Pursuing a law degree while operating more than one business is time-consuming. Yet in spite of those obligations Jody Jervis finds time to be active in motorsports.
Jervis, 31, was at Breakers Speedway weeks ago to witness an international meet featuring drag racers from Jamaica. The event saw Caymanian Sammy Jackson best visitor Dean Shaw in a battle of Camaros while Robert Ilgner’s Mazda RX-7 took down Cayman resident Kenrick “Banks” Baker.
A racer for over five years, Jervis did not compete this time around but states he was impressed with what he saw.
“It was very exciting,” Jervis said. “I was impressed with the proper beating Sammy gave Dean. The RX-7 beat us but the Cayman guys gave it their all. That’s not going to happen next meet as I will be handing it to the RX-7.
“It (the meet) demonstrates the level of racing Cayman has reached. We’re on par with bigger competitors like Jamaica. We (in the local motorsports community) loved the event.
“I thank Robert Campbell (the owner of Breakers Speedway) and the guys who came out because these races really help the sport grow and that’s what we need.”
Jervis’ absence on the 1/8 mile track was quite a surprise. Last January he beat Jamaican dragster Craig Lue in spite of the visitor running 6.325s, the fastest time of any four-wheel drive car at Breakers.
Jervis claimed the win behind the wheel of his white Nissan Skyline R33 GT-S. Lue came into the race with a blue Mitsubishi Evolution VII that reportedly made 900whp on 35lbs of boost using the fastest four cylinder engine in Jamaica. It reportedly ran the 1/4 mile at 9.5s at 148mph.
The Savannah resident admits a big reason why he did not compete recently was due to his other commitments. However he intends to be taking part in the second international planned for 17 April at Breakers.
“The last time we ran the car we ran 6.002s. A few weeks afterwards we ran back at Breakers trying for a five-second pass. But we blew up the motor in the car.
It was running on stock pistons and rods and at the time no other RB Skyline motor had ran that low of a time on stock parts. I was very happy and proud of what we achieved on stock rods.
“Aside from having to find a new motor I’m currently studying law at the Cayman Islands Law School. I also run three other businesses and I recently became a father. So I had bigger things to deal with than the car. Everyone deserves a time to shine and I wanted the other guys to get that time.
“But for the next meet I’m planning to take them (the visitors) out. I plan to run a time of about 5.8s. Dean Shaw is running about 5.5s so he is a little out of the realm.
“But my white car, which was previously faster than the other Jamaicans, will beat the rest of them again like last year.”
With the original motor gone, clearly the car needs work to get back to its previous glory. Jervis maintains that quite a lot of modifications have taken place over the last 12 months. Most of those changes have focused on the engine and the transmission.
“The Skyline has a RB33 motor that is essentially an R33 GT-R motor. It used to be mated to a five-speed manual transmission but we converted the tranny to an automatic. That tranny is made for a V8 car and we (my tuner Lance, myself and my crew) put it together ourselves. In the past it was rated as the fastest Skyline in the Caribbean and we’re hoping with the automatic we’ll be able to hold the power and be consistent.
“We did a lot of custom work to run the car and all of that work was done in Jamaica with help from Craig Lue (who is a good friend of mine off the track). “Basically the car looks the same, it will have the same driver and the same result; namely a beating of the Jamaicans like last year.”
Jervis may sound overly confident based on one really good showing. The truth is he has been posting low times and beating regional competitors around the Caribbean for some time.
In the past he teamed up with the likes of Patrick Campbell (whose black Nissan Skyline R32 previously had the fastest 1/8 time of any Cayman-based Skyline at 6.090s) and Kevin Johnson (whose Mitsubishi Evolution III was another former 4WD record holder). Together the group competed at race tracks in locales such as Antigua, Jamaica and Barbados.
“The group of us have been to Jamaica and Antigua to race. We did it well and represented Cayman to the rest of the Caribbean. But now I’m looking to run hard in April.
“It’ll be interesting also to see what Tom Kirkconnell can do. His Honda Civic ran a time of 6.8s, which was the front-wheel drive record. I grew up with him and his brother Wayne in Tropical Gardens so I guess it’s something about that area when it comes to racing.”