Taxi driver puts on a show at Vernamfield
Despite being a day-to-day City Guide taxi driver in Kingston, Michael Allijohn is no average 'cabbie.'
He regularly transforms himself from passenger carrier to race car driver, and his Toyota Caldina station wagon into a super fast streetcar/drag race machine.
The Kingston-based taxi man finished runner-up Sunday, in the Auto King 12 seconds car section at the Drag Racing Challenge Number two, held at Vernamfield Motorsports Park in Clarendon.
His course time 13.293 seconds at 110.03 miles per hour was bettered by Jason Moses in a Subaru WRX, in 12.446 seconds and 105.53 miles per hour, respectively.
Sunday's event was staged by the National Drag Racing Circuit (NRDC) in association with Supligen and Castrol.
"It's fun and pleasure, I just love the sport. Well, for my passengers, I am like a taxi man superstar so everybody is looking out for me on the road all the time," he said in a post race interview.
Allijohn says his fast driving does not affect his full-time job.
"Some passengers are scared when they hear about fast cars, and sometimes them say driver make sure you take time. I know you are a fast driver. But I don't drive fast with passengers," he told STAR Sports.
The taxi man has been taking part in the sport he loves for more than 10 years, and is a crowd favourite on the circuit.
"Race day I transform into a race driver ,and my car is transformed into a race car," he reasoned.
"Toyota Caldina is a very good car, it's a four-wheel drive ... so it launches off the line pretty good," he continued.
Allijohn's 2000 Toyota Caldina is fitted with a 2000 litre engine. It is standard, and boosted to go top speeds with a turbo engine, further boosted with Nitro.
Its fastest time clocked Sunday was the low 12 seconds, qualifying for the final.
"Most race car drivers know me from way back when so they are not gonna underestimate me. "They know me as a racer and can handle our thing, and we dangerous, so I just come out here and put on a show," a confident Allijohn stressed.
He added that his love for drag racing will definitely continue despite the expenses associated.
Those include; buying race gas, regular car upgrading/tuning, getting special racing tyres called slicks and changing off parts such as the muffler.
"It costs a lot but it is a sport I love, so I spend for what I like to do, with support from my team which is Extreme Performance. They rally round and make sure my car is running good," he explained.
Despite winning a total of two competitive races from three, the City Guide driver contends "it's just all for fun."