Drag race event beats the Cayman Islands rain
Although the passing of Hurricane Dean has delayed work extending Breakers Speedway’s drag strip to a full quarter-mile, not even seasonal rain could prevent race fans from enjoying a major event last weekend.
Thanks to sponsorship from Kirk Motors, the Cayman Islands’ NAPA auto parts dealer, the speedway staged some of the closest racing ever seen on the Islands as top competitors went head-to-head in a series of eliminations.
The race meeting was originally planned for Saturday night but, as qualification runs took place in the shadow of threatening clouds, it seemed likely that the alternative, Sunday afternoon, scheduling would need to be used. At around 7:00 pm the weather took control, soaking the strip and making further racing impossible.
On Sunday afternoon, under clear skies, the racers returned and, after two hours of qualifying runs, set about seeing who was going home with the NAPA trophies.
In the motorcycle class, riders Humberto Rives and Edwardo Swaby fought it out to see whose Suzuki was fastest. In the end, Humberto, who holds the track records for both elapsed time and speed, prevailed. After qualifying in the fastest time of the day, 6.642 seconds at 111 mph, he took the win with a time of 6.703 seconds. Edwardo clocked 7.072 seconds at 110 mph in qualifying, his losing time was 7.266 seconds.
Shifting to four wheels and front-wheel drive, a large field of cars battled it out until just 19-year-old Jovan Whittaker and Jimel McLean remained. In the final run, Jovan’s Toyota Starlet, which qualified in 9.413 seconds, beat Jimel’s Honda Integra 9.603 to 10.162 seconds.
Rear wheel drive came down to a muscle car shoot out. In the semi-final, the classic Ford-versus-Chevy battle was settled when Joe ‘Myrie’ Powell recovered after being left at the line and powered past his opponent’s Mustang to push his Corvette through to win by just 0.015 seconds. The Corvette clocked 8.525 seconds and 94.15 mph, the Mustang, which had a 0.032 second advantage off the line, recorded 8.572 and 81.48 mph.
In the final, it was Joe’s 5.7 litre Corvette against Ian Tibbett’s big block Corvette. Proving there is no substitute for cubic inches, Ian powered through to record 7.814 seconds at 92.37 mph, his best time of the day had been 7.551 seconds. Joe’s machine can make the speeds, having run around 95 mph all day, but proved shy on elapsed time, qualifying at 8.485 and dropping that to 8.301 in the final.
The truck class turned into a two-horse race between Robert Thompson in his supercharged Dodge Dakota and Jason ‘Rich Kid Reid’ in an unusual Toyota RAV-4. Ricky Bodden’s awesome Ford Lightning turned up for Saturday night qualifying but suffered mechanical woes. Although the Dodge prevailed, the two trucks turned in bracket-racer like performances. The Toyota running a 9.321 ET on a 9.312 qualifying time and the Dodge going 8.403 to take the win after recording 8.395 to qualify.
Highlight of the day turned out to be the four-wheel drive class. Tyson McCoy got his place in the finals after a monumental hole-shot win over Marlon Ford. With both driving Mitsubishi EVO 3s, Marlon came to the line with a clear performance advantage but lost the race at the start. In a clear example of, ‘If you snooze, you lose,’ Tyson got the jump on the lights and held it to the finish, taking the win with 7.710 elapsed time over Marlon’s much quicker 7.276.
The four-wheel drive final produced more excitement as Tyson met Kevin Johnson in an all-EVO 3 final, their qualifying times were very close at 7.638 and 7.672 respectively. In the run-off for the trophies, the timing figures show Kevin quicker off the line but slower through the crucial first 60 feet. At the final, the two Mitsubishis were just one-thousandth of second apart with Tyson taking a popular win in 7.638 seconds and 92.51 mph. Kevin was just starting to make up the difference at the finish, he clocked 7.672 seconds with a faster 94.45 mph terminal speed.
Overall fastest four-wheel machine of the day was Ronnie Forbes in his 1968 Chevy Chevelle, on a demonstration run he clocked 6.979 seconds. Delroy Forbes also delighted fans with his thundering supercharged Camaro.
After the event, track owner Robert Campbell thanked Kirk Motors for their support. He also announced the next major event will held on the Pirates’ Week Monday holiday, 12 November, when he is hoping overseas competitors will join in.
In the meantime, Breakers Speedway will be open to the public every Saturday evening.
(Cayman Net News)