Motor racing fans are in for an intense offering for indulgence of their passion starting this weekend as several top notch events are scheduled each week for their satisfaction.
It all starts at 8 p.m. on Saturday night, October 1 in Montego Bay, when The Automotive Performance Centre Ltd in association with ATL Automotive Ltd stages Bayslide, the 3rd round of the Jamaica Millennium Motoring Club’s 2011 Dexterity test series at Bogue City Centre, popularly referred to as ATL Plaza. The location houses not only the new car dealership of ATL that offers the Honda, Audi and Volkswagen brands, but also ATL Brittanica that carries the prestigious Jaguar, Range Rover and Land Rover marques. The popular night time event started in this western city in 2006 makes a welcome return, and top competitors such as Cleve “Cutta Hype” Ottey, Maurice Whittingham from Team Mad Dem and the sibling pair of Randall “Rambo” and Sanjay Singh are set to thrill the audience.
The action moves further west on Sunday, October 2, when Young’s Service Centre stages “Rise of the Machines 3”, Jamaica vs. Cayman drag race meet at Jamwest Speedway, Old Hope, Little London, Westmoreland. Racing will take place in several bracket classes ranging from 8 to 16 seconds on the purpose built ¼ mile drag strip.
One week later on Sunday October 9, the Montego Bay Motoring Club is scheduled to host the 5th sprint in the JMMC National Sprint championship at Moreland Raceway in St. James. The venue has seen scorching action in the past with overall and class honors contested keenly by drivers from Team Mobay Racing, RMS and Team Challenger. A favorite of drivers and a dusty spectacle for patrons, Moreland holds a challenge that only the brave and skilled face down for top honors at this venue.
The go kart event slated for the 9th of October has been cancelled due to low entry levels, but Jamaican karters have been active abroad and at the recent Pan American Rotax Championship, held at New Castle Motor Sports Park Indianapolis on September 25, the Reggae Karters put in great performances, with some top class lap times and positions in the heat races, pre-finals and finals!
Top of the starting lineup was Justin Sirgany (Micro Max) with a solid 2nd in the final, followed by Thomas Issa (Junior Rotax) 3rd, Colin Daley 5th, Mathew Williams 9th and William Myers 14th.
Joshua Sirgany in the Mini Max class placed 11th.
The reggae karters put up strong battles, but unfortunately due to slipery conditions on the weekend that saw a down pour which started on Saturday and continued through Sunday causing a very slick track, those of lesser experience were at a disadvantage.
On race day, Justin went off in the first lap and could not continue! Thomas was punted off in corner 2 and started dead last, with another off track excursion bringing his day to a premature end, while Colin Daley fought his way to a credible 4th place followed by Mathew Williams 7th and William Myers 17th out of a 28 karts.
Big teams with big budgets were on hand to demonstrate their prowess in capturing the various titles and places at the World Rotax Finals in Abu Dabi in November.
All in all the reggae karters made their presence known and gained a wealth of experience particularly in the art of wet weather driving!
The Jamaica Race Drivers Club (JRDC) overall and class champion drivers will be determined at the “Heroes of Speed” Race meet to be held at Dover Raceway on Sunday October 16 (qualifying) and Monday 17 (race day). Young Kyle “Speedy” Gregg (BD Gregg & Bros/Konig Wheels/Hero Tyres/MAD/NG Racing Honda Civic) is in a good position to cop the overall as well as two class titles, but the bragging rights for overall fastest lap time should be an intense tussle between current holder Douglas “Hollywood” Gore in his ATL Automotive Racing/Boom /Wata /Petcom Audi TT DTM racecar and former holder David “The King” Summerbell in his Total/Cariburst/Motorcraft Batteries /Stack Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 8.
Expect good performances from Chris Campbell in the repaired Fruta sponsored BMW M3 after fuel delivery and suspension issues that plagued the car at previous meets have been identified and addressed, with Chris attaining a reported 143mph at the end of the front straight even with wheel-spin, faster than any other car known or recorded to have achieved at that point! Peter “Bull” Thompson has been at the track testing his revamped May Pen Ice Mazda RX7 and reports reaching this writer suggest that the power delivery and handling problems have all been sorted and the car is performing very well, with only a brake issue to be remedied before the big weekend.