Record driver turnout at Vernamfield
It was somewhat cool weather, but Vernamfield, Clarendon, was searing with a record number of entries at the Sunday, March 20, meet. The 180 entries surpassed the previous record of 164 and there was fierce competition in all classes between 16 seconds and 8 seconds.
The day's highlight was Xavia Murray, whose Honda Civic snorted its way down the track to become the fastest front wheel drive car in Jamaica. He set a new record of 9.928 secs., doing a maximum of 139.83 miles per hour (more than 225 kmph). The car originally had a maximum speed of 160 kmph before Murray hatched his diabolical plan to turn it into a speed demon.
Still, the fastest car for the day was perennial favourite Adrian McLymont. He spent what looked like an eternity on the green at the start line, but still managed to stop the clock at 8.141 secs. The Ford Mustang howled when he pressed the gas and the tyres screamed as they struggled to grip the hot concrete. As the red Mustang leapt in the air and settled McLymont held it straight, sailing down the
quarter-mile at a top speed of 174.96 mph.
The organisers brought out all the new toys for Drag Challenge #1. The spanking new start tree was a pretty sight as the LED lights seemed to flash in glee, marshalling the record entries. Qualifying went smoothly and even drivers had a hard time keeping up with the rate at which they were called back to the lines during various rounds.
The crowd was not the biggest ever seen at Vernamfield, but persons hooted and hollered, especially in the close races. The finals ended up being a mixed bag but the fans and organisers witnessed some very good spots.
The Triangle Tyres 16 second class was a bit of a let-down, as Gregory Brown was way too anxious at the start and ended up red lighting. That left Kirk McKain to putter home in 18.07 seconds at a nearly road-legal speed of 57.44 mph.
In the Westlake Tyres 15 second class it was a cat-and-mouse game of sandbagging, where drivers whose car may be too fast for their class slowed down after a breezy start. In the end, Leroy Spence blew by Orville Blake near the finish line in 15.101 secs. Similarly, in the Superior Parts 14 second class drivers of the two Subaru Impreza WRXs spent a lot of time watching each other, with Daniel Brown getting the better of Tim Polson.
Perhaps the two most exciting races for the day were in the 13 seconds and 14 seconds classes. It was pedal-to-metal action as Cameno Taylor in his Honda Civic got the better of Damion Scott in a well-prepped Fiat Uno. In the Auto King 12 seconds class both drivers buried their right foot and did not ease up, ending up with the same time of 12.412 secs. Donald Francis could only be separated from Andrew McCreath by
having a faster reaction time.
Full results, Drag Challenge #1
Triangle Tyres 16
Left Lane Brown, Gregory Toyota Vista REDLIGHT
Right Lane McKain, Kirk 18.070 sec @ 57.44 mph WIN
Westlake Tyres 15
Left Lane Blake, Orville 15.147 sec @ 43.08 mph
Right Lane Spence, Leroy 15.101 sec @ 87.48 mph Honda Integra Type R WIN
Superior Parts 14
Left Lane Polson, Timothy 14.303 sec @ 56.12 mph Subaru Impreza WRX
Right Lane Brown, Daniel 14.135 sec @ 91.42 mph Subaru Impreza WRX WIN
Kuhmo Tyres 13
Left Lane Scott, Damion 13.332 sec @ 27.71 mph Fiat Uno
Right Lane Taylor, Cameno 13.328 sec @ 102.78 mph Honda WIN
Auto King 12
Left Lane McCreath, Andrew 12.412 sec @ 14.03 mph Honda Integra
Right Lane Francis, Donald 12.412 sec @ 120.06 mph Toyota Starlet WIN
Left Lane Cummings, Orville 11.322 sec @ 24.27 mph Nissan Pulsar
Right Lane Golaub, Raffique 11.105 sec @ 115.03 mph Mitsubishi Evo 8 WIN
Left Lane Cowan, Audie (DNS) Honda Civic
Right Lane Timoll, Kenneth 10.066 sec @ 135.62 mph Honda Civic WIN
Riley's Auto Parts 9
Left Lane Baker, Kenrick 10.513 sec @ 104.89 mph Mitsubishi Colt
Right Lane Murray, Xavia 9.928 sec @ 139.83 mph Honda Civic WIN
Pro Modified 8
Right Lane McLymont, Adrian 8.141 sec @ 174.96 mph Ford Mustang WIN