Karting action begins Sunday

Observer writer

Friday, March 22, 2019

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The Jamaica Karting Association (JKA) will get their 2019 season off to a start on Sunday, at the Palisadoes International Raceway in Kingston. Action is slated to begin at 11:00 am.

“It's should be an interesting year. The club has been growing the sport from the bottom, that is increasing the number of drivers in the younger classes like Comer50 and Micromax,” Neil Williams, JKA president, told the Jamaica Observer's Auto magazine yesterday.

Williams assumed the reins of the JKA when David Summerbell Jr stepped down in February 2019 due to “business and family reasons”.

There hasn't been any major rules changes for 2019 season, but Williams said the club has been focusing on adopting the full North American Rotax standards as many of the local drivers compete overseas. The first step in that direction was done with the use of Rotax Evo engines, which were introduced in 2018 and will see the inaugural full season of their use.

“They are designed to bring parity to the sport,” explained Williams.

Teams in all classes, except Comer50 and Super Rotax, will no longer be allowed to use their own engines, but instead use the single specification Rotax Evo engine, which cannot be modified under the rules.

Williams expounded on his aims for 2019, hoping to bring international-level events, like the Caribbean Junior Karting Academy which took place recently in Barbados, to the local shores and increase club revenue in order to further upgrade the facilities.

2019 will be an important year for 10-year-old Shane Chisholm, winner of the Abe Ziadie Memorial Trophy — the sport's highest honour. Chisholm hopes to retain the title as he moves up a class from Micromax to Minimax.

“I was very happy to win the Abe Ziadie Trophy, because it was big deal for me, even more so than the class victory,” he said.

Moving into the Micromax class will see him up against some seasoned racers.

“I'm just going to try and dominate.”

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