Drag Rivals 4: Jamaica Strikes Back

PART – 1

When silence returned, late evening, October 8, 2023, to the trackbite-treated surface at the Vernamfield Aerodrome, if you listened intently, chances are, you would have heard the winds of joy fluttering through the flora bordering the 1320. It was a good day. Drag Rivals – 4 was a throbbing, spectacular event. The event was laden with pleasant surprises and above all, there was scrumptious icing on the cake – a hero, a Jamaican, rose and reclaimed what was rightfully ours. We were thankful.

Drag Rivals 4, with its foundation laid on previous events in the series, promised ceaseless, rapid fire bursts of apocalyptic machines hurtling along the 1320. It was a constant gamble, a fan-treat, a thrilling pursuit of the lowest possible e.t. that horsepower and torque can realize. The current format of the event – 3 days of ¼-mile jousting – allows no excuse to be accepted for mediocre performances. And drag racers know this. So, at Drag Rivals, only your best is good enough!


There was a time when Evos were the butt of many jokes – it is said that they have a unique relationship with jack stands. As we sauntered through the paddock at Drag Rivals 4, we were visually informed that the myth is dead. A bevy of Evos – 2 adorned in show and tell red and another outfitted in tantalizing blue, prompted a stop and look routine. Their prominence punctured the scene and their street-cred skyrocketed when we were reminded that the two red agents were 9-seconds machines! But, only Renaldo Thomas’ Evo competed. Renaldo Thomas qualified with a 9.992 pass. He succumbed, however, to the wrath of eventual class winner – Robert Ilgner’s delicious, menacing RX7. Congratulations Mr. Ilgner – MACHINE!


The face of Jamaican drag racing is changing. And it is a welcome change. The ladies are no longer accepting a place in the passenger seat. The revolt is in full swing. They are rejecting the notion of being the trophy. They want to raise their own trophy and sip victory’s champagne. We saw that at Drag Rivals 3 (DR-3). But wait, there is always more. Dainia McIntyre and Racquel Smalling are busy raiding the grid. Both ladies are developing a frightening reputation. Is it true that men who previously knew no fear are running scared from the two lovely ladies? We could always ask Dane Smith to respond.

Dainia McIntyre competed for the first time at an official drag racing event at Drag Rivals 3! And what did she do? Did we see frayed nerves on display? Uncertainty? Absolutely not. Dainia was a power point presentation, titled, confidence! Shifting a DIMI Tuned, Ziggy Nurse-built, D16 turbocharged Honda Civic, Dainia brought a wrecking ball to the 14 seconds class. Her rampage ceased in the finals. Dainia snatched P2 in class, grabbed some cash, a trophy and walked away with invaluable respect. 

At Drag Rivals 4, Dainia graduated to the infamous firefight – the 13 seconds class! She qualified with a time of 13.110 seconds and maintained the same formidable stance she revealed at DR-3. As expected, the task presented no easy path. Her resilience shone though as she made light work of seasoned drag racer, Dane Smith. At the time of posting, Mr Smith was still in search of his pearly whites.


Drag Rivals 4 bowled a googly in the 11 seconds class. Auto-influencer and lifestyle vlogger Nick Lue is a permanent resident in a family that breathes racing and remains immersed in rapid machines. Nick Lue’s machine is an obvious BMW M340i aka ‘POIZN’. Nick Lue’s 11.232 seconds-qualifying time would prompt no one to select ‘Poizn’ as the winning menu option. But, that is why we race! 

Miraculously, Nick Lue and ‘Poizn’ successfully navigated a toll-road-smooth path to the finals. And even at that stage, we will concede, that Demouy Spence’s belligerent Toyota Starlet gave life to the view that ‘Poizn’ was about to walk the plank. Possibly, the Lue-gene intervened. Nick Lue and ‘Poizn’ honored the Bavarian heritage and romped to a well-received victory. Big up Pro Modified 11 seconds class winner Nick Lue and ‘Poizn’! We will not ignore Demouy Spence – Machine!


Cecil Munroe

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