All roads lead to Dover
IT will be a test for both the 2013 circuit racing champion Andre Anderson, and Charles Chen, Jamaica Race Drivers Club (JRDC) chairman, at today's Texaco with Techron Carnival of Speed, Dover Raceway, St Ann.
Chen has made multiple changes to the race format and rules. These are to be implemented at the season opener today, in order to bolster the quality of racing to draw much-needed fan support and corporate sponsorship. His hopes ride on the high level of competitor interest seen at last week's drivers' meeting.
"It was our largest in quite a while. It would be easier for me to tell you which drivers aren't going to be racing," Chen said.
Included changes for 2014 are additional races, an additional class Super Improved Production, increased lap counts and the most contentious, a reworking of the rules to generate a weight-based performance scale.
The latter has affected Anderson as he has had to add weight to retain his current engine displacement. His Total Summerbell teammates David Summerbell Jr and Kyle Gregg have gone the opposite route, going with smaller engines.
"I can assure you we won't be as fast as previous years," said Summerbell.
However, Summerbell doesn't believe speed will be as important an issue as reliability, since he will now have more laps to complete and an extra race for either of the classes he'll be competing in.
Gregg, who's been very vocal about the new rules, isn't too happy about the changes made to his Honda Civic.
"I've had to put back 80lb into my car and go down to an 1800cc motor," said Gregg.
With Doug Gore missing out on the opening meet as his Audi TT-R DTM is currently in Barbados for the May staging of the Top Gear Festival, Summerbell expects his competition to come from the likes of Christopher Campbell and Peter Rae. Rae is more optimistic about the changes made to his Mazda RX-7.
"I just had to add some weight, which shouldn't affect the handling of my Mazda much," Rae explained.
Andre Anderson's Mitsubishi Mirage in action at a previous meet.