JA thrills

Racing, like all sports, is a big deal in Jamaica.

The media hypes events heavily, drivers and cars are plentiful and races draw massive crowds.

There are a number of large race tracks that support all forms of motor sports from dexterity to drag to circuit.

Last week this reporter got a taste of the Jamaican motor sports culture.

I was at Dover Raceway for the opening round of the 2009 Caribbean Circuit Championship. The race, put on by the Jamaican Race Drivers Club, took place on Monday May 25 with qualifying and time trials last Saturday and Sunday.

Dover Raceway is located in St. Ann’s Bay and is a 1.6 mile course.

As on previous occasions Cayman sent a contingent of local racers and supporters to Jamaica for the race.

This year’s crop of drivers were Andy Bodden in the Tony’s Toys Honda Civic Type-R, Gary ‘Rambo’ Barrett in his black Honda Civic hatchback, Junior Hydes in a grey Mitsubishi Evolution III and Kevin Johnson in a white Mitsubishi Evolution III.

The trip was made possible by Tony Williams of Tony’s Toys and Ray Hydes of Hydes and Sons.

Over the course of three days I witnessed a phenomenal display of power and precision on the track and camaraderie and national pride off of it.

For the next two weeks I’ll chronicle all that the drama in Jamaica from the successes and failures of the Cayman group to the awe-inspiring driving seen from such legends as David Summerbell and Peter Rae.