Circuit racing in Jamaica is not an easy proposition with many expenses and a tough track.
Nevertheless the Cayman race team that competed at Dover raceway had plenty of positive sentiments.
Junior Hydes was one of the drivers who represented Cayman at the annual Heroes of Speed event last week.
In Hydes’ eyes there was plenty of excitement.
‘It was excellent and very organized. It was well put together by Ray Hydes (of Hydes and Sons) and Tony Williams (of Tony’s Toys).
‘Everything went smooth and it was what I expected. It was an exciting time all in all.’
Hydes ran the Hydes and Sons Mitsubishi Evolution III at Dover in what was also the last stage of this year’s Caribbean Circuit Championship.
In spite of his upbeat attitude Dover would provide mixed results for Hydes.
On one hand he ran well in qualifying as the suspension upgrades, engine tweaks and additional tuning turned in fast times.
However on race day Hydes would see his five-speed gearbox break during his first race and place him on the sidelines thereafter.
Hydes meanwhile is focused on the positives that the car provided.
‘It performed a lot better than expected. I know I could have done better but all the changes really made the car run tremendously.
‘Based on the race I was in when the box broke I know I could have easily had a top five finish on the day if not end up on the podium.’
From here the car is slated to stay in Jamaica and await the arrival of a new transmission. The goal will be to run the car at the JamWest drag meet on November 29.
In the interim Hydes is slated to take part in the next Cayman Motorsports Association Full Throttle drag race November 14.
He also intends to attend Thursday’s drag racing tutorial at Breakers Speedway being put on by American dragster Billy Moffitt.
Another Cayman driver staying upbeat after Dover is Andy Bodden.
Bodden raced the Tony’s Toys Honda Civic Type-R. He too had blistering qualifying times, going as low as 1:29 around the roughly 1.6 mile track.
On race day he turned in a fifth place finish in one of his classes before tire trouble and a blown engine halted his assault on the other two divisions.
Bodden talked about how Dover went.
‘It’s a learning curve and we made progress. The brakes were working well on Tony’s car, Junior’s handling was sorted out and Rambo (Gary Barrett) had his usual consistent runs.
‘Up until now I had no idea what time I was running but with this latest race I now know I can do 1:31 consistently.
‘Granted things happened with my car and Junior’s but that’s racing. We had some good competition and I enjoyed every minute of my time at Dover when I was racing.’
The next step for Bodden is competing in the monthly Time Attack dexterity races. The last meet was held last weekend and the next one is slated for late next month.
Bodden also intends to do some modifications to his Shelby Mustang in the hopes of having it ready for a Full Throttle drag meet.
At this point the Tony’s Toy’s Civic will stay in Jamaica and await a new engine ahead of next year’s circuit championship.
The last of the Cayman racers at Dover was Gary ‘Rambo’ Barrett in his black 1991 Honda Civic hatchback.
To no surprise Barrett was the most successful of the group nabbing a pair of podium finishes.
A humble perfectionist, Barrett talked about his problems at Dover.
‘I had a gearbox issue as I couldn’t get into third for nothing. I know I had a problem but I decided to run it out.
‘I did ok but the problem got worse after two races. Guys passed me on the straights because my synchros and gears were badly damaged.’
Barrett was in Jamaica over the weekend at the circuit championship awards ceremony. He had 10 podium finishes in 12 races and is in line for at least one division title.