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Circuit and drag racing excitement at Jamwest

BY JARMILA JACKSON Observer writer

Friday, June 29, 2012    

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HEADSTRONG drivers from two disciplines of motorsports faced off at Jamwest Speedway in Old Hope, Westmoreland on Sunday.

The event, dubbed Circuit Time, saw alternating runs between drag racers competing head-to-head for bragging rights and trophies and circuit racers in exhibition races on the newly paved, 1.8-mile circuit.

With hundreds watching in the stands, Stanley Albritton Jr of the US walked away with the win in the eight-second class driving Dean Shaw's Chevy Camarro to beat record-holder Bryn Morgan in his Rail Dragster on the quarter-mile straight. Albritton claimed the victory while offering a rematch to Bryn scheduled for the last drag meet of the season in November 2012.

"It was a close race but I managed to edge the dragster out. I knew that it could have been capable of beating me so I went out there completely focused on the Christmas tree and I had a really good reaction time. From what I understand it was the best reaction time recorded in Jamwest history," Albritton told Auto.

"Bryn told me that he's going to be the fastest drag racer in Jamaica but I told him that if he wants to be the best he's going to have to beat the best. So I'll be bringing my car in from The States for the race in November. It's going to be a grudge match between myself, Bryn Morgan and Dean Shaw," he continued.

Damian Allen took the stop spot in the 9 second class in his Mitsubishi Evolution 3 while Kenrick Baker (also driving a Mitsubishi Evolution 3) upset defending champion Kingsley Depass driving his Toyota MR2 in the 10 second class. Herbie Edwards drove his Nissan Pulsar to victory in the 11 second class while Kevin Archer pushed his Toyota Levin to defeat Colin Morris and his Toyota Starlet in the 12 second class. Andrew Palmer and his Honda Integra secured a win in the 13 second class while Overton Grant (also driving a Honda Integra) sped to victory in the 14 second class. Christopher Sukhu and his Honda CRX conquered the 15 second class while Darin Virgo took the 16 second class in his Toyota Hiace.

In between drag races, 10 of the island's top drivers became acquainted with the spanking new 1.8-mile circuit which features a half-mile, front straight, seven corners and is between 40- and 60-feet wide. Among those heating up the track were Dean Corrodus, Peter Rae, Dean Shaw, Jordan Powell, Sadeed Mohammad, Ricardo Clarke, Peter Lawson, and Vivian Mitchell. In the exhibition run young gun Jordan Powell and his Toyota Glanza defeated veteran Peter Rae in his Mazda RX7 to become the first driver ever to claim a checkered flag at Jamwest Speedway.

"It was more luck than anything else. I would have ended up in second place had it not been for the fact that Peter Rae was having some car trouble, but that's racing and you have to prepare for that sort of thing. It wasn't an official race but any victory for me is an honour and to be the first person to collect the flag at Jamwest is an even bigger one," Powell told Auto.

Though he admits to not having much circuit racing experience Powell told Auto that he was impressed with the feel of the new circuit at Jamwest.

"There is no comparison to the track at Dover [Raceway]. Dover's track is tight, twisty and bumpy whereas this one is flat, flowing and very nice and easy to drive on. It's high speed, which is very challenging in some places but other than that there's a lot of room to run off, so you don't really have to worry and it's a very beautiful place to drive," said Powell.

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