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Olivier Jean-François: Rising race car star made in Haiti strives to make it in US

FORT LAUDERDALE — Sixteen years later, Olivier Jean-François is still mesmerized by the mental images of the thousands of people at the races he took part in Champ-de-Mars, Port-au-Prince in 2006 when he was 17.

“I was impressed by how 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.”

Eventually, Circuit 9 Haiti, a racetrack in Port-au-Prince, was renovated in 2014 and a racing league, The Grand Prize, was formed. The league stopped running in 2019 due to political instability. But while the league was operating, it had unsatisfactory setups due to lack of financial investment and car racing not being among Haiti’s most popular sports. 

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