A driving success

Observer writer

Friday, October 13, 2017

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ELEVEN of Jamaica's up-and-coming star drivers were put to the test at the Jamaica Millennium Motoring Club's (JMMC) Young Driving Training Programme held recently. The two-day event covered both practical and theory in the art of motor racing and was held at the Palisadoes International Raceway in Kingston and the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston, respectively.

“We had done the young driver training programme before, in 2014, and the original plan was to have it every two years, had I continued on my position at the JMMC. This year I was asked to handle the project so I submitted it to the FIA (Federation Internationale de l'Automobile), the governing body of international motorsports and it was approved,” Marcia Dawes, project coordinator, told the Jamaica Observer's Auto magazine.

With the aim of bolstering the knowledge of Jamaica's young racing talent, the programme focused on two aspects — practical and theory. Some of the names who took part are familiar in the regular local racing circuit, and include Marc Eaton, Justin Sirgany, Najee Scott, and Senna Summerbell. They joined Jason Chen, Lamar Larmond, Demar Lee, Matthew Lee, Joseph Lodenquai, Joshua Sirgany, and Lee Vaz.

“Participants were in the age range 14 to 28, and we opted to primarily focus on karters who were graduating to circuit or sprint, or who plan to do so even if not immediately,” said Dawes.

Over the two days participants were taught the rules, regulations and psychology of the sport, along with safety measures, nutrition and the finer points of car control by Juan Pablo Sierra and Enrique Limon Cancino from the FIA- approved RP High Performance Driving School in Mexico.

“The first one in 2014 was done by the MSA UK (Motor Sports Association). They're endorsed by the FIA, one of the five regional training providers and the only one on the American continent,” Dawes said.

The two instructors, seasoned racers in their own rights, were impressed by the local talent.

“It's all about giving the young drivers experience and we tried to pass that knowledge on to them. We saw a big improvement from the first day to the second day. They started to do the right things, think the right way and at the end of the time we think it was a good result,” Sierra said.

According to Dawes, this is the first leg of the programme with the 11 expected to continue on with an advanced course tentatively set for December.




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