By Rawle Welch
Rated as one of the most efficient and smooth drivers to come out of Guyana, Canada-based racing champion Paul Vieira speaking with Kaieteur Sport shortly before returning home said that, despite all of his outstanding efforts there is one major stumbling block that remains in his path thereby preventing him from taking it to the next level.
The younger brother of former Group 4 champion Mark, Paul comes from a family of motor racers that included his father Joe, who drove a Parkspeed Mini during his heyday and cousins Wayne and Stephen, the current local Superbike champion.
According to him, getting involved in racing was an easy choice, having been exposed to the sport from an early age and very quickly learned the art of riding and driving at fast speeds which has continued on to now.
“I was fortunate to grow up in a family that loved to race and very early benefitted from that exposure which allowed me to hone my skills to a fair level,” Paul told this newspaper.
The young Vieira’s success is well documented, having won champion driver awards on more than one occasion, but according to him, because he is such a fierce competitor, his real ambition is to get a car with the horse power and reliability that will allow him to move up to the Group 4 category where drivers such as Kevin Jeffrey, Andrew King, his brother Mark, Vishok Persaud and Caribbean drivers Jamaica’s David Summerbell Jnr, Doug Gore and Barbados’ Maloney siblings await his arrival.
To do that Vieira conceded that substantial sponsorship will be needed to make the upgrade since the current Mazda RX7, 1990 model that he currently drives has reached its limit in terms of modification and his only other option is to obtain a new car with the kind of specifications that will make him extremely competitive.
After his initial return in 08′, the soft-spoken racing champion has had a fair amount of success on the track both at home in Guyana and the other two legs of the Caribbean Motor Racing Championships and was even voted the Best Driver of the Regional competition in the 2-wheel category last year.
His appeal is simply to solicit more support from the corporate community to realise his dream of one day not only mixing it up with the ‘big boys’ in the 4-wheel drive division, but even becoming the champion of the Caribbean.
Currently sponsored by Ansa Mcal Trading under the Carib Beer brand, Vieira said he is extremely grateful for the Company’s support which has been ongoing for the past 2-3 years, but far more financial assistance is needed to help him realise his true potential.
Vieira noted that the sport of motor racing is growing at an alarming rate not only in Guyana, but in the rest of the Caribbean and Companies wishing to invest in the sport could derive huge dividends and mileage through the promotion of their products.
He added that the combination of maintaining and upgrading a racing car is clearly beyond the capability of a driver and urged the business community to get on board and benefit from the spin offs that the sport’s popularity garners.
“All three legs of the Caribbean Series usually creates a large influx of tourists from North America and other parts of the world, while the hospitality aspect also benefits and all this is due to the sport’s renaissance within the Diaspora,” Vieira noted.
He pointed out that corporate Guyana is not at the same level with those in Barbados and Jamaica, the other two territories where the Caribbean Series are held, but felt that more could be done here to bring us if not on par close to the level of support seen in those countries.
He called on corporate Heads to get on board and offer more assistance to competitors and watch them return with positive results that will justify their investments.
Vieira has returned for every Race Meeting since 08′.
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