ASAFA Powell, former 100-metre world record holder, will be among several sprinters and drag racers taking the tarmac at Vernamfield Airfield in Clarendon this Sunday.
The event — dubbed Vernamfield Rebirth — will see drivers from both disciplines competing in a joint meet for the first time. Gates open at 8 am while action is set to start at 10 am.
Powell will be putting his 1,000hp Nissan Skyline to the drag test.
According to Jamaica Millennium Motoring Club outgoing chairman Dean Corrodus, the joint meet is part of a mandate to spread motorsports across the island by reorganising the drag racing fraternity, unifying the disciplines and reviving the facility that has been the scene of many motoring achievements in the past.
"We've realised that people want variety and that the more entertainment value we can give them is the better supported motor racing will be. We've also realised that sprint and rally events are lagging behind circuit, drag and dexterity meets in terms of partcipants and spectatorship," Corrodus told Auto.
"With drag racing potentially being the largest participant event, it follows that it will also have the largest number of spectators. If we can introduce people who love speed to formalised and organised racing — and that is what we seek to do by partnering with the drag racing fraternity — then we're hoping that by seeing what car preparation and modification can do, they might eventually strive to get to higher levels of motor racing," he added.
The event, which is sponsored by The Automotive Performance Centre, Williams Auto, Wrinkle Wall Promotions, Team MoBay Racing and Tragedy Entertainment, was previously set for the Morelands Raceway in St James. However, according to Corrodus, the venue change was done to better facilitate the joint meet.
The event is expected to attract a bevy of sprinters, including Rallysport Championship leader Jordan Powell in his Toyota Glanza; Matthew Gore in his Mitsubishi Evolution X; Daryl King in his Honda Civic; Spencer Whittingham in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution V; Thomas Hall in his Toyota Starlet; and Joel Jackson in his Subaru Impreza.
"This is the largest tarmac venue in the Caribbean, so we plan to use it to its full potential as far as a high-speed event is concerned. We're going to have a proper high-speed track laid out so that drivers can fully enjoy themselves and fans can see what real speed looks like," Corrodus told Auto.