Misir stays at JKA helm
The new executive of the Jamaica Karting Association (from left) Ian Donaldson; Rodrick Beecher; Loya Fong-Yee, secretary; Neil Williams, vice-presient; Rugie Misir, president; Deana Smith, treasurer; and Brian Shor. (Photos: Rory Daley)

RUJIE Misir was re-elected as president of the Jamaica Karting Association (JKA) at their 2022 prize-giving ceremony held at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston, Friday, February 17,

"I actually wanted to retire. However, with COVID-19 and due to the fact that many of the junior and senior drivers have moved out of karting, and with them their parents during that period, this meant that the parents of the Micromax, Minimax, and 50cc drivers have not had enough time in motorsport to manage the ins and outs of the JKA — things like keeping the track operational. So, I promised to stay another term, or most of it, while we train more of the parents of the younger drivers," Misir told the Jamaica Observer's weekly Auto magazine.

Neil Williams was also re-elected as vice president. The rest of the executive comprises Deana Smith, treasurer; Loya Fong-Yee, secretary; Ian Donaldson, Rodrick Beecher, and Brian Shor.

Misir, who took over the organisation's reins in 2019, just at the start of the COVID-19, was able to manage the JKA through one of its roughest periods to date, getting it back up and running as the first and only motorsport entity to have events during the pandemic. During the annual general meeting he highlighted the challenges faced and outlined the financial stability the JKA now has, additionally stressing that the economics of the sport have to be correct for it to continue on.

"Our events are scheduled around the last Sunday of every month. It's scheduled that way because it's the Sunday after pay day so the patrons have a little money in their pockets, which helps our vendors. Food sales are better, drink sales are better, and participation is better, so we have to think economics as well. With that said, we have our first event at the end of March and we have, I believe, nine events for the year plus an international. The international is a big deal as Neil Williams, our VP, stated," said Misir.

The event recognised the top 'karters' in their respective classes as well as the top overall karters for the season. The Abe Ziadie Trophy is the sport's top honour and is given to the competitor who has gained the most points in a season. For the 2022 season the trophy went to ten year-old Brandon Shor. He collected 287.5 points in the Micromax class, having seven wins to his name.

"I was watching F1 and then my dad brought me to the circuit to drive. So I started driving a 50cc kart, then raced my first race, and that's how I got here," said Shor.

His goal is to follow his idols Lewis Hamilton and Alex Powell to the pinnacle of motorsports F1.

Second in the chase for the Abe Ziadie Trophy was Zander Williams in the Junior class with 254.5 points and third, Shor's class rival Luke Spencer on 249.5 points.

— Rory Daley

The top-three top karters for 2022: (from left) Zander Williams, second; Brandon Shor, first place; and Luke Spencer, third.
Rory Daley

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