Karyll wants rookies gearing up

Local autocross is doing its best to keep the Cayman motorsports community alive.

The 2012 season recently launched and featured a new head-to-head format. George Town’s Progressive Loop would see some tight racing on display in the Cayman Motorsports Association Time Attack series opener.

For association president Karyll Iton, the biggest positive was the presence of more drivers.

“For the last six years, the sport has been the same,” Iton said. “It was about working against the clock. What we [in the association] decided we’d do is bring spectators to the sport. In bringing competition it gives drivers a new challenge. Instead of just navigating the race course, they have to do it faster than the other challenger.”

Some 20 racers took part in the event. A number of faces returned to the sport after lengthy absences such as Roje Williams (in a Nissan Silvia), Andrew Ngyou (in a Honda Civic hatchback) and Orantis Rankin (in a Mitsubishi Evolution). There were also a few newcomers like Aaron Haylock and Donald Francis (who shared Jimel McLean’s Honda Civic). Some racers, especially Andy Bodden in his Mitsubishi Evolution VIII, came out with completely reworked rides.

The usual suspects dominated the podium. Jimel McLean propelled his golden Honda Civic to the fastest time in the Two Wheel Drive division at 34.831 seconds. He would win the street battle event and walk away from the meet with 300 points.

Keith ‘Speedy’ Tibbetts III produced the event’s fastest time of 32.302s in his Valvoline Impreza Sti. He would win the Unlimited division and its accompanying battle segment to earn the maximum of 300 points.

Iton states aside from the results and driver participation, focus also rests on sponsors Automotive Art and Tony’s Toys.

“We’ve welcomed a new sponsor for the first three events in Tony Williams of Tony’s Toys. We thank him for the contribution he’s making and it’s a big development for us. It’s key for getting new people in the sport on every level.”

Autocross is now the biggest happening in local motorsports. The scene lost its drag racing component with the permanent closing of the Breakers Speedway 1/8 mile drag strip last December.

The Time Attack series continues next month with two races on 1 and 29 April.