Hydes looks set

Local drag racing will soon see its
biggest race of the year. Many members of Cayman’s motorsports community are
gearing up for the meet including Minroy Hydes.

A fixture on the local scene for a
decade, Hydes earned his latest props in August when he won the eight second
class at the NAPA-Kirk Motors Summer Heat Action event. An import fan, Hydes
ran a mid-90s blue Toyota Starlet.

The car is far from factory-spec with
a big turbo, a bored and stroked engine and the ability to make 500hp. Toss in
the fact that he has an upgraded clutch, a traction control bar and an upgraded
electrical fuel pump and the car is more than ready to race.

Hydes, who turned 37 in September,
intends to run the car next month and states he has a number of plans in the
works. “If I fix the head gaskets and run 30 pounds of boost, I think I can run
sevens, possibly even reach the high sixes,” Hydes said. “I have 10 odd parts
on order and I’ve got a lot of plans for the November race. In racing you got
to be calm, hope for the best and run you best.”

Breaker Speedway is slated to host
an international meet on 27 November. A number of racers based overseas are expected
to be in Cayman to compete including Dean Shaw in his Chevy Camaro, Victor
Gutay on his Suzuki motorcycle and Frank Muniz and the crew at World Wide
Racing. Two years ago Muniz brought down a yellow twin-turbo Toyota Supra that
was the first car at Breakers to hit the five-second mark as it went 5.685s
down the 1/8 mile track at 122mph.

Speedway owner Robert Campbell
spoke about the format for that weekend’s race. “Friday night will see a test
and tune 6-10pm with action taking place on Saturday,” Campbell said. “We’re
hoping for a 3pm start there. At this point racer fees would be CI$25 to cover
Friday and Saturday. Dean Shaw is definitely coming and Frank from Miami is
coming down. In fact he plans to come with a different car than the Supra years
ago. This one is slated to be a Toyota Soarer, which is similar to the Lexus
SC400, with more power as it allegedly makes 1000hp.”

Hydes’ best time this summer was
8.033 seconds. Interestingly he hit that mark with blown head gaskets, which
were damaged after qualifying. In spite of the mishap the brother of fellow
drag racer Junior Hydes states only a few racers outperformed him.

“After I blew my head gasket only
two guys did a faster run than me in my class. That was Ian Charlery in the
blue Subaru Impreza and the gentleman in the red Pontiac Trans-Am. They were supposed
to run between 8.0s and 9.0s to stay in the class but they ran lower than that
so they broke out.”

Prior to this summer Hydes nabbed
accolades for having the front-wheel drive record at Breakers. Using the same
car he ran in the high seven second bracket. In the last two years his mark has
been eclipsed on a number of occasions by the likes of Jason Henry in his
purple Nissan Sentra, Jimel McLean in a white Honda Integra Type-R and most
recently Tom Kirkconnell. The Automotive Art manager ran a grey Honda Civic in
a time of 7.107s last December.

Hydes, who had help from Kenrick
Baker tuning his Starlet, states he is motivated to break Kirkconnell’s mark
and prove his worth against V8 American muscle and turbo import machines. “Two
years ago I broke the FWD record twice. I ultimately set the time at 7.9s using
a lot more boost than I do now. Back then I ran 27.5lbs and now I run 19lbs.
I’m intent on breaking Tom’s mark of 7.107s, hopefully by a couple of
milliseconds. I really want to take that FWD crown from him and be between 6.4s
and 6.9s. I know I’m going to have to trouble-shoot my car to get that and
by-pass the AWD rides and the V8 cars in the seven second class.”


Baker helped Minroy with his Starlet.
Photo: Matthew Yates