GMR&SC ready to stage first meet since November tragedy
By Isaiah Chappelle
Guyana Chronicle
April 11, 2003

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WITH a new executive in place, the Guyana Motor Racing & Sports Club (GMR&SC) is ready to stage its first racing meet since the November tragedy at the South Dakota Circuit, with improved safety measures.

The three-week-old executive hosted a press conference at the GMR&SC clubhouse yesterday to publicise plans for the year, including safety measures at the South Dakota Circuit.

GMR&SC president Ron Robinson said among the priorities, the safety of spectators, drivers and officials was the biggest and recommendations from the investigation of the November accident would be implemented.

A team, including racing ace Andrew King and former track stalwart Cyril Angoy, visited the circuit last Sunday and had a re-look at the run-off at Club House turn and the south-eastern one, and the exit to the goose-neck.

Those immediate areas will be ploughed for 150 to 200 metres and old tyres will be placed as a buffer zone.

“The sand will stop even a Group 3 car,” Robinson declared.

Persons will be prohibited from going in the run-off areas, which will be clearly marked. Should persons venture there, they would be ejected from the race and the race may be stopped.

The GMR&SC will be re-introducing the ticketing system, with the clear warning that people will attend racing meets at their own risk and the organisers, drivers and even the owner of the land will not be held responsible. Such tickets have not been used since the resuscitation of racing after the dormant period during the 80s.

These safety measures will be in place for the first meet for the year, the Independence meet, fixed for May 25, a Sunday, which is already promising to be keenly contested.

“The drivers are hyped up because in the November meet, many did not get to compete,” Robinson said.

Robinson also disclosed that there was great interest in motorcycle racing, judging from the number of persons - with the big CBR machines - who were on the circuit when the GMR&SC team visited there.

One big plan for this year is the resurfacing of the racing course by Lagan Holdings and Shell at a cost of $10 million. The work will most likely be done in June. The airport runway will be undertaken by the same company, starting with the corners initially.

“The resurfaced track will boost overseas input in races here. We will once again be the Mecca of motor racing in the Caribbean,” Robinson said.

Thus the international meet in November should have more participation of overseas drivers. Along with that, six local drivers will compete in the Barbados meet in August and Barbados will reciprocate in November.

Toilet facilities will be constructed in the centre of the circuit, that area offering a very good view of races and is about the safest place.

Former Miss Guyana Mia Rahaman is responsible for fund-raising and the club has set a target of $2.5 million for the year. Former executive member Jad Rahaman offered the use of Palm Court for Retromania on the last Saturday for the next four months. Tickets are sold for the activity and a percentage of the bar is also part of the donation.

Mia Rahaman will also coordinate grasstrack and drag racing. Drag racing will be formalised because it has become a popular outing at the circuit; for like other motor racing activities, it has its dangers.

The new executive started a drive to increase membership and an amnesty for members in arrears of dues is on. They only have to pay-up for last year and this year.

Peter Peroune is the indoor games captain and the club intends to have its facilities better utilised, since only badminton kept it alive with activity.

Emphasis is being placed on refurbishing of the clubhouse and resuscitation of activities, with the darts association already indicating interest in having National competitions staged there.

The first event for the new executive is a barbecue and scavenger hunt fixed for May 4, a Sunday.

In the long run, the GMRS&C aims to have first division cricket on the ground, which was raised and is now settling. Family fun days will also become another activity for the new ground.

Negotiations are now going on with Malteenoes to erect a proper fence between the two clubs, each standing half of the cost.

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