The Independence of Speed race meet in August had much more excitement than some had anticipated. The fact that Mobay’s head honcho, Doug ‘Hollywood’ Gore orchestrated a boycott and went MIA, the ‘big bad Audi’ was AOL. As expected, for myriad reasons, the attendance at the track eroded the figures in the JRDC bankbook! The few fans who were in attendance were richly rewarded though. What was on display, in the absence of the cut-throat rivalry between David and Doug, was fierce competition – to the nth degree!
A late start forced race-control to combine several Bracket classes for the first round of races afterwhich normalcy returned. The battles in the various classes were fought with furious anger and drivers who were normally forced to occupy the shadows, were given the brilliant light of day. Fans who attended will be able to tell you about the exploits of George Bayley, Charles Chen and the most impressive driver for the race-meet, in my book, Noel Golding Jr. This is not to suggest that the usual suspects – Kyle Gregg, Andre Anderson, Alan Chen and company did not deliver their best, on the contrary, we have grown to expect that. This is just to recognise the effort of other drivers on the grid and be thankful that they rose to perform in stellar fashion.
The ‘King’ is not having the best of seasons and his once bulletproof machine -TA-1, having emerged from the rebuilding phase, is still being fine-tuned inorder to reclaim its former state as a victory-grabbing monster! At the Independence of Speed, TA-1 did not enjoy a flawless run, in terms of power delivery and performance. During the course of the final race of the day, while on a charge to the front and gaining on the leaders, TA-1 received a Mike McCallum-like body blow, courtesy of Heath’s Subaru, at the Pepsi hairpin. Fingers have been pointed in all directions, assigning blame and comments have been made suggesting measures which should be employed to prevent or reduce similar incidents. But, the reality of the situation is simple – TA-1, in local Jamaican vernacular – ‘get a bi..h lick’! So where do we go from here?
I spoke to crew chief Stephen Gunter to find out what has happened since August 4. According to Stephen, the fact that TA-1 was “t-boned” after seam welding was done, poses several challenges. Even though it is not yet confirmed, he is of the view that there is some structural damage – possibly chassis bent etc. (my words). He indicated that the process of evaluation is still being done, afterwhich the way forward will be or can be determined. I asked several other questions, but as expected, I was informed that David would be best able to respond.
So, at present, TA-1 is still wounded and as soon as I speak with the ‘King’, I will pass on the information. Did we see, in August, TA-1′s final race for the 2013 season? The ‘King’ will enlighten us!
Cecil Munroe Gleaner On-Line Writer