Boddens can teach all racers

Cayman’s next big race hopes to grow appreciation for local motorsports history.

The Cayman Motorsports Association will be staging the annual Al and Jay Bodden Memorial race this Sunday, 18 November. The Progressive Loop in George Town will serve as the venue.

Motorsports association Karyll Iton states it is crucial to remember the Bodden family,

“Jay Bodden, in particular, was instrumental for racing by giving racers somewhere to go when they couldn’t go nowhere else,” Iton said. “That contribution isn’t forgotten. It’s a good thing to pay homage to them. As an association, we had to keep that going on a year-to-year basis.”

The association began hosting the race to commemorate the Boddens in 2009. The meet is in memory of Al and Jay Bodden, who were huge contributors to racing in Cayman. Father Jay Bodden owned the land on which the Progressive Loop now sits. He passed away in 2009, with son Al preceding him in death years before that.

The Bodden property also was home to the legendary Lakeview Raceway dirt track, which Iton states is worthy remembering.

“Young guys hear of Lakeview and have never been to it or seen it. We, as an association, cannot let the memory of it fade into obscurity.”

Aside from the rich history, racers will be treated to a new format. Normally an endurance competition, the meet will be a knock-out style race that will reward the last driver standing. Usually a cumulative timed event, now the emphasis is on racers competing against each other simultaneously in search of the fastest time.

In the past, the year’s last autocross event would regularly attract around 20 drivers. The race would offer either 100 total laps or 10 laps per competitor with each run lasting around two minutes.

News of the memorial comes after the motorsports association’s Time Attack series finale last month. Aaron Haylock, sharing Jimel McLean’s Honda Civic, would defeat Alexander Conolly in the street category with Reynaldo Powery finishing in third place. Tom Kirkconnell, in his Mazda RX-7, would defeat Brian Dilbert in the unlimited division final.

For the record, autocross is the only local avenue left for motorsports. Breakers Speedway, Cayman’s only 1/8 mile track, closed last year, ending drag racing and any possible circuit racing in Cayman. Many drivers, like Donald Francis, Andy Bodden and Junior Hydes, have taken to competing abroad.

There has been persistent rumour of another drag racing facility being built at High Rock in East End. Three years ago, the Cayman Hot Rod Association had planned to develop a National Hot Rod Association-certified 1/4 mile track. It originally wanted the track finished by mid-2009. However, there has been no official word from the Cayman group about any progress on any development in East End.

For Sunday’s race, practice and qualifying starts at 11am with head-to-head rounds beginning at 12.30pm. There are cash prizes and trophies on offer for overall winners. Registration is on Friday, 16 November, 6-8pm at Automotive Art.

For more information, e-mail [email protected]

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