CaySpeed want championship here

Junior Hydes and Andy Bodden feel Cayman would benefit from hosting a regional circuit race.

Both racers, who are part of the CaySpeed race team, are representing the Cayman Islands in the Seaboard Marine Caribbean Motor Racing Championship. The next leg of the competition is slated for this weekend, 1-2 September, at Bushy Park race track in St. Phillip, Barbados.

Hydes states the event could boost the local economy.

“Our dream would be to bring it here,” Hydes said. “The benefits of it are there for the country. We carry a lot of people each time, around 18-20, so whichever country that hosts a leg of it would boost their economy.

“We don’t have the sort of funds to compete with the other teams who have full on race cars. It, government support, would be awesome.”

Talk of government backing motorsports is not new in Cayman. Racers have been seeking public sector support for years, back when competition centred around High Rock in East End. Interestingly, Cayman had a taste of circuit racing years ago at Lake View Raceway, a dirt track that was located in George Town.

These days, local motorsports is stagnant with Breakers Speedway, Cayman’s only race track, seemingly in limbo. On one hand, local racer Joe Myrie and the Cayman Islands Drag Racing Association have both stated there are plans to host meets in the near future. On the other hand, track owner Robert Campbell wants to sell the facility, which was listed at 53 acres with a selling price of $2.8 million.

Bodden states the lack of a track is a big stumbling block.

“If there’s ever a track here again, we can have a leg of those Caribbean Championships here,” Bodden said. “It’s a type of sports tourism. There’s a lot of potential income for these islands.”

There has been persistent rumour of another drag racing facility being built at High Rock. Three years ago, the Cayman Hot Rod Association had planned to develop a National Hot Rod Association-certified 1/4 mile track. To date, there has been no official word from the group about any progress on any development in East End.

Nevertheless, Hydes and Bodden will look for more kudos in Barbados. They currently have Cayman in second place after the first leg at Dover Raceway in Jamaica. Both men are competing in Mitsubishi Evolutions with Hydes running a yellow Evo III and Bodden racing a white Evo VIII.

Bodden states his car is ready for the challenge at Bushy Park.

“It has a Ray’s engine, it’s a US model and an ex-Sports Car Club of America car. It has a bevy of suspension parts, an upgraded gearbox and a wild combination of parts. It’s a work in progress as I have to sort the handling out.

“This economy is not conducive to racing. It may seem like we’re having fun but we’re being patriotic. It’s more than an individual thing. There is only two of us this season. There are a lot of people who are into cars here.

“We’d hope to have more drivers next season. If we can get more people to come on board, that would be the hope: to have more Cayman cars next season.”