The sound of revving engines and the smell of burning rubber took over a corner of the Cayman Islands on Sunday as more than 1,000 spectators turned out for an afternoon of motorbike and drag car racing.
The event, at the Speedway track, drew large crowds and a heavy police presence to ensure the high-speed action did not spill over to the streets.
While illegal bikers on Cayman’s roads may have attracted attention in recent months, there was no sign of any issues surrounding the event and organizers hope the revival of the track, which has not been used since 2011, will lead to a resurgence in legitimate, organized motor sports.
Sunday’s event was dubbed “Grudgement Day” and featured head-to-head races with different drivers challenging each other to match-ups.
High-powered cars and trucks screeched along the one-eighth mile track in a series of quick-fire races that thrilled the crowd. Motorbikes were also involved in the action.
Event organizers told the crowd that the money raised would go toward upgrades to the track in an effort to reestablish the sport on the islands.
Sammy Jackson, one of the members of the newly formed Breakers Drag Racing Association, said the organization hopes to host regular events at the site. He said organizers had used up their 1,400 entry wrist bands by 3 p.m. as people flocked to the event.
“One thing that Sunday’s event demonstrated is that there are motorsports fans out there hungry for some action in Cayman,” he said. “There is a huge fan base there and there are more people ready to participate.”
He said the track and the facility were used with the permission of landowner Robert Campbell, and a committee of dedicated volunteers was working on fine-tuning safety protocols and making improvements to the arena.
He said that with some upgrades, the track could serve as a facility for multiple motorsports events, including potentially adapting part of the land for off-road bikes in an effort to get rogue riders off the streets and into legitimate sporting activity.
He added, “No racing organization can say with 100 percent certainty that they will completely eradicate erratic and irresponsible driving on the road but one of the reasons we are doing this is to grow the sport of motor racing and provide opportunities for people to race in the right environment.”