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Carnival of action

BY RORY DALEY Observer writer

Friday, March 29, 2013    

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EASTER Monday's Carnival of Speed at Dover Raceway, St Ann, is shaping up to be a epic battle of racers.

There is no question about the main event: the David Summerbell Jr and Douglas Gore showdown.

"I'm in a no-stress mode. I spoke to Peter Rae and we've both agreed on an incident-free Dover meet," Gore said.

Gore's mood could easily be based on his joy of being reunited with the vehicle he termed 'his best race car ever', the ATL-sponsored Audi TT-R DTM.

The vehicle returned to the island from Germany in March. It was sidelined after being involved in a crash with Peter Rae's Mazda RX-7 in May last year. However, it reaped immediate success at JamWest Speedway, Westmoreland, where it set a new lap record of 1:06:946 minutes. Gore is also confident in the ability of the car to perform at Dover Raceway, as ABT Sportsline race engineer Franco Chiocchetti will be making the trip from his DTM duties in Europe to once again oversee the Audi's running.

"He's recommended some radical changes to the car based on the data he's been gathering since the car returned to Jamaica. We've carried out as many of them as we can before he gets here," he told Auto.

Natasha Chang continues to receive ATL Racing support with her Honda Civic getting a refreshed gearbox to contest the Modified Production class one (MP1).

At the Total Summerbell Racing (TSR) camp, it is a similar situation. Summerbell's Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII went under the knife for a revamp and refresh for the expected battle.

"In the time we had, we stripped down the car to bare metal and brought it back from the ground up with the help of our sponsors, like Total and Stewart Motors," Summerbell told Auto.

The Audi's return resparked Summerbell's competitive streak at a circuit, which is second nature to him.

"It won't be just going through the motions. I have a wonderful team behind me and as long as they provide their best, TSR will always have a shot at the lap record," he said.

The man in the middle, especially after the the incident with Gore in May, is Peter Rae. His current form sees him garner Shell sponsorship for the 2013 season.

"I will be running under the Shell banner courtesy of Rubis," revealed Rae.

Looking for even more positive results than his performance earlier this year at JamWest, he has addressed the mechanical challenges that plagued him there. He has made the necessary modifications to his Mazda RX-7 for the Dover meet.

The man making the biggest leap is 2012 Champion Sebastien Rae.

Having purchased Summerbell's Magnum racer, the car that held the Dover lap record for over a decade, Rae is not only moving up to the Modified Production 3 class, but having to adjust to a vehicle based on a single-seater rather than a full chassis and more power from its Honda K20 motor.

"I haven't tested the car properly yet, and to be honest, the focus is just getting it reliable right now. I don't expect lap records yet, but podiums will follow," he said.

In addition to having raced each other, all will have to contend with two minor rule changes for 2013, according to JRDC president Christopher McFarlane. The first is that drivers will no longer have to use the tyres they qualify on for the race. Also cars, will now be placed on the grid using their qualifying times regardless of their class.

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