It was a bitterly cold winter night, but at The Oval Tar, things were just about to heat up.

The Oval Tar was an independent racing circuit, named so because of its oval shaped track. This is where many hopeful rookies got their start, with the hopes of becoming World Racing Champion one day. The arena had plenty of seating and always pulled a good crowd, which sometimes hid secret special guests, such as big league managers and agents who would usually call up rookie racers to race in the world champion scene. They were only interested in those who showed promise.

Exhaust fumes filled the air as the crowd cheered loudly at the sound of revving engines. It was time for the Youth exhibition race. Four vehicles lined up at the starting line.

In a flashy red import was Ryan Rhodes, the local favourite. He was a rising rookie star on the racing circuit. Next to him, in a big green SUV, was Eddie Wheeler, a former gangster from the hood who gave up his gangster ways to pursue his lifelong dream of a career in the world of international pro racing. Lined up next to him was the sexy biker-chick, Selena Pretorius on her seductively dark super bike. She had all the men in the arena staring in her direction.

Next to her, in a white 1990’s second hand sports car was Jason Woods, a passionate young racing hopeful, who loved racing more than life itself. He sat in the car that his father handed down to him on his 17th birthday. Jason was a young guy, just out of high school who was extremely passionate about racing.

As Jason’s eyes were fixed on the track ahead, he thought back to a couple of weeks ago , when he was reading a local newspaper and came across an advertisement that caught his eye. It was an “Invitational Vacancy” for aspiring racers to send in their C.V’s for the opportunity to start a career in pro racing. Jason did just that and days later, he got a phone call, notifying him that he could come in for an interview that morning. The President of The Oval Tar, Neville Short, who was indeed short, interviewed Jason. He told him that this Youth Exhibition Sprint Race can serve as his audition and told Jason that if he impressed him, he would offer him a contract to regularly race at The Oval Tar and begin his pro racing career. So this was a do or die situation for Jason. It was now or never.

There were few whistles from the crowd as a woman, clad in only a bikini with checkered flag designs and black high heels with a checkered cloth in hand stepped onto the track, in between the vehicles. Suspense built as she raised the cloth high up, followed by all four vehicles revving their engines, releasing fumes from their exhausts. Then, in one swift motion, she brought down her flag, and the four racing machines sped down the first straight, leaving the starting line in the dust.

The crowd cheered, they were excited. Ryan’s import took the lead, closely followed by Selena’s superbike. Eddie’s SUV and Jason’s sport car were not too far behind. Everyone was jockeying for position as the first bend of the Oval shaped track came up. Ryan and Jason initiated a drift along with Eddie, who surprisingly performed a perfect drift around the curve with his big SUV. Selena simply leaned her superbike over and rode around the inner lane of the track, thus allowing her to quickly gain on Ryan’s first position.

As the racers came out of the bend, they recomposed themselves and raced down the long straight on the side of the track, slowly gaining on each other.  Jason realized that it was now time to make a move. He stepped hard on the accelerator, overtaking Eddie’s SUV to propel himself into third position. Eddie was no doubt shocked that this “newbie” had just passed right by him and was now hot on the heels of Selena’s superbike.

Selena noticed Jason’s white sports car coming up behind on the side-mirror of her superbike and grinned under her helmet, deciding to have some fun with this rookie. As Jason came up behind her and shifted lanes to try to overtake her, Selena rode up in front of him, blocking his path. Jason then calmly shifted lanes back to the previous one, but Selena did the same, blocking his way.

Jason grimaced, but then came up with a brilliant idea. He slowly shifted to the outer lane of the track, and as expected, Selena kept in front of him, blocking him. Then, in one quick motion that was well timed, Jason shifted back to the inner lane fast and slammed the accelerator, overtaking Selena before she could block him. Selena squealed in rage under her helmet as she watched Jason’s white sports car speed away from her, but continued to shift to the inner lane and lean over as the second bend of the track came up.

Once again, Ryan, Jason and Eddie safely drifted around the bend, with Selena leaning over as she rode around the end’s tight inner line. They recomposed and raced down the final straight towards the finish line, with Jason right on Ryan’s tail. Jason eventually pulled next to Ryan and they were neck and neck as they crossed the finish.

Selena’s superbike and Eddie’s SUV crossed the finish line in third and fourth place respectively as all eyes in the arena focused on the big screen that showed a slow motion replay of the end of the race. Ryan and Jason both crossed the finish line at the same time, resulting in a tie. The crowd cheered as Jason and Ryan came face to face in the middle of the track and shook hands as a sign of good sportsmanship.

“That was a great race man, especially for your first time! You are pretty good!” said Ryan. “Thank you!” replied Jason, “You too.” Ryan smiled, and nodded once, before going back to his car to drive it off the track.

“Great race out there” said a voice behind Jason. Jason turned around to see Selena approach him, in a somewhat seductive manner. “You are a real hotty...” said Selena, as she reached inside her jacket and pulled out a card that contained her name and phone number. She slipped it into Jason’s pants pocket. “My number, call me whenever you feel…racey...” Selena winked at Jason as she turned back to her bike and rode it off the track. Jason was about to turn and leave , when Eddie approached him with his arm folded and an angry look on his face, before morphing it into a smile and extending his hand; “ Nice race out there… for a newbie. Sorry, I didn’t get your name...”


“I’m Jason Woods,” replied Jason as he shook Eddie’s hand. “Nice to meet you Jason,” replied Eddie, “My name is Eddie Wheeler. You know, judging by the way you race, I can tell that you are very passionate about pro racing.” “I am,” said Jason, “This is what I love to do, and it is my dream career.”

Just then, an employee of the Oval Tar walked over with a headset on and a clipboard in his hand. “Sorry guys, could you clear your vehicles off the track, we have another race next. By the way Jason Woods, Mr. Short wants to see you in his office now.”

“Good luck Jason,” said Eddie, before walking back to his SUV. ”Thanks , Eddie” replied Jason, before driving his sports car off the track and making his way to Neville Short’s office, which was within the arena building.

Jason made his way down a narrow, dimly lit corridor and knocked on the door bearing the sign “President: Neville Short”. “Come in!” yelled a gruff voice on the other side. Jason opened the door and stepped into quite a messy office. All sorts of stationary and papers were covering the desk. Behind this desk, a revolving chair faced the window, overlooking the track. Two fingers holding a large cigar stuck out from behind the chair, visible to Jason, as smoke slightly misted the greasy window. “Close the door and have a seat,“ said the voice behind the chair. Jason closed the door and sat down on an old, dusty chair on the other side of the desk. The revolving chair swiveled around to reveal a short, fat, aging man, known as Neville Short, President of The Oval Tar.

“That was a great race out there Jason,” said Neville. “Thank you, Mr. Short,” replied Jason.

“I put my faith in you to impress me and I must say you didn’t disappoint me,” said Neville, “Therefore, I think you’ve earned this…” Neville slid a thin, A4 size document over onto Jason’s side of the desk, then pulled out a silver ballpoint from inside his coat, clicked it and laid it next to the document. ”Just sign on the dotted line and I guarantee that you will start off a very promising career as a pro racer, beginning here The Oval Tar.”

Jason looked down at the document, which read, “The Oval Tar, Racers Contract” then he proceeded to peruse the contract, digesting any important information contained within its pages. Once Jason had read and completely understood the contract, he picked up the pen and signed at the bottom of the contract, before passing both the pen and the document back to Neville’s side of the desk. Neville examined Jason’s signature then signed off with his, next to Jason’s, sealing the deal. He then smiled and extended his hand across the desk to Jason. “Congratulations, Jason Woods! You are now a professional racer here at The Oval Tar!” Jason smiled and shook Neville’s hand. “Thank you, Mr. Short.”

“Now, I saw your audition just now in the Youth Exhibition race, where you tied with Ryan Rhodes for the victory, “said Neville, “But I’m the kind of guy who likes to see a decisive victory, so tomorrow night, in the opening race of the evening , you will face Ryan Rhodes in a Duel race. The two of you will race around the Track until there is a clear winner. Okay?” “Yes sir,” replied Jason. “Good luck,” said Neville, “Close the door on your way out.”

Jason stepped out of Neville’s office and closed the door behind him before letting out a deep breath. He was now officially a professional racer. Jason went back to the racers parking area, on the outer edge of The Oval Tar track, where Eddie was waiting eagerly. “And?” enquired Eddie.

“He offered me a contract and I signed!” exclaimed Jason. “I am now officially a professional racer here at The Oval Tar.”

“That’s great, man!” exclaimed Eddie, who was visibly happy for Jason. “In fact, I’m going to be in the opening race tomorrow night,” said Jason “A duel against Ryan Rhodes. We’re going to race until there’s a clear winner.” “Well, good luck for tomorrow night,” said Eddie “but it looks like you made it out in time for tonight’s main race!”

Jason and Eddie went to the racer’s stand to witness the evening’s main event. It was a friendly duel between veteran, Sam Smith, in his red and white sports car and The Oval Tar Champion, Steven Miler (the younger brother of current World Racing Champion, Justin Miler) in his exotic blue car.

Steven’s piercing blue eyes focused on the track ahead as a scantily clad woman with cloth in hand stepped in-between the cars. She lifted the cloth up high, before swinging it down, to which both cars revved and burnt rubber as they sped down the first straight. Steven reached the first bend and quickly and performed a picture perfect drift around it, amazing the crowd, before speeding down the long second straight, while Sam had just only then reached the first bend and begun to initiate a drift.

Jason watched in awe as Steven reached speeds unmatched, while quickly clearing the second bend of The Oval track leaving Sam in the dust. Steven floored it to the finish line, while Sam made his way to drift around the second bend as fast as he could in his old race car. Steven screeched to a stop and waited for Sam to finish the race. They shook hands in the middle of the track and parted ways peacefully. Steven held up The Oval Tar Championship belt to the crowd’s delight, before driving back to the racers parking area, where his girlfriend and muse, Sarah Lane embraced him, before they proceeded to kiss. They jumped into the exotic car and drove off as Jason and the other racers watched in awe.

After parting from Eddie, Jason got in his car and drove back home to the Cohen Courts building, where he parked his car in the undercover parking lot and locked it, before making his way up to his apartment on the first floor where he undressed and collapsed on his bed in exhaustion.