'Sim' podium finish for Ja
Sim racer Michael Paisley, receives his second-place trophy for his finish in the Caribbean versus Colombia National Qualifier on January 14, at the recently opened Kingston headquarters of the Jamaica Simulation Racing Association.

Despite finishing third in the Caribbean vs Colombia sim race final on Saturday, February 4, Stephen Stewart, president, Jamaica Simulation Racing Association (JSRA), was more than happy with the event.

"As the main organisers, the JSRA was happy to work with all our regional partners in putting on the event. It was two months of intense work, and we did have small issues here and there, as nothing's perfect, but from our perspective, the feedback from the drivers, from the fans, from the viewers, it met all their expectations, and the JSRA could ask for nothing more than that," he said.

The two-hour event saw three Caribbean countries, Jamaica, Trinidad, and Guyana, with three of their best sim racers against three aces from Nitro Simracing Colombia. Using the simulation game Assetto Corsa, the 12 drivers raced on a virtual version of WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, in Monterey, California, using McLarens 650S GT3s.

Drivers had a 20-minute qualifying session, which then led into a double-header finale, two 45-minute races. The first based on qualifying, the second, a reverse of the finishing order of the first race. While points where assigned on a country basis for where each driver finished each race, it still led to exciting competition across the entire field for those viewing the race live at the JSRA's new headquarters in Kingston, or live-streamed on the SportsMax app.

At the front of the field Trinidad's Dominic Charles won the first race, chased by Colombian Estefano Barrera. Their new-found rivalry would continue to the second reverse grid race with the two men dicing through the field back to the front. Barrera would win this time with Charles in second. Both would finish on equal points; however, a consistent third-place finish by Barrera's teammate Andres Mora and points from Cristhian Rojas meant Colombia was the victor with 78 points. Trinidad & Tobago followed on Charles' strong racing with 57 points. Jamaica and Guyana were third and fourth with 46 and 20 points, respectively.

Kurt Moss was the highest-placed Jamaican driver, battling for a podium finish at one point, with 20 points. Michael Paisley was next with 18, and MarcAnthony Eaton ended with 8 points.

"I couldn't be happier with the performance of our team. Of course, you always want to win, but we have a very young team, without the experience of those at the head of the field. The whole aim was to expose them to a higher grade of competition than they would find elsewhere, and to watch our drivers acquit themselves with skill, poise and professionalism means we're on the right path," said Stewart.

The JSRA will be hosting more sim racing events in 2023.

"This weekend we'll be having our drift event, but moving into March we begin our search for a driver to represent Jamaica at the eSports World Championship in Romania in September," he said.

— Rory Daley

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