Circuit Racing: Car of the year – Part 2

As we welcome the transition from one year to another, it would not hurt to reflect on 2012. Were the goals decided at the beginning of the year realised? If they weren’t, what was responsible for the lack of accomplishment and how will these obstacles be overcome in the near future?  It would be prudent though to do a honest assessment of things past, in a bid to make informed adjustments to ensure progress.

Whatever color, shape and form, the picture that your reflection arrives at adopts, never lose sight of this most salient point – there is always a lot to be grateful for! As brilliant as we think we are, we are still at a loss regarding what the next second brings. We, in no way, control the next moment. So, for each of those next moments we are granted, we should be thankful and wish nothing but love for our Jamaican brothers and sisters!

Honda

The issue at hand, however, is the car of the year. I have chosen Chiney Dolly’s Honda Civic. I will tell you why. For reasons not yet determined, men have an obsession with horsepower. The bigger the number (horsepower) the faster the car! Like cows to slaughter, local petrolheads were led to accept this uninformed view. Want to win races? The answer is simple – increase your horsepower!

When most ‘name-brand’ drivers need a new race car, do they think of acquiring one here (in Jamaica)? No! Who does that? Anyway, to shrink a long story, more horsepower and foreign-made were regarded as two of the key ingredients for the winning formula. Then came a petite, rather attractive young lady with designs on winning races at Dover.

ATL Automotive

She acquired a Honda Civic and set wheels in motion that have revolutionized the circuit racing thought process. With the assistance of the ATL Automotive team and Rajendra Jadusingh, a machine which could be classified as anemic in the horsepower department, was built. But despite the absence of fire-breathing, missile-packing horses, the MP1 class was served notice, when, on its first outing, the machine assisted its charming pilot to 1: 28s around Dover’s 1.6 mile challenge in July! How was this possible? I bring your attention to ATL Automotive’s press release (July) -

ATL Automotive Racing today officially unveiled its first locally engineered motor racing car; a 1995 Honda Civic hatchback described by Chief Engineer Raj Jadusingh as the most technically advanced of its kind ever built in Jamaica for the MP1 (Modified Production Class One) category.
A beaming motor racing driver Natasha “Chiney Dolly” Chang watched as the cover was removed from her new car inside the ATL Automotive Showroom on Hagley Park Road in Kingston, days before the much anticipated Independence of Speed race meet at Dover. It was the culmination of months of modification by a technical team appointed by lead sponsor ATL Automotive Limited. With much of the modification focusing on lightening the weight of the car, it is now in a state to produce quicker lap times.

However, Mr. Jadusingh says the MP1 is the smallest engine displacement at Dover so there is less power. As such the modification was mainly focused on the chassis, aerodynamics and brakes so the lap times will come from the handling and the ability to corner and brake very well. “Lightening makes the car accelerate faster, stop faster, turn easier and more reliable; putting less stress on the drive line components of the car. The car responds much quicker with relatively small touching of the gas pedal and movement of the steering wheel makes the car respond quicker. All control inputs of the car are amplified when it’s lighter,” he explained.

He noted that the car was stripped to the bare minimum required to make it functional. “We focused primarily on reducing the weight of the car by removing existing original material and replacing it with alternate materials like high carbon content steel, aluminum, fibre glass and carbon fibre. We have also removed unnecessary components like the power steering,” he pointed out.

He added that the weight distribution has been shifted in terms of how much is concentrated at the front and rear. Much of the weight is now concentrated between the wheel base. The roof and back replaced with fibre glass as well and the floor replaced with aluminum and steel.

This race car was built on local soil using the brainpower and abilities of individuals who are actually Jamaicans – strange but true. This machine was so impressive, a protest was launched disputing its eligibility for the MP1 class! With careful thought and implementation the impossible is easy!

Ladies and gentlemen, 2012 was an interesting year. I learnt a lot. Father, forgive me for my transgressions, there were many, but my resolve to do better has strengthened immensely. To 2012, we say goodbye and to 2013, we say – flat, shift next to the redline and victory will be mine!

Thank you Rochelle Marshal.

Cecil Munroe Gleaner On-Line Writer

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cmunroe Posted by: cmunroe December 31, 2012 at 11:33 pm