Sun | May 27, 2018

Jamwest Speedway comes alive this Mother's Day weekend

Published:Sunday | April 22, 2018 | 12:00 AM

When it comes to the Seaboard Marine Caribbean Motor Racing Championship (CMRC), there are countless reasons to build the most anticipated event for your Mother's Day weekend. The family affair, scheduled for May 12-13, is expected to be an engaging performance. This year's Seaboard Marine CMRC marks the fourth return to the Jamwest Speedway in Negril. The magical performance of competing engines is projected to leave the longest motor racing track in the Eastern Caribbean, smoking.

For those unfamiliar with the Seaboard Marine CMRC event, it is a competition that spans across four different countries. Jamaica is host to the first rounds, where racers and bike riders will battle to gain their country's champion points in order to move to the second level in Trinidad. With 10 weeks between each round, successful racing competitors will continue the rivalry in Barbados at the end of summer. The final showdown for the 2018 CMRC year's title and the crowning of champions in each race division will be held in November in Guyana.

The Caribbean native event has a rich history dating over 40 years. Since its inception, the once-elite sport has undergone significant changes. The very sophisticated race now consists of five distinct groups. For the past 36 years, there was only one qualifying category. In 2015, the racing circuit made room for more affordable cars, and 2017 signalled deeper changes, allowing motorcycles as a permanent fixture in the event.

This year has carved out two new categories for the racing lovers. According to the Caribbean Motor Racing Association (2018) regulation, the introduction of the two new groups will allow for more clean lines among the various groupings. The first introduced group is considered to be entry level, while the second new group is being allocated for the cars that cannot meet the minimum weight requirements.

Each group has positioned the CMRC to run an entire race-day of 18 races, totally under its own sporting safety and classifications.

So why the loud lure to the island's Tourism Capital of Casual? For starters, it's simply a monstrous event! The Jamwest Speedway is currently rumoured to be the preferred track for racers in Jamaica, with greater points of acceleration on the straightaway tracks and corners to manoeuvre. The breathtaking view that stretches across 370 acres, a VIP station, and a fully equipped facility are suited to everyone's needs. The grandstands accommodate 10,000 patrons, assuring complete focus for the muscle beauties sweeping the tracks.

Less than a month away, The Seaboard Marine has already accounted for over 33 foreign vehicles, all qualifying for this year's competition. Cars and bikes are arriving from The Caymans Islands, Antigua, Barbados, Trinidad, and Guyana. The two American drivers and their team of 20 are all starving for warmth and speed and excitedly await the region's premier event.

Jamwest Speedway is famous for attracting legends like the Jamaican race specialist, Peter Rae and Doug Gore. This year, the Bajan 'King of the Circuit,' Roger Mayers, will be competing in Jamaica for the first time. The race weekend is packed with memories whether you choose the $2,500 regular, the PIT $3,500, or VIP $5,000 tickets.

The biggest draw for me is the race itself. The yearning to accelerate beyond an unrealistic speed is something epic. There is a certain kind of intensity around the pit crew hustling to service cars in 30 seconds, knowing that mechanical components are stretched beyond limits. Or maybe it's the patrons deliberating over the underdog in a particular category. The Seaboard Marine Caribbean Motor Racing Championship is unique to all racing romantics and 2018 vows to be no different!

When: May 12-13, 2018

Where: Jamwest Speedway, Negril

Time: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Cost: $2,500 regular; PIT $3,500; VIP $5,000