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All set for Dover

Racing action to sizzle in St Ann

BY RORY DALEY Observer writer daleyr@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, April 17, 2014    

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THE Jamaica Race Drivers Club (JRDC) expects circuit-racing fans to enjoy the action at Texaco with Techron Carnival of Speed, Dover Raceway, St Ann, on Easter Monday.

"It's been six months since the last circuit-racing event at Dover, and this paired with the new format implemented, will provide some of the best racing fans will experience in recent memory," Charles Chen, JRDC chairman, told Auto.

Chen is buoyed by the turnout and registration numbers for the pre-event drivers' meeting.

"It was our largest in quite a while. It would be easier for me to tell you which drivers aren't going to be racing," Chen said.

Eighteen races are scheduled for Monday's programme.

This is the first event in three years without the red, white and blue colours of the Adam Stewart-led ATL Racing team, which exited the sport in October last year. Doug Gore, who now owns the Audi TT-R DTM, will not be seeing action as his vehicle is in Barbados for the May 17-18 Top Gear Festival.

Chen also expects a large contingent of riders on the day.

Fans are encouraged to come out on Sunday for the free qualifying sessions. Race day boasts 15 races, four Superbike, two bracket 45, three Modified Production, and three Thundersport. The faster brackets have been altered to 39/35/29 and now include the new Open Improved Production class. This new class has been designed to draw in the newer generation of race cars such as the fourth-generation Honda Integra of Peter Jaggon.

Even further racing will come because drivers will now have to nominate their primary class from which they will score overall drivers' championship points. They can no longer supplement the overall title chase by competing in multiple classes.

Chen also revealed that only with the renovations to the venue made for spectators, upgrades to the VIP section, and extra sponsor attractions, there will be two drifting demonstrations from Alan Chen and Jeremy Groves.

"We're giving it our best shot. I'm confident in the adjustments that the team has made in accordance with the new regulations," David Summerbell Jr of Total Summerbell Racing (TSR) told Auto.

Summerbell indicated that the TSR three-man team, consisting of 2013 driver champion Andre Anderson, Kyle Gregg and himself, have all been affected by the new rules.

"I can assure you we won't be as fast as previous years," said Summerbell.

Adjustments to his lap record holding Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution TA-1 include a reduction in engine size. Summerbell expects competition to come from Christopher Campbell and Peter Rae. Rae is more optimistic about his chances within the new regulations.

"I just had to add some weight, which shouldn't affect the handling of my Mazda much," Rae explained.

Summerbell also explained that TSR teammate Anderson has had to add weight to his car. TSR's Gregg, who's been very vocal about the new rules, isn't too happy about the changes made to his Honda Civic.

"I've had to put back 80lb into my car and go down to a 1800cc motor," said Gregg.

The other changes that see racers heading into the unknown are the increase in races and lap count.

"I think reliability will be important," added Summerbell.

He will be competing in both Thundersport and Modified Production, both of which now have an extra race for this season and should have Summerbell participated in over 40 laps of wheel-to-wheel racing.

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