Accidents galore at Carnival of Speed Easter racemeet at Dover
It was a day of spills and thrills at the Carnival of Speed circuit race meet, which concluded at Dover Raceway, St Ann, on Monday.
There were four on-track incidents which saw at least two cars going airborne as they flipped then landed back on the track. It was a scary moment for the patrons and relatives of two of the drivers, Sebastian Rae and Ameer Johnson. Both were rushed to the St Ann's Bay Hospital by an ambulance that was on standby at the track.
Rae, a former national circuit racing champion, said the experience as "not a nice feeling".
"I was in the second Modified Production race, which was a reverse grid for the slower cars. After negotiating the hairpin corner, a couple of cars were ahead of me," he said.
"There was an accident, so because of that everybody had to slow down and apply their brakes. I couldn't see around the corner, so by the time I came around and saw them, I stepped on my brake in order to avoid making contact with them.
"As a result of this, my car hit the wall and flipped. I was then hit by an oncoming car that was immediately behind me. My car later spun out and ended upside down on the track," a shaken Rae told The Gleaner, shortly after returning from the hospital.
"It is not a nice feeling sitting in a car, upside down on the track, smelling gasoline, with splinters from the windscreen in your eyes and watching sparks from the metal making contact with the concrete.
"Everything happened so fast. The good thing is that the safety gears that we use have really proved that it saves lives. It is important for us to wear them," said Rae, who was thoroughly checked by the medical experts before being released from the hospital.
While he was still at the hospital, his uncle, Peter Rae, had a minor accident, at the same hairpin corner.
There was no injury, but later in the afternoon, the hundreds of patrons were left almost breathless when they watched young Johnson's car drift off track, make contact with an object, then bounce about three times in the air and roll twice.
For a brief moment, it appeared as if Johnson of Team MoBay was pinned inside. The car was upside down on the track. Race meet marshalls and members of the medical team responded urgently and expertly removed him from the car. He, too, was rushed to the St Ann's Bay Hospital.
"He was released from the hospital last night (Monday night). There is no serious injury. He is just complaining of pains, but he is ok," Dean Corrodus of Team MoBay told The Gleaner yesterday.
A few hours after that accident, there was another involving André Anderson and Heath Causewell. There was no serious injuries either.
"Following these on-track incidents, our aim now is to try and improve the safety awareness among the drivers. It must not be a case of just winning. The meet was a good one, and what we have observed is that more low-budget competitors are participating," Charles Chen, president of the Jamaica Race Drivers' Club, told The Gleaner yesterday.
Among some of the winners were motorcyclist Kyle Reynolds and drivers Dean Corrodus, Guy Fraser, André Anderson, David Summerbell, Kyle Gregg and André Rickards.