Jamaican wins regional mechanic title
Glenroy Sinclair, Assignment Coordinator
He was standing in the audience in Guyana, busy taking snapshots of some of the patrons, when he heard his name over the sound system. For a moment two Saturdays ago, Robert Samms froze in his tracks. Then came the shocker.
It was announced that Samms was top mechanic of regional race meet, the Caribbean Motor Racing Championship (CMRC).
"When I first heard my name, I said to myself 'what, me and somebody here have the same name'. Then I heard it again and the person chairing the function disclosed that I was named the mechanic of the race meet. I was stunned," said Samms.
A product of Papine Secondary School, he is head of the mechanical crew which helped Jamaica's Sebastien Rae to clinch the Group Two title at the third and final leg of the CMRC, which concluded in Guyana last weekend.
He is also the man behind Rae's successful stint at the Dover Raceway, especially this year when Rae won the 2012 Dover Champion Driver Award. Samms has been Rae's mechanic for five years.
The father of four was among three Jamaicans who walked away with regional titles last weekend. David Summerbell won the overall drivers' championship, while Rae took the Group Two title. In addition, veteran driver Peter 'Zoom Zoom' Race produced the fastest lap time of the day.
The second of five boys for Pauline Forbes, 39 year-old mechanic Samms had no idea that he would have been recognised for his contribution to the motor racing when he landed in Guyana.
Though he did not set out to pursue a career in mechanic, Samms was introduced to the trade at a little garage in Gordon Town where he grew up. The struggles of life took him to several places to ply his trade.
"I began to excel while I was at Peter Moodie's garage. It was there that I learnt a lot," Samms said.
He believes the many sleepless nights and hard work spent preparing Rae's vehicle have finally paid rich dividends. "I am really happy," said Samms.