Let's hear it for the girls
SABRINA Sirgany bolstered the ranks of the female drivers of the Jamaica Karting Association (JKA) when she made her debut in the Rotax Seniors class at Sunday's fourth meet at Palisadoes International Raceway, Kingston.
Sirgany, 23, joins Comer50 racer Mattea Issa, 7, as the only other full-time female karter.
"It was hard to sit on the sidelines and watch, but I was offered the opportunity to race," she told Auto.
No stranger to the sport, Sirgany is older sister to former karting champion Joshua Sirgany. Normally paddock-bound and supporting the trio of other Sirgany racers, her brother, along with cousins Justin and Zachary, her racing opportunity came via Christopher Issa and Peter Rae.
"The JKA's Comer50 and Comer80 programmes are doing exceptionally well by filling the sport from the younger end. But I'm just doing my part privately to bring in drivers on the other side of the age scale," Issa said.
Her father Ricky made a revelation to Auto.
"I actually started karting with her when she was 17. Joshua was usually left to himself while I trained Sabrina," he said.
Put to test by JETCON's Andrew Jackson, she easy impressed which urged her father to put his weight behind having her in the male-dominated sport. However, higher education called, putting a six-year break in her career.
Her first full meet back wasn't an easy one, as braking issues with the kart kept her out until the latter half of the meet. Once back on the circuit, she enjoyed a vigorous scrap with the men, with only a single day of practice.
"She just needs some more seat time and an up-to-date kart," her father proudly said.
Sirgany confirmed that her appearance wasn't a one off and as long as she has the support, she'll participate.
"Karting isn't just for the boys. I think girls should come out and give it a try, even if it's just to try the rental karts to see if they like it," she said.
- Rory Daley