King of the Strip 2 thrills!

[fruitful_sep]DPI, GUYANA, Monday, April 23, 2018

Hundreds of race car fans turned out to witness the action as drivers from Guyana, Suriname, and Trinidad went bumper to bumper in drag racing, despite inclement weather on Sunday. The King of the Strip 2 was hosted at the South Dakota Circuit, Timheri, East Bank of Demerara yesterday by the Guyana Motor Racing and Sports Club (GMR&SC).

Drag racing is one of the developing sport in Guyana that has gained much recognition. President of GMR&SC, Rameez Mohamed said that the support is a reflection of the lengths to which the sport can go. Nevertheless, he opined that there needs to be more marketing and promotion of race events if it is to achieve international standards.

“Marketing is crucial because, in the past, there were boring drag races. The cars were not matched properly; they used to match them by cc [cubic centimetres/engine size].”

Mohamed explained that implementation of a new system added to the exhilaration of last Sunday’s drag racing event.

“I put in a new system which is a time bracket. So, it does not matter what kind of car you have, we race you by bracket, we have the eight brackets, the nine brackets, the ten brackets, so, everyone has their own bracket and fans will see competitive racing throughout the day” Mohamed stated.

The GMR&SC president also highlighted that the organisation is currently mulling the establishment of a regional drag race championship. If implemented, the event will occur in three legs. The first is will be held in Guyana this August, then to Suriname and concludes in Trinidad in November. Mohammed stated this effort will serve to boost the sport in Guyana and across the Caribbean.

“What we are trying to do is start up a Caribbean Champion’s cup for drag racers. It is something new that we are going to start doing. Having Trinidad here for the first time, it was a test which went well, despite the weather. We still got the support from the spectators as well as the competitors” he explained.

Also present at the event was Sanjay Jiandani, President of Vincy Motorsports, St. Vincent. Jiandani indicated that he was invited to participate in the event but due to time constraints made the decision to attend as a spectator.

Jiandani shared that he was suitably impressed with what he saw. “The support looks good, the race looks good, I enjoyed it. I am just networking; meeting people and I will be back definitely.”

According to Jiandani, drag racing has the ability to further develop the sector of sport tourism in Guyana.

“Motorsport is one of the biggest sport tourism products worldwide and in St. Vincent we trying to build up that and I see here in Guyana they are starting with the drag racing, I think it is an exciting, fan-based sport, so once they develop it and they make all the necessary preparations, I think they will on a firm footing.”

Guyana’s only female race car driver, Sharima Khan held her own against some of the top drivers. Khan said that she enjoyed the competition and thought that the “turnout of the different Caribbean countries for this race event was amazing. There was a lot of foreign cars, I think everyone tried their best to put on a good show and I guess the crowd was pleased with it.”

Vedanand Prabhoo, a Trinidadian racer, said he was appreciative that Guyana had invited racers from the island. He, however, noted that there need to be more upgrades to the track in order for it to “actually hold more power”.

Tony Namchand, representing neighbouring Suriname, said the event was not short of excitement. “The sport was really good. I came all the way from Suriname just to ‘sport’ with all my friends and we enjoyed it here.”

Sponsored by Tropical Shipping, STAG Beer, JAPARTS, B.M. SOAT Auto Sales, Mohamed’s Enterprise, Trans Pacific Motor Sales and Spares, Prem’s Electrical, E-Networks DEL Ice Co and Crystal Ice House, the event was had its fair share of thrills and spills.

By: Isaiah Braithwaite

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