With Total Lubricants as title sponsor, the fiery rivalry and nail-biting moments of former years seem set to return to the Palisadoes International Raceway, Kingston, in 2016. A host of former stars, including Doug Gore, Christopher Issa and Mike Simmons, have embraced the introduction of bracket racing in go-karting and are now gearing up for a series of clashes.
The upcoming race meet for the current season is scheduled for next Sunday.
"Yes. We will be sponsoring and promoting the series of karting events this year," said Total Lubricants' Marketing Manager Howard Henry, who spoke to Automotives from Portugal on Friday.
This level of sponsorship is expected to inject new life into the sport and also arrest the attention of other top go-karters. At least one of the region's popular karters, a rising star in the sport, has already been partially confirmed for one of the pre-summer race meets. This could pave the way for the proposed international race meet later this year.
"I won't disclose the name now, but one of the youngsters from the region, who has raced in the United Kingdom and elsewhere, will be coming to challenge the best on our shores in the class that he has been invited to compete," said David Summerbell president of the Jamaica Karting Association.
On Friday, Craig Lue confirmed that he has purchased a brand new go-kart for Doug Gore to compete at next weekend's meet. "We got an A&M Exprit Kart for Doug in Florida. It is very competitive and the same type of karts that we have," said Lue.
According to the International Karting Distributors website, Exprit is manufactured by OTK. The website stressed that Exprit has won numerous state championships, Australian Championships and manufactuers' cups in Australia and is identical to the other OTK World Championship-winning chassis. It also said that 2016 will see Exprit change colour scheme to a new and fresh "ORANGE" look.
The kart is accessorised with high-quality, high-performance OTK components, making the Exprit a high-level machine in both design and manufacturing.
With this machine, Gore will be hoping to take on David Summerbell, AndrÈ Anderson, Peter Rae and, hopefully, Kyle Gregg in what may remind fans of epic battles at Dover Raceway, St Ann.
"I was prompted to get involve in karting, after listening to Summerbell telling a story how he had invited a number of Dover drivers to come and get involved in karting. The fact that David and his son (Senna) were competing together makes me want to join my son, who is already involved in karting. For me, this is the first time that I will be racing competitively in karting," said Gore.
Christopher Issa will be absent from next weekend's race meet, but has promised to come out of retirement and take on the competitive aggression in the Super Rotax Class.
"I won't be available for this race meet, but they can expect to see me during the course of the season," said Issa, one of the stalwarts of local motor racing.
Many will remember Issa and his blue and white Mazda station wagon, taking on the best of circuit racers at the Dover Raceway during the early 1990s. Also Mike Simmons, the only karter to have been seen negotiating the challenging corners coming into the chicane on two wheels, will be back.
The Palisadoes International Raceway is one of the most challenging go-kart tracks in the region. The anticlockwise track is nine metres wide and has 13 corners.