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A carnival of new rules

BY KESI ASHER Observer writer asherk@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, April 05, 2012    

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EASTER Monday's Carnival of Speed meet at Dover Raceway in St Ann will see some new restrictions.

The Jamaica Race Drivers Club (JRDC), governing body for local circuit racing, has modified the weight and tyre regulations.

"We recognise that Dover racing is not typical of motor racing worldwide and accept that we have a variety of cars competing in the same class. We have to make rules that allow for parity in order to create a level playing field for the drivers. It's a dynamic environment with changes every year and we will continue to tweak the rules as the need arises," Rajendra Jadusingh, JRDC chief scrutineer, told Auto.

This amendment will require tubular-framed cars to add 50 pounds while tub-framed vehicles to shed 50.

The tubular-frame design, used by high-performance sports cars, allows for greater strength and a lighter body required in motor racing. Cars fitting this mould are Doug Gore's ATL-sponsored Audi TT DT; Peter 'Bull' Thompson's and, Peter Rae's Mazda RX7; Marck Carey's Evolution; Dieter Wilson and Dean Shaw's Pro Challenger Truck; and Christopher Kerr's Dodge Magnum, formerly raced by David Summerbell Jr and originally owned by Dover pioneer, the late Alfred Chen.

The tub or uni-body car frame design is used by most of the modern car manufacturers and is very popular as a 'street' car. Summerbell's Total-sponsored Evolution 8 as well as Chris Campbell's BMW M3 fit this bill.

Doug 'Hollywood' Gore, whose WATA-sponsored Audi TT was prevented from competing in the Caribbean Motor Racing Championships (CMRC) because of its light-weight nature, feels as though his four-ringed wonder was the focus of this amendment.

"All these years the issue was to take weight off the tubular cars so they can compete. I won in 2011 and all of a sudden the rule is now to add weight to the same people who we have been taking weight off for. I think I'm being penalised in every way shape or form, but guess what?, it will make my win that much sweeter," said Gore, who once drove the tub-framed Evolution 5 and 10.

David Summerbell, however, is excited since been he has been reunited with his turbo charged 2.3L EMSRR 700hp EMSRR engine.

"The car is faster now that I have my original engine, so patrons will get to see the full potential of the affectionately called Time Attack or TA1 machine. I am really excited and I'm looking forward to it. The amendment has allowed me to take off 50-lb from the car, or should I say try to take off 50-lb," Summerbell chuckled.

The new tyre rule, which only applies to MP and TS races, allows drivers eight tyres for both qualifying and race day — four tyres per class.

Drivers are, however, allowed two spares, and their use will only be allowed if the scrutineer deems necessary. For races declared by the Clerk of the Course as a rain race, drivers will have unlimited changes.

Christopher 'Bossy' Campbell, who will be running his new V8 engine in the M3, isn't bothered at all about the new weight and tyre regulations.

"It won't affect me at all. I'm still with the weight allotment and everything is going okay for me," said Campbell.

"Primarily, it's an issue of budget. Sponsorship in motorsports is hard to come by, and we have looked at ways and means of keeping budgets realistic for a wide range of competitors. We came up with an amendment to make the average driver competitive and to eliminate the disparity that exists in what each driver can afford," said Rajendra Jadusingh.

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