Go-kart returns to Palisadoes trackFriday, July 02, 2021
BY RORY DALEY
FOUR days after Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced a phased reopening of the entertainment sector, the Jamaica Karting Association (JKA) took its first steps to return to normality with the staging of a 'bubble' meet on June 26.
“It was a good, safe meet. We followed all the Ministry of Health (MOH) COVID-19 protocols,” Neil Williams, vice-president — JKA, told the Jamaica Observer's weekly Auto magazine.
The meet — held at the Palisadoes International Raceway in Kingston — was the first since March 2020.
According to the vice-president, the meet came about after six months of consultations with the MOH. There was a limit of 250 people, so the decision was made not to have spectators. The 26 competitors, their crews and family members observed social distancing, proper sanitisation and wore masks all under the careful eye of MOH observers.
“The COVID-19 pandemic was not good for the club as there was little income. We had to pay rent and people to maintain the track,” said Williams.
Since the track couldn't be used for race meets, the JKA used it to conduct training. With the successful first meet done, the JKA will move to hold their second on July 24 and have plans to host at least seven for the year. As there was no championship in 2020, Justin Donaldson, 2019 Abe Ziadie Memorial trophy winner, retains his title and is expected to return to defend it in July.
On the day, five classes — Comer 50, Rotax Micro Max, Rotax Mini Max, Rotax Junior and Super Rotax — made the grid. Dylan Smith was the best of the Comer 50 racers, topping the points table. Brandon Shor and Luke Spencer were the Rotax Micro Max and Rotax Mini Max points leaders. Rotax Junior saw plenty action as Zander Williams and Tommi Gore battled it out, with Williams taking two race wins to Gore's single win. Dominic Gordon led the time-indexed Super Rotax class leader board.
Despite the single win, Gore was happy with his performance and pleased with fact that go-karting has resumed.
“I was very happy to be back in the kart and run the first official meet we've had since March of 2020. Obviously, we had the workshops and practice over the last year or so, but nothing really compares to the tension and competition of an official meet,” said Gore.
Vice-President Williams is confident that the JKA has set the template for the other motorsport disciplines to restart their own events.
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