Olivier Jean-Francois
Olivier Jean-François (right) standing next to two members of his team, Shasky Taveras (left) and Erich Llibre (center), while holding a first place trophy from a race in the Sports Car Club of America championship at Circuit of Americas in Texas on Feb. 4, 2022. Photo courtesy of Olivier Jean-François

FORT LAUDERDALE — Olivier Jean-François can still see the thousands of people who showed up to the races he took part in Champ-de-Mars, Port-au-Prince back in 2006, when he was just 17.

"I was impressed by how much people loved this sport," Jean-François said. "It was there, but not at the level in the U.S. or in Europe. We dreamed, me and my friends, of doing it professionally."

About eight years after those amateur races, a racetrack called Circuit 9 Haiti re-opened and a racing league, The Grand Prize, was formed. However, the league was dogged by unsatisfactory setups due to lack of financial investment and car racing not being among Haiti's most popular sports. It stopped running in 2019 due to political instability.

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Email me at onz@haitiantimes.com
Onz Chery is a Haiti correspondent for The Haitian Times. Chery started his journalism career as a City College of New York student with The Campus. He later wrote for First Touch, local soccer leagues in New York and Elite Sports New York before joining The Haitian Times in 2019.