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Dover digs deeper for 2015

Published:Sunday | November 2, 2014 | 12:00 AMGlenroy Sinclair
File Nigel Edwards' extensively damaged VW Golf GTI.
Errol Crosby/Freelance Photographer Nigel Edwards (left) gets some attention after being involved in a crash at the Dover Raceway, St Ann, i may this year.
Contributed Peter Rae
File George Bayley
Contributed Charkes Chen, Jamaica Race Drivers' Club (JRDC) president.

Based on the plans being made, circuit

racing fans could be in for a treat when racing resumes at Dover Raceway, St Ann, in 2015.

"Come next year, we could see the Radical cars competing again in Jamaica. There might be an entire series for them. Plus, some of our major sponsors are already positioning themselves for the 2015 season," Charles Chen, president of the Jamaica Race Drivers' Club (JRDC), told Automotives on Friday.

Reflecting on the 2014 season, Chen is convinced that the club has achieved most of its objectives.

"The plan was to focus on the larger growth of the sport and the evidence is there. We brought in a number of overseas cars to race. We also focused on improving the relationship with our sponsors and now we are seeing a growing interest for 2015," the JRDC president said.

There were concerns among local drivers about amendments to some of the rules governing racing at the facility. "On this note, we will be having a regulation meeting with the club members. There are certain issues that will be reviewed, but we believe that the interest to race is a little better right now," said Chen.

More help for drivers

One of the things Chen will be recommending is that the club offer more help to drivers competing in the Improved Production Class (IP). "I believe the drivers in the Modified Production Class (MP) should be able to take care of themselves," he said.

The 2015 season is expected to begin in February with the final leg of the Caribbean Motoring Racing Championship (CMRC). The third leg of the series takes place in Guyana on November 15 and 16.

Dubbed the Reggae Racers, Jamaica will be represented by drivers Peter Rae and David Summerbell, and motorcyclists Kyle Reynolds (Kawasaki 600), David Bell (Honda CBR 600 RR) and Norman Chung (Honda CBR 600 RR). The bikers are being sponsored by Irie Racing.

"The cars were shipped on Monday," said Rae, who has described the 2014 season as a "roller-coaster ride" for him. "After the Barbados leg earlier this year, I was racing third in the CMRC, but I missed the Trinidad leg. Going into Guyana, I am just hoping to amass enough points to position myself," said Rae, whose Mazda RX-7 is being sponsored by DHL and Epping.

Like Rae, veteran George Bayley said 2014 was filled with "ups and downs".

"The high point of the season for me was the Independence Race Meet, where after mysterious issues with the car we finally got it right and gave Chris Campbell a serious challenge. The car is still running good and we are hoping and praying that come next year we may able to attract a good sponsor," commented Bayley.

Nigel Edwards lost his car and almost his life in an incident on the track. Today, Edwards is still giving God thanks. He has since acquired another VW GTI and getting ready for next year.

"The season started out good, but didn't end nice. I lost my car, but we are well advanced in the preparation of the new car," said Edwards.

However, Jamaica's biggest circuit racing news for 2015 is off the island. Doug 'Hollywood' Gore has confirmed that, with the authorisation of his sponsors, he intends to compete in the United States next year.

"I intend to compete in two series, one of which is the Sport Car Club of America. Just being a part of Top Gear in Barbados was an exciting moment for me, plus breaking the track record at Dover could not have been better. I have been undefeated for two years," noted Gore.