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Sunday's drag showdown

By Rory Daley
Observer writer

Friday, July 21, 2017

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THE third event in the National Drag Racing Circuit's (NDRC) 2017 Full Throttle series will take place at Vernamfield in Clarendon on Sunday.

“We expect a full field of cars for the Summer Showdown. Racers have been eagerly anticipating this race meet and the racing should be close and exciting,” Stephen Gunter, executive member of the NDRC, told Jamaica Observer's weekly Auto magazine.

The pre-event, Test and Tune, that normally takes place the weekend before, saw 60 racers turning out to 'shake down' their drag racing cars. Numbers this high usually signal a good turnout competitor-wise for the main race.

To keep the competition even tighter, the NDRC will be introducing two new bonus programmes to incentivise the racers. The first is the 'Perfect Index Bonus', which is paid to racers that run their class index in qualifying or eliminations. The second is the 'Perfect Reaction Time Bonus', which is paid to racers who achieve a perfect .500sec reaction time in the sportsman classes or a perfect .400sec reaction time in the Pro classes during eliminations.

“Each Bonus is $10,000 and can be awarded multiple times at each race meet. These innovations join our 'Records Bounty' programme introduced at the beginning of the 2017 NDRC Full Throttle season, and is another method for racers earning additional rewards at NDRC events,” explained Gunter.

The event marks the halfway mark for the season and could prove pivotal to several of the racers. For drag racer Gail Grimes, it's about stepping up her performance to aid her team Soldier Racing move up the team championship standings. As of the two meets, they sit just outside the podium positions in fourth with 100.67 points.

“Both my teammates have taken a class win each, so my aim for Sunday is to win the Street 16 class that I compete in,” she said.

Sitting seventh in the Street 16 points, Grimes explained she's been unable to find a set-up that works for her stock car since the addition of the traction compound to the quarter-mile surface.

“I didn't make it to the Test and Tune, so I didn't get to work on my set-up. I will just have to apply whatever skills I have to bring my times down,” she said.

Former team champions Swiftune, led by Ian Galbraith, indicated his goals are a bit more individualist this season.

“We're not focused on the team's championship this year. We've been able to run 10 seconds and were aiming for the 9 seconds, but after the Test & Tune we had some damage which has caused us to reset the car. Hopefully, we'll take the 10-second class win on Sunday,” he said.

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