Sun | Sep 24, 2017

Senior karting

Published:Sunday | March 20, 2016 | 3:00 AMGlenroy Sinclair
Mike Simmons, driving go-kart number 87, navigates a corner on two wheels.
Ryan Lue on the go-kart track.
Peter Rae
Go-karters in a line at the Palisadoes raceway.
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Today, Doug Gore, David Summerbell, Peter Rae, Mike Simmons, Garth Genus and other go-kart standouts will clash at the Palisadoes International Raceway, Kingston, in what may be regarded as a precursor to next weekend's showdown at the Dover Raceway, St Ann.

And just as a bumper crowd is expected for next weekend's holiday weekend races, today's event is expected to attract a large crowd.

"We are expecting about 30 karts for today's race meet. All eyes will be on the Super Rotax Class. At least 12 karters have been confirmed so far for this event," Neil Williams, one of the directors of the Jamaica Karting Association (JKA), told Automotives last Friday.

Doug Gore, who has never driven a go-kart competitively before, will make his debut in a brand new kart.

"Well, the new kart has arrived in Kingston and I am supposed to be there early Sunday morning (today) to get in some practice," said Gore.

Based on Gore's current form at Dover, this may be a rare opportunity to beat him, as in St Ann it could prove difficult to even get close to the man dubbed 'Hollywood'. Gore is likely to get a lesson in karting from the veteran Mike Simmons, who is the only competitor who has been observed negotiating the sharp corners, coming into the chicane on two wheels.

Although he is ready and eager for action Simmons, who has not raced since 2010, is not talking up his return. His attitude indicates that he will be doing his talking through his driving on the track.

"We will see what happens. I am just hoping to finish injury free," said Simmons, responding to questions about his plans for the day.

Summerbell has wiped the usual smile from his face and seems ready for the opposition.

"The kart is ready and I am ready," the former regional champion circuit racing driver said.

The showdown among Gore, Summerbell and Rae will not go unnoticed, because it could give an early indication of who is in the best frame of mind for the Thundersport II clash at Dover next week.

Among the other karters down to compete in the Super Rotax Class, according to the JKA, are Spencer Whittingham, Chad Leahong, Steve Sirgany and Rugie Misir.

"I am hoping to show them the way to the chequered flag," commented Rae.

In the other classes, Matthew Williams and Jonathan Law will square off in the Senior Rotax Class, while Senna Summerbell, Justin Sirgany, Marc Anthony Eaton, Joseph Lodenquai and Matthew Lee will battle for supremacy in the Rotax Junior Class.

Lodenquai and Lee are newcomers to the sport. The latter is the son of Michael 'Mao' Lee, one of the top karters of the 1990s, while the former is the son of Mex Lodenquai, another top 1990s karter.

The Rotax Mini-Max Class will feature Duncan Stanley Jr, Tommi Gore, Ryan Chisholm, Ryan Lue, Zander Williams and Zachary Williams. Lue is expected to dominate this class again. In the Comer and 80 cc Classes Zachary Sirgany, Shane Chisholm, Paul Moodie, Ajani Haber and Brandon

Finzi-Smith will challenge for the top places.

glenroy.sinclair@gleanerjm.com