The popular slogan, “Don’t race on the road, race at Dover” is now an option for persons who are not professional race car drivers. And if the Jamaica Automobile Association (JAA) and the Jamaica Race Drivers Club (JRDC) have their way, even more motorists will get this opportunity.
Through a series of Open Track days organised by the JAA in partnership with the JRDC, which were held at the Dover Raceway in St Ann, in July, August and September, drivers of all ages got a chance to test their skills on the island’s preeminent racetrack.
Duane Ellis, General Manager of the JAA, says, “The track days gave our drivers an opportunity to experience driving at higher speeds, learn the dynamics of their vehicles; and understand some of the intricacies of speeding and the risks involved; as well as, a better appreciation of the safety apparatus.”
The track days were divided into theory and practical segments, in which experienced JRDC drivers provided instructions and tips to the motorists as to how to maneuver the track. This was followed by an inspection of all vehicles and finally the on-track racing.
“Driving at higher speeds on the track gives you a chance to realize that non-racing cars are not necessarily built to be driven at high speeds and should not be operated under certain conditions,” Mr Ellis pointed out, adding that “It was a great experience and we encourage drivers to come and take advantage of the opportunity to take their car out on the track and learn how their vehicle can perform.”
Charles Chen, President of the JRDC, says the previous track days were successful endeavors as they allowed drivers “to enjoy themselves, exercise their cars, while driving at a comfortable pace without breaking any Road Traffic Laws.”
During the sessions, participants not only received instructions about how to maneuver the track; but, were also given advice as to how to correct driving mistakes that they were making.
Martin-Peter Moses, a participant in the second track day, described it as an “invaluable experience,” and added that, “The instructors were right on point, they knew what they were talking about and it was definitely worth it for something that was free of charge.”
Tanee Green, a JAA member who also participated in the second track day, which was held in August, said that the experience served to “Get the need for speed out of your system; and let everyone know that yes, you can race; but, take it to the track where there is a responsible way of doing it.”