With Cayman’s lone race track closed local racing seems to have shaky footing.
Earlier this month Breakers Speedway owner Robert Campbell announced the Speedway would be closed for at least two months to facilitate renovations among other things.
Racers all over Cayman have expressed their views on the closing with the majority saddened and anxiously wondering over the fate of young racers in the months to come.
Even though Breakers and straight-line action has come to a halt dexterity racing remains a viable option for racers.
In fact the next monthly instalment in the Time Attack series of dexterity races is this weekend. Saturday is slated to see racers do their best to dodge cones in record time from 6pm at Jay Bodden’s marl pit.
Up to this point the local motorsports association has been mum about the consequences of Breakers closing, especially in regards to local dexterity racing.
The Cayman Motorsports Association was contacted two weeks ago for a response on the closing. At that time CMA President and Time Attack co-ordinator Bobby Hulse said he would take time to formulate an official statement and submit it to the Caymanian Compass.
In the meantime Campbell has remained candid about the closing of the Breakers facility and expounded on what impact it can have on the local motorsports scene.
‘It’s a big loss. For a lot of kids Breakers is their home. Every Saturday night they had a stage to go on which to test their cars. It saddens me Breakers has to be put to a halt. But I have to be realistic, I’m burnt out.
‘Very few people do dexterity racing. I say this because over 700 people have run at Breakers. On slow nights we have about 30 people though we can go from 64 to 100 plus people at the track. It’s always a different group of guys running and a mixture of cars.
‘One meet will feature import power, the next bikes and the other sees American muscle. With TA it’s always the same guys running the same type of cars.’
Campbell went on to put the closing of Breakers in the context of Cayman’s political climate.
‘The whole issue of the track closing is like a kid with a football. You don’t make the kid play with his football in the living room. He needs a field to go test his skills.
‘The country needs the track. I don’t have to be the owner but I would want to see it through to completion.
‘In all the political campaigning I’ve heard no mention of motorsports or of building a facility for racing. To me sports tourism can be a new avenue to put money and jobs into the economy.’
As mentioned earlier the safety of Cayman’s roads and of young drivers now is a concern for many. Campbell is quick to point out the effect of Breakers being open on road safety.
‘Since the track’s opening we have not lost a single teenager on the road through road racing. Some might argue there was the case of those boys who crashed on West Bay road but I don’t count that.’
Going forward local motorsports is left to rely on Time Attack races on private property. It might not be ideal but many enthusiasts will gladly take that over nothing.
Campbell meanwhile is left to plan the renovations at Breakers and talk about the finished product.
‘I’m looking to put in a timing system for a 1000ft drag strip. Personally I don’t feel comfortable having a quarter mile and I have doubts about the safety of running cars at the higher speeds. Breakers has a clean record (through no accidents or fatalities at the track) and I want to maintain that going forward.
‘Ultimately I want the full complex completed: from the drag strip and motorbike area to a go-kart course and a circuit track. When it opens up I want all the people of Cayman to take their cars and run them to their limits on the track and not on the street through speeding.
‘Ideally I’d like to bring in international racers and get more money into Cayman. I also think we have a few national talents in motorsports that need the proper coaching and development seen with other sports like basketball or swimming.
‘I could see some six kids (in their late teens, early 20s) being trained to be national representatives for Cayman in regional and world competitions.’