Glenroy Sinclair, Assignment Co-ordinator
The go-kart fraternity continues to recognise Abe Ziadie's outstanding contribution to the development of the sport, as today the Jamaica Karting Association (JKA) will be staging the Abe Ziadie Memorial Race Meet at the Palisadoes International Raceway, Kingston.
The 2012 grand finale go-kart race meet is scheduled to get underway at 9 a.m.
The bulk of the attention should go to Peter Moodie Jr and Joshua Sirgany, who are battling for the Abe Ziadie Memorial Trophy. The two are competing in separate classes, but Sirgany comes into today's meet holding a slim lead. "Both have been dominating their respective classes, but at the moment young Sirgany has the edge," argued Neil Williams, president of the JKA.
Other drivers who are well poised to cement their lien on some of the major titles up for grabs are Mark Moodie in the 50 cc Class, Matthew Williams in the Rotax Senior Class and Thomas Issa in the Rotax Junior Class. Sirgany and Moodie are the respective leaders in the Rotax Mini Max and Masters Classes.
While the karters are upbeat about today's meet, Campion College student Thomas Issa and Collin Daley Jr of St George's College are expected to pull out all stops, as they will be using the meet as part of their preparation for the World Karting Finals in Portugal during the first week of December.
"We will are planning on leaving for Portugal later this week," Williams said.
Today's meet is expected to attract a large gathering of die-hard karting fans, some of whom will be saluting the memories of Abe Ziadie. A past president of the JKA, Ziadie was killed by gunmen on a Sunday night in January 2000, while purchasing ice cream at a fast food store on Constant Spring Road, St. Andrew. The killers took his licensed firearm.
"Abe 'Zimbo' Ziadie was the backbone of karting. If it was not for Abe, after our first president, Cornel D'Oyen, died, I don't know where karting would have been today," said businessman Doug Donald, a former go-kart racer.
"Abe kept everybody together. He was the one who got the major sponsors for the club. At one stage we had over 70 karters racing," said Michael Lodenquai, another former karter.
He further stressed that under Ziadie's leadership, they all played their respective roles in laying the foundation for karting at the Palisadoes International Raceway.