Fort Myers, Florida’s Garcia races on Discovery show

Fort Myers, Florida’s Garcia races on Discovery show


Joel Garcia tried to keep his cool as he raced his BMW through the compound and the enemy cars edged closer and closer.

That cool didn’t last long, though.

Especially when those cars started crashing into him.

“Definitely, the stress was high, for sure,” Garcia says. “But I tried to stay calm until the moment that they actually touched my vehicle.

“That’s when I was like, ‘OK. It’s real. They’re out for blood.’”

What happened next? TV viewers can see for themselves Monday when Garcia appears on new Discovery Channel series “Getaway Driver.”

The channel describes the eight-episode racing series as “part ‘Baby Driver,’ part ‘Grand Theft Auto.’” It’s hosted by actor Michelle Rodriguez of the “Fast & Furious” movies.

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Garcia, 28, was living in Fort Myers when he filmed the episode about six months ago in Augusta, Georgia. The Miami native now lives in Mims, Florida.

The goal of the show: Navigate barricades, hairpin turns and other obstacles as you try to shake off your pursuers and escape the compound with a roll of cash.

A Discovery Channel news release calls it “the ultimate driving fantasy.”

“The Getaway Drivers will put it all on the line — sacrificing their own cars for the opportunity to be the wheelman in a real-life car chase,” the news release said. “The rules are simple… evade the pursuers and escape the compound to score some cold hard cash.

“These drivers already have the loot — but can they get away to keep it?

Drift racer Joel Garcia and his modified BMW on the set of Discovery Channel series "Getaway Driver"

Garcia used his own car in the race: A modified 1995 BMW with a turbocharged engine, bucket seats and a special suspension. But unlike most races, he didn’t get to study the nearly 60-acre compound much before getting thrown into the action.

“It’s a very unique situation where you’re in a world that you’ve only seen once,” he says. “They take you for a ride-around one time and then they’re like, ‘OK, that’s it.’



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