It's better to ask for forgiveness than permission, they say.
When it comes to extreme sports, few names stand out more than Red Bull, especially when it comes to driving fast cars on and off the road. The brand, which recently pulled off the world's first zero gravity pit stop, was reprimanded this week for damaging a world heritage site in Kyiv, Ukraine. The company's drift team, which included a Nissan 350Z and Silvia drift cars, were seen shredding tires in the Kyiv Square in front of the St. Sophia Cathedral which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Local authorities say that the company failed to obtain the necessary permits, but went ahead with the stunt regardless of authorities issuing warnings. Red Bull has now issued an apology after authorities confiscated cars, and public figures blasted the company on social media.
Red Bull at first stated that it had attempted to obtain a permit to film the drift scenes at the heritage site, but the request was denied, according to Deputy Mayor Konstiantyn Usov. According to local authorities, Red Bull failed to close off the square and placed pedestrians at risk of serious harm. The Red Bull team also damaged 21,500 square feet of traditional Kyiv yellow bricks which locals are still struggling to restore. Red Bull issued the following statement to the Drive:
"We did not follow all the necessary procedures. We deeply regret this oversight on our part. It was always our intention to clean the site so that we would leave it as we found it. This work was completed last week by the cleaning company we had contracted. We greatly value the warm relationship we have enjoyed for many years with the city of Kyiv and are grateful for the opportunity to continue to demonstrate this."
In a statement made to a local Ukrainian news source, Red Bull Driver Aleksandr Grinchuk said that "I have a contract stipulating that I must take part in projects, one of which was a pair drift in the center of Kyiv with a guest colleague in the Red Bull shop from Ireland, European vice-champion Conor Shanahan. The aim of the project is to promote the brand and shoot a beautiful video for the Days of the Flag and Independence of Ukraine." According to city officials, it will cost approximately $1,766.26 to clean the square.
It is not clear whether the Red Bull cars have been released from the impound.