Caribbean champs shifts to Jamwest
The Jamaica Race Drivers Club recently launched the first leg of the Seaboard Marine CMRC Caribbean Invasion race meet and the 2015 race season at the Sports Development Foundation's Kingston office.
The meet will be held from Saturday, February 28 to Sunday, March 1, at the Jamwest Speedway in Old Hope, Little London, Westmoreland. It is the first time that the CMRC will be held away from Dover Raceway in St Ann.
Day one will be qualifying and the first of three races in four race categories, which are Groups 2, 3, 4 and the Superstock Motorcycles. A new category - Group 3 - has been added to the line-up, and each country can field up to six drivers/riders.
According to JRDC executive, Silbourne Clarke, there will be four CRMC legs this year. However, Barbados will not be in Jamaica for the first leg due to travel schedules for the cars not being worked out in time for the race meet. The other legs will be Trinidad and Guyana.
Cayman will enter one car, to be driven by Gary Barrett.
Clarke said that a contingent of 71 persons, including six drivers and four riders headed by Kevin and Stephen Jeffery, will travel to Jamaica from Guyana for the meet. Trinidad and Tobago will send 15 persons. Trinidad and Tobago will field the most technologically advanced car in the region, owned by Franklyn Boodram. Stephen and Elliott Viera, as well as Kevin Persard, will start T&T's battle for the country and driver champion titles.
Clarke says Jamaica will enter cars and motorcycles in all four groups, but will not confirm its competitors until just before qualifying. This is intended to maximise home advantage. Still, some of those expected to compete include Owen Campbell and Vivian Mitchell (Group 2), Natasha Chang, Peter Jaggon, Akeel Shorter and Noel Golding (Group 3), Peter Rae, Chris Campbell, George Bayley and Peter 'Bull' Thompson (Group 4). The bikers will include Jason Campbell, David Bell, Norman Chung and Kyle Reynolds.
According to Clarke, a corner has been added to the course on the recommendation of the FIA (Federation International de Automobile) to make it safer for the competitors.
Venue almost ready
Dean Corrodus, meet organiser, said that the venue is almost ready, with minor adjustments to be made in time for the meet. He also said that the weekend will include a Skunk Nation/Imports Tuner Party, set for midnight Saturday, as it will be a weekend of speed, fest and fun. Gully Bop will make an appearance at the party.
Speaking at the launch, Peter Rae, Vivian Mitchell and Kyle Reynolds looked ahead to the meet. Rae said that he was racing against time, but expects to be ready for the meet, which comes after last November's accident in Guyana. He expects an exciting event, with the Jamaicans having home advantage at the meet.
Sponsors for the event are Seaboard Marine, Fly Jamaica, Alex's Imports, Tyre Warehouse and Jamaica Automotive Association.