Floridians inspired local racers

The owner of Breakers Speedway couldn’t be happier with the recent invitational meet.


Robert Campbell was happy with the meet at Breakers Photo: Matthew Yates

Over the course of the three day weekend on 12-14 September nearly 2,500 people came out to see all the action go down.

The track was host to 81 registered local racers and was helped by a couple of local companies.

Thus Robert Campbell was able to garner many positives from the event.

‘The competition was very tight and everyone had a good time. The meet marked the first time in Cayman that the track saw so many records broken.

‘Some of the highlights of the meet in my eyes were the spectacular save by Armando Ebanks, the visiting drivers showing their power and skill and the young drivers showing such great improvements.’

Over the course of that weekend the track record was broken some nine times. Ultimately the final track record would belong to visiting Floridian dragster Frank Muniz.

Muniz launched his yellow, twin-turbo Toyota Supra down the 1/8 strip in a time of 5.685s at 122mph.

Muniz was running consistently in the 5 second time frame. On his first run on the track on Friday he did 5.985s. From there he would post a time of 5.925s on Saturday.

All of those runs were done without the use of the parachute attached at the back of his ride. The parachute is often needed to slow down drag cars that go near to their top speeds.

Fellow Floridian dragster and World Wide Racing team-mate Luis Ferrer also matched those marks.

On Friday Ferrer ran 6.281s on his very first run at the track. That time broke the old track record of 6.421s held by local Cleve Seymour and his black Ford Mustang.

Unfortunately Ferrer’s best run would be his last for the weekend. Ferrer would propel his dark-coloured 1982 Toyota Corolla in a time of 5.800s at 120mph on Saturday before violently crashing just beyond the stopping area.

Campbell witnessed the crash. ‘The accident happened when his parachute deployed. The wind caught the parachute bad, dragging the car to one side and flipping it over.

‘I think he could have stopped safely without the parachute. He probably used it to show off for the crowd. The first time he ran he stopped well short of the stopping area.’

The car would be totalled and Ferrer would have to sit out Sunday’s racing. Luckily, due to a full body roll-cage, the engine remained intact, there was no fire and Ferrer walked away from the crash without a scratch.

Ferrer said shortly after the crash that he had been in worse crashes including a head-on collision into a wall in Puerto Rico.

Campbell felt that in his mind the crash showed the importance of safety equipment, especially fire suits and helmets.

In spite of the crash Sunday would see excellent runs from the local drivers, resulting in the breaking of two local records.

Minroy Hydes’ old front-wheel drive record would be broken youngster Jason Henry. The 19-year-old ran a 7.914s in his purple Nissan Sentra SE-R.

Henry saw stiff competition for the record, especially from Jimel McLean. McLean launched his white Honda Integra Type-R down the 1/8 strip in a time of 7.961s.

Meanwhile the rear-wheel drive record would switch hands twice on the day. Armando Ebanks momentarily captured the record in a time of 6.354s in his strawberry-coloured Mustang. But then Dale Davis stepped up in his black Mustang and ran 6.2s on his final run.

The event was not without its setbacks however. For instance not all of the international racers were able to come out.

The two dragsters from Jamaica were unable to come to Cayman due to the after-effects of Hurricane Gustav and they missed their shipping deadlines.

Plans are in the works to bring the racers to Cayman this year though both have races in October and December.

Campbell took time to point out some of the issues he saw on the weekend.

‘We had some parking issues. People were forced to park towards the end of the drag strip which was not prepared to serve as extra parking spaces.

‘A lot of the area around the track needs crushed rock and to be fine grated before it gets paved.

‘Even though the facility has the capacity for 4,500 cars and can hold 20,000 people it has seats for 1,200 people right now.’

Nevertheless Campbell felt the event was a big success, due in large part to the condition of the track. He said a lot of the praise for that aspect must go to foreigner Billy Moffitt.

‘All of the excellent racing would have not been possible without Billy working hard on the track. He volunteered his time to prep the track from some two days before the meet.

‘His trip down from the States resulted in better times for all the racers.’

Campbell also wished to thank all the local companies who helped with the event including Seaboard Marine (who shipped the racers’ cars to and from Cayman) and Coconut Car Rentals (who provided a rental car for the drivers).

Ultimately Campbell felt the foreign dragsters made a lasting impact on all local drivers.

‘Their presence helped the local guys see another angle of the sport. I think their runs helped local drivers put their urge to speed on the track and off the streets.’

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