Guyanese Kristian Jeffrey conquers Jamwest
Defending Caribbean drivers' champion, Kristian Jeffrey of Guyana, won all three Group Four races at the Seaboard Marine CMRC (Caribbean Motor Racing Championship) race meet at Jamwest, Mango Hall, Westmoreland, to take an early lead in the championship series.
Trinidad and Tobago will host the second leg of the series in June, and Jeffrey will be just as tough to beat there after his showing here on Sunday.
Jeffrey, driving his Mitsubishi Evolution, was superb in all three group races, demonstrating his class to take the first race in 1:10.261, with Jamaica's Peter Rae finishing second in 1:12.111, and his Jamaican counterpart, George Bailey, third in 1:18.907.
Franklyn Boodram of Trinidad and Tobago, with the Caribbean's most technologically advanced car, ran off the track in corner one of race one to avoid an accident with Kristian and Kevin Jeffrey.
He came third in race two and fourth in race three. He did not seriously challenge the competitors, as his apparent lack of knowledge of the car showed.
Rae's car caught fire during Race Two on the seventh lap, and he had to quickly bail out. The flames were extinguished by marshalls. At the time, he was in second position behind Jeffrey.
Noel Golding of Jamaica and Gary Barrett of the Cayman Islands shared honours in the Group Three section, with Golding taking race one, while Barrett won the other two races.
Group Three was introduced this year for the first time. Golding and Natasha Chang, as the only local finishers in any of the three races, are the only Jamaicans who will gain points.
Chang ended third in race one, but she developed car trouble and failed to complete race three.
Jordan Powell of Jamaica took all three races in Group Two. He won race one in 1:17.493, the fastest he had gone on the day. Trinidad's Marc Gill and compatriot Damien Nesbit came second and third, respectively. Gill was second to Powell in the third race.
The Guyanese looked good in the circuit-car races, but even topped their performances to dominate the Superstock Motor bike section, with Stephen Viera taking two of three races, followed by Elliot Viera, also of Guyana.
Robert McDonald of Jamaica was third in all three races. Although Jamaica had six of the 12 bikes in the field, they had to settle for just one podium finish in all three races, as the Guyanese manoeuvred the Jamwest circuit like they owned it.
The CMRC was being held at the Jamwest venue for the first time, and it received glowing endorsement from the competitors.
Henry Krauz, the International Automobile Federation (FIA) representative, was among the thousands who attended the first big race meet at Jamwest, a year after the track was given FIA approval.
"With a few more improvements, the venue will be well on its way to being a very good track, and we are looking forward to that. It is very promising," Krauz said.