The minor gap between Vaz and Jackson was inversely proportionate to their vehicles they were driving. Vaz, opting for his Subaru Impreza STI rally car, with its four-wheel-drive two-litre turbocharged power allowing it to find traction and gain tremendous speed at crazy angles that kept the crowd excited.
If the Subaru is a hammer, then Jackson has been using a scalpel – his Mazda MX-5 doing a precision route through the cones each time with only its rear-wheel drive and naturally aspirated motor.
Vaz threw caution to the wind at his final attempt, outpowering the Mazda by more than four seconds to put down the fastest time for the day. Jackson was happy with second, knowing he never stood a chance against a full blown rally car.
Spencer and Colin Whittingham sharing a BMW 318Ti, and Daren Givans, driving a Toyota Corolla sedan, were the other top finishers.
— Written by Nichola Beckford