Full throttle for NDRC
HOT on the heels of a successful 2016, the National Drag Racing Circuit (NDRC) will start its much anticipated 2017 season at Vernamfield in Clarendon, this Sunday.
"NDRC drag racing experienced tremendous growth in 2016," Stephen Gunter told the Jamaica Observer’s Auto magazine.
Last year, the NDRC invested heavily in infrastructure at the Vernamfield Motorsports Park, amidst double-digit growth. According to data, the NDRC ended the year with 313 registered drivers, averaged 164 racers per meet, up from 148 in 2015, and had a peak 180 racers attend the opening event last March. With 97 drivers at last weekend’s Test & Tune, a record, this bodes well for Sunday’s meet.
In 2017, the plan is to continue to develop and enhance its product for racers and fans alike.
"Payouts for class winner and runner-up has been increased in each of the 10 classes. NDRC has introduced a "Records Bounty" that pays a $50,000 bonus to racers that break any of the existing four records in the programme. This is a unique feature never previously offered in Jamaican drag racing. NDRC has also added to the award for the Team Championship; the winning team will earn a spot for a team member to attend a USA-based drag racing school," Gunter explained.
The NDRC has also established a Hall of Fame, already inducting Eugene Grandison, its oldest competitor, at the NDRC Awards Ceremony earlier this year. Herbert Edwards will join him on Sunday.
"NDRC drag racing continues to experience growth, in racer numbers as well as spectator support. This growth can be attributed to the incentives that exist for racers, and the close, exciting racing the spectators enjoy, along with the family-friendly atmosphere at NDRC events," Gunter said, when asked about the continued popularity of the sport.
He also indicated that cost accessibility and gender equity are helping to drive growth in drag racing.
"The vast majority of cars raced at a NDRC are street cars which racers drive to the track, race, then drive back home. Expenses vary depending on the class entered, with the Street and Super Street classes being the most affordable," he explained.
Gunter went on to point out that there were five female drivers at last Sunday’s Test & Tune session.
"Persons interested in drag racing may attend a Test & Tune event where they will receive instruction in Drag Racing 101 plus orientation with the timing system and have the opportunity to make passes on the 1/4-mile. They may then enter an NDRC race event."