Motor racing enjoyed unprecedented success
- Stage set for 2009-10
By Rawle Welch
Despite the fact that no Guyanese was not able to win the Caribbean Series, the Guyana Motor Racing & Sports Club, which holds the responsibility for organising motor racing here, must feel proud of its achievements in 2008.
Starting in February when it staged its first Meeting of the year, the Club proceeded to host seven more successful events including the final leg of the Caribbean Championships, which according to most observers and racing enthusiasts, was the biggest of the three with the other two being held in Jamaica and Barbados.
The overwhelming success must be credited to the astute leadership and impressive teamwork that has typified the club over the past three years, a feature that many other sports organisations should strive to emulate.
Since assuming office in 2006, President of the club Vishok Persaud has continued to build on the solid foundations he inherited from former President Paul Geer, who presided over the club for a short period, but left a positive mark during his brief tenure.
The past year also saw the construction of a state-of-the-art gym, a go-kart track and a table tennis segment, all of which was created to make the club more family friendly.
From the first Meeting to the last, motor racing has made a strong resurgence with every category from the 125cc, ‘big bikes’, go-karts, rookies, Group 2A, Group 2B, Group 3 and the recently installed Group 4, all witnessing an unprecedented number of participants.
Persaud recently admitted that even though he will not be seeking re-election, his service to the club will not cease, but will take on a role of encouraging young and upcoming drivers to hone their skills on the newly-acquired go-kart track which has been set up to serve as the nursery for newcomers in the sport.
“It is important that we have such a facility because we’re in the business of motor racing and we need to keep producing new competitors to maintain interest in the sport and their introduction should start on the go-kart track,” Persaud said.
The year’s performance -
I would rate 2008 as a very successful year for the club and the sport; we hosted the strongest Caribbean championship, while we participated in Barbados for the first time.
It was also the year where we witnessed the biggest attendance of fans for circuit racing, while another impressive feature was the largest turnout of participants who came from the United States of America, Canada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Maarten, Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and Suriname to challenge the locals.
It has really set the stage for 2009-10 and I can only feel a sense of optimism that the sport will continue to grow, having had the perfect launch pad to do so.
I terms of technology, Guyana has stepped up even with a smaller budget to compete with their other regional counterparts.
The year saw Mark Vieira, Andrew King, Kevin Jeffrey and myself acquiring new cars and this was all due to the need to improve our chances of doing well against the opposition.
Positive development -
“I do not want to blow my own trumpet, I will leave that up to you and others to be the judge, but what I can say is that motor racing will continue to grow and this to my mind is because of the strong co-operation and partnership between participating countries and this has really helped in the sport’s resurgence.
Another positive development is the strong participation in the smaller categories which had record entries and it shows that with the right support it can become the prime vehicle to use to market companies and the country as a whole.
It was nice to see Guyanese companies offering admirable support to competitors and this has caused the level of work by mechanics and engineers to rise to unparalleled heights.”