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All systems go for CMRC

By Rory Daley Observer writer daleyr@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, July 04, 2014    

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JAMAICA has fielded a strong team in order to redeem both the driver's and country title in the Caribbean Motor Racing Championship (CMRC), which begins this weekend at the Bushy Park Circuit, Barbados.

"Last year, Doug Gore took the CMRC driver's title, but we failed to take the CMRC country title as we didn't have enough competitors in the Group 2 class to score points," Silbourne Clarke, Jamaica Race Drivers Club (JRDC) executive, told Auto.

Heading into the opening round Jamaica will have a full complement of six. Group 4 will see the defending champion Doug Gore alongside, Peter Rae. Clarke has also drafted Guyanese driver Rupie Shewjattan to compete in Group 4 for Jamaica. Gore, whose car is still in Barbados after May's Top Gear Festival, is confident that he will retain his title.

"My plans are to win. I've already sent off the car's data logger to ABT Sportsline race engineer Franco Chiocchetti. They're creating an optimised gear set for the circuit," he said.

Group 2 will feature 2012 Group 2 champion Sebastien Rae, with CMRC rookies Kyle Gregg and Vivian Mitchell. Natasha Chang, the first female registered competitor in the CMRC, hopes to take to the track this year, after a mechanical issue stalled her debut last time.

"Natasha's car isn't CMRC spec, so she will compete in a local class called super modified one. She will, unfortunately, not be scoring points for Jamaica," Clarke explained.

In Barbados, managerial duties will be split across Clarke, David Bell, and Christopher McFarlane, former JRDC president, who now resides there. The CMRC will consist of four rounds, heading to Trinidad & Tobago in August, Guyana in November, and for the first time ever Jamaica will host the final round in February 2015.

This year is the seventh running of the CMRC in its current format and Clarke is pushing for the championship to gain Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) status thus cementing it as a globally recognised series. The FIA is the world motorsports governing body.

"For us to do this, all the circuits would need to be FIA certified. Barbados has already done this with the revamp of Bushy Park, and I know T&T is working on a new circuit. Jamaica is the process of meeting the requirements to make our circuits FIA certified," said Clarke.

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