Motor sport

Jamaican Motorsport has a strong international year but struggles at home | Sports

While local motorsport competitions were very important in 2021, rallycross driver Fraser McConnell and young driver Alex Powell were in the spotlight for their respective seasons. Internationally, Formula 1 had an exciting campaign in 2021 which saw one of the most intense championship battles in years which ended in controversial circumstances.

The Jamaica Karting Association was the only local association to host events in 2021 after obtaining approval from the Department of Health in May to host events in June. The approval ended a long approval process that began in 2020, despite the moratorium issued by the Jamaica Millennium Motoring Club.

The Jamaica Race Drivers Club (JRDC), meanwhile, is stagnant due to lack of government approval for 2021 events. However, according to JRDC President Junior Barnes, they are hopeful that events at Dover Raceway could return. this year, if their COVID-19 protocols are approved by the government.

“Our documents are in the various government departments and we are awaiting approval. And once we get the green light, our next meeting will be on February 27, 2022, ”Barnes said in a Dec. 27, 2021 interview with The gleaner.

Meanwhile, Jamaican drivers have made their international mark this season in the absence of local competition. After a 2020 season in which he made his Supercar debut, McConnell’s 2021 campaign saw his first Supercar victory in the RallyXNordic series in May, beating three-time FIA ​​champion Johan Kristoffersson.

His campaign would see him finish second overall in the championship and make his debut in the Rally2E electric car series and the Nitro Rallycross championship circuit in the United States. His exploits have earned him nominations for the RJRGLEANER Sports Foundation Male Athlete of the Year award, as well as the Audience Performance of the Year award. McConnell says he expects a much better performance this year given his successful ride and the growth of his brand.

“The Team Frazz family is growing day by day. People see what I do on social media, they see the races on TV, and they love my personality and the performance too. Every year is a better year and certainly next year (2022) will be even better, ”said McConnell.

Meanwhile, 14-year-old Powell has performed well in his 2021 campaign, placing third in the WSK Super Master Series, second in the WSK European Championship and fifth in the junior division of the FIA ​​European Championship. Of Karting.

Internationally, the 2021 Formula 1 season has been defined by the tightest driver’s championship battle in recent seasons between seven-time Mercedes champion Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.

With Verstappen holding a sizable lead in the latter stages of the season, Hamilton picked up back-to-back wins in Brazil, Qatar and Saudi Arabia to leave the two tied on points ahead of the championship decision race in Abu Dhabi.

Verstappen, who started the race from pole position, passed Hamilton on the last lap and held him back to win his first world title. However, the victory was marred by controversy. After a safety car was pulled out with seven laps to go, race director Michael Masi allowed five cars between Hamilton (who led) and Verstappen to come undone before resuming the race. Mercedes filed two complaints which were rejected by the FIA. Mercedes managed to retain the constructors’ championship for the eighth consecutive season.

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