SCORCHING sprint and drag racing action was the order of the day at Vernamfield in Clarendon on Sunday.
Hundreds of speed kings and their supporters flocked the event dubbed — Vernamfield Rebirth — to see head-tohead racing among the fastest street cars in the island. The meet was the fifth round in the Jamaica Millennium Motoring Club’s National Sprint Championship.
Jordan Powell, rallysport championship leader, walked away with the event’s fastest overall time. He, however, never accumlated sprint points as he drove his circuit racing R&B Auto and Lloyds of Montego Bay-sponsored Toyota Glanza.
Spencer Whittingham added to his overall championship score by piloting his Spanish Court Hotel-sponsored Mitsubishi Lancer to the top spot in the JN8 class while Daryl King took the win in the JA 2 class with his Thrifty Gassponsored Toyota Civic.
“The win was great and I’m looking forward to driving the Glanza again at Jamwest in December. The course was a bit technical and challenging,” Powell told Auto.
“I think it’s a little tricky to have the whole combination between drag and sprint at Vernamfield in terms of timing and the layout of the course. Some drivers found the course more difficult to navigate than they would have liked,” he continued.
The event saw a total of six drivers make their sprinting debut including dexterity heavyweight Jamar Kinkead, who competed in his Toyota Levin. Crowd favourite drivers who took their spins on the course in style included Matthew Gore, in his Team MoBaysponsored Mitsubishi Evolution X, and Keith Saunders in his Chevrolet Chevette.
Once the sprinters had conquered the course, scores of drag racers battled full throttle in head-to-head competition until driver error resulted in damage to the timing equipment. The speedsters nevertheless continued to entertain the spectators in freestyle runs throughout the day.
“All drivers who entered into the drag racing portion of the competition will have a second chance to compete for double the winnings at the next drag race at Jamwest in December, so we’re looking forward to an even more exciting show then,” said Dean Corrodus, event organiser.
Dean Shaw — drag racing veteran in his 1969 — 1500-horsepower Chevrolet Camaro created quite a spectacle as he sped off from the start line, leaving a thick cloud of smoke and roaring supporters in his wake.
Sprint star Asafa Powell also had the crowd in a frenzy when he sped off on the blistering tarmac in his 1000hp Nissan Skyline. Bikers also got in on the action, at times racing against drivers and leaving them in the dust.