Category: Media & Culture / April 8, 2013 5:11 PM EDT
A group of stunt drivers in the ex-Soviet republic of Georgia are attempting to turn their hobby into a profession, uploading their driving videos to YouTube, and attempting to attract attention from Hollywood.
The drivers, who refer to themselves as the "Need For Drive Team" do much of their driving in Tbilisi, a city that the Regional Security Office of the U.S. Embassy has warned visitors is full of "drivers who pay little attention to speed limits, lane discipline and regularly encroach into oncoming traffic."
The "Need For Drive Team", a group of young extreme drivers have uploaded several videos of their road stunts to YouTube.
One recently posted video shows the group leader Giorgi Tevzadze driving his 1995 BMV M5 at top speeds through Tbilisi, on streets crowded with public transportation, traffic, and pedestrians crossing the road.
The video, which featured the warning 'Do not try this!' garnered over two million views on YouTube within just one week after it was uploaded.
Tevzadze said he hoped the videos would help him and his team turn their hobby into a profession.
"We have more practical plans, to find sponsors among the viewers of these videos, to show we can advertise a company or a product of a company by making our videos," Tevzadze said.
Tevzadze, who runs a small business, said he was first drawn to racing, and stunt driving at the age of 13, and been attempting to improve his skills and develop the hobby into a business ever since.
He has created a web page for his team, and is attempting to start a school of extreme driving to help people safely avoid dangerous situations on the road.
He also dreams about catching the attention of Hollywood with his driving videos.
"If we get noticed by from someone from Hollywood, we will be able to offer a variety of scenarios connected with street racing and to perform extreme manoeuvres. Those may include chasing a vehicle, or racing with two or more cars in traffic. Out team can perform any scenario connected with vehicles while driving at the highest possible level," Tevzadze said.
The team leader, who said he is regularly fined by traffic police, says that he also still legally has his driver's license.
"As for uploading these extreme driving videos (to YouTube), they were shot quite a long time ago and that is why we did not see (any legal) problem after posting them," Tevzadze said, adding that he was focused on garnering attention without putting others in danger.
One of the group's fans said, that while some of their driving might not be legal, the group members were all generally responsible people.
"I do not think their behaviour was correct from the point of the law, but when you get to know these guys better, you understand that they do everything really skilfully and they lead a very healthy way of life," Iako Askurava, a law student from the Tbilisi State University, told Reuters.
'Need For Drive Team' member Giorgi Lomtanidze said he was after Hollywood attention, not a profession as a stunt driver.
"As for Hollywood, this might be beyond the limit of our dreams, as it will be (a chance) to become recognizable faces, to participate in great projects and to show our professionalism to the wider public," Lomtanidze said.
Last year Georgia's online newspaper "The Financial" conducted a research on most dangerous roads for car accidents and tried to determine the average age of the drivers prone to accidents. Based on the data presented by the insurance companies working in the country the newspaper wrote that "the most dangerous cohort of drivers on the road" in Georgia belong to the people between the ages of 21 and 35.
(Video Source: REUTERS)