Moto chronicles 2018. 1st edition

Motor Chronicles June 8, 2018 Picture credits MikeySpice and DMontii Motorgraphy

Just under 7 years ago I wrote an article about the new generation of racers coming up from karting and entering circuit and rallysport racing. The three featured drivers were Kyle Gregg, Joel Jackson and Andre Anderson. I wrote what I thought were the three most crucial elements that these three had which would guarantee their success: family support, an experienced and proficient team and sound financial backing. History has recorded that these three have indeed become the stars they were destined to be, with Kyle being the first Jamaican driver to win both the rallysport and circuit racing titles in the same year in 2012.

I have copied a link to the article mentioned in the above paragraph at the bottom of this article.

Fast forward to the recent past (2015-2017). The first three stars have been joined by three others from karting: Colin Daley Jr., Fraser McConnell and William Myers, with all three hailing from the same race camp and now running in the same race category and driving the same make and model cars (though of different year of manufacture). These three have all but completely locked out the podium positions for the MP2 class and don’t look likely to release their stranglehold to anyone else soon. McConnell is already a 2 time driver’s champion and was the youngest to win the title at 17 years of age. The MP2 class has become one of the more exciting classes to watch as the challengers to these three have been mercilessly slaughtered on track, which has had an unintended consequence in my opinion of competitors looking to other categories to enter as going home without any trophies is a hard thing for racers to accept.

Fast forward to the present and we see that three emerging stars have entered the stage. Nicolas Barnes, Demar Lee and Senna Summerbell are leading the third wave of young talent to grace the tracks at Dover and Jamwest. Already they have started their trophy collections in earnest and the fans have embraced the new energy and excitement that these three have brought, with comments of “the best race of the day”, “me get me money’s worth” and “ah dem yah race me love” being declared in the stands. It is an exciting time to be a lover of circuit racing and 2018 promises to be an historic year for the sport.

Matching the appearance of the three latest stars has been the implementation of four innovations to Jamaican circuit racing whose seem-less introduction may have gone unnoticed by many. The adoption of the Mylaps timing system that I for one have been so vocal about for the past five (5) years or so is a most welcome incorporation in race running. The ability to have real time updates on qualifying (hence grid positions) and race results is something that has long been anticipated. To be able to access all race information online and study lap times and other performance parameters is refreshing to say the least.
The second development has been the use of start lights at Jamwest which brings our racing just that bit closer to modernization.
The third development has been the implementation of three rapid response vehicles stationed at each of the three response stations which in turn handle any incident in each of three sectors that both Jamaican tracks have been divided into. Not only is each response station manned by a wrecker and an ambulance but they have been joined by a rapid response vehicle, a small truck carrying brooms, a shovel, oil absorbent material, a fire extinguisher and a tow rope. The turnaround time between races used to recover stricken vehicles from the track or to return the track to a race ready state has been cut drastically by the coordinated efforts of the marshals, race director and response vehicles.
A fourth “new to Jamaican racing” development (but in reality in practice worldwide for decades) has been the Medical car, a vehicle carrying a doctor which follows the race cars for the first lap of each race in order to cut response time should an incident occur on the first lap (which is the most likely lap for incidents to occur. Remember the Doug/David incident at Jamwest last year?). The car used for this purpose at Jamwest, a BMW M4 Coupe, is owned by the doctor himself.

So despite all that has been going on, let’s not lose sight of the big picture: Jamaica is full of driving talent and the talent has come out, is coming out and will come out. Racing has been a passion for many on this fair isle that is steeped in a car culture so strong that we define ourselves by our vehicles.

See 2011 article on Gregg and others here: https://web.facebook.com/notes/10150786311730332/


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