Jackson is all revved up to lead

Cayman’s motorsports scene has a new body in place for 2011. The group is already revving ahead with a race coming up in the next few days.

Breakers Speedway hosts a local drag meet titled “Cayman’s Fastest” on Sunday 27 March.

In addition to being a chance to see some of the quickest cars, it is also an opportunity to catch the Cayman Islands Drag Racing Association in action. One of the big names behind the organization is noted driver Sammy Jackson, who serves as president.

A lawyer by trade, Jackson is known for his 2000 Chevy Camaro SS. He drove that same Camaro to a victory over Dean Shaw back in January at the 1/8 mile track’s last international race. Jackson gave some insight into where the association is at.

“The drag racing association is a recently organized not-for-profit association,” Jackson said. “It currently has a voluntary membership of about 30 racers and racing enthusiasts.

There is an elected board with myself as president, Richard Bodden as vice president, Dail Davis as Secretary and Erna Davis as Treasurer.

There is also Rhian Campbell and Michael Webster as the marketing director and promotions director respectively with Chuck Thompson as Race Director and Daniel Ebanks as safety director for our upcoming events.

“I am really excited about the new organization and it is an honour to be a part of a group of such real enthusiasts. The fact that we have a calendar for the whole year gives us an opportunity to really showcase what these folks and their cars can really do in a safe structured environment.”

For the record the majority of board members are noted racers. Bodden sports a yellow Mitsubishi Evolution III that has slowly gained ground in the all wheel drive segment. Dail Davis has a 1989 black Ford Mustang that recently ran under six seconds at Breakers, Webster has one of the fastest Toyota Supras (based on 1/8 mile times) on island and Thompson is a veteran trying out dexterity racing of late in a blue Subaru Impreza.

In addition to this weekend’s race (which sees gates open from 12noon and action starting from 1pm), four other meets are on tap.

The prospective dates at the moment are 5 June, 31 July, 2 October and 4 December.

All are being held at Breakers, which Jackson states is happy to host the meets.

“We have entered into an arrangement with the proprietor of the Breakers Speedway, Robert Campbell, whereby we will be holding five organized and properly managed events during the course of 2011. It is intended that we will continue on into 2012 and beyond. It is our objective to make this sport a viable and vibrant form of entertainment for the local community.”

The presence of the drag racing organization means the Cayman Islands currently has three official bodies for motorsports.

The chief group is the Cayman Motorsports Association and the second entity is the Cayman Islands Hot Rod Association, which has been behind the scenes in recent years.

Together they are in charge of the two main forms of motorsports on-island in drag racing and autocross/dexterity racing.

It is no secret that the two disciplines have clashed. Most times conflict has come over the timing of events. Indeed this Sunday there is a autocross event planned for the same time as the drag meet.

Jackson states the association’s goal is to foster unity and cohesion.

“Membership in the association is growing daily and we are pleased to have sparked the interest of the seasoned veterans of the sport as well as the young novices. It is intended that we will become the preeminent drag racing association in the Cayman Islands. We are dedicated to promoting the sport of drag racing with a primary focus on enhancing safety for all participants.

“We are also cognizant that there are other motorsports organizations out there. In fact a number of their members are also members of our association. We intend to support and assist the other auto clubs and motorsports organizations as best we can and to coordinate with them so as to avoid conflicting event dates and the like in 
the future.”