Jamaicans Race at Dover
JUST OUTSIDE OF BROWN’S TOWN, Jamaica — Anyone who’s crammed into a tour bus and dared the roads of Jamaica knows that driving is no joke down there. Overtaking is allowed wherever a driver deems safe — in the oncoming lane to the right, on the shoulder to the left or simply in the gravel. Side view mirrors sometimes graze pedestrians’ ears while chickens, goats and wild dogs scramble for cover.
So it comes as no surprise that they race cars in Jamaica, and the island nation holds one race track called Dover Speedway. It’s nothing like the high-banked, concrete oval stuck in the middle of Delaware, but a 1.6-mile road course halfway into the hills.
With Bull Rider sitting shotgun with bus driver Paul Garvey, we took a trip up from the coast, and Dover Speedway was our first stop. Expecting a rinky-dink track where they ride pedal bikes, Dover Speedway was pretty impressive.
We navigated nasty roads to get there, and upon entrance, there was a sign saying “No Infield Parking.” Weeds and grass grew up in parking lots, and the gate was wide open. Nobody was there because the most recent race was last October.
The racing surface was decent. Sometimes smooth, sometimes choppy, sometimes gravel, sometimes dirt. The safety was abysmal. Seems like Jamaicans sacrifice health for speed around the road course. There were tire barriers, nearly 20 turns, elevation changes and an upward corkscrew. There were two crossover walkways — one sporting a Toyota banner. There was a garage, much like the average Saturday night short track.
Jamaicans part of the JRDC (Jamaican Race Drivers Club) battle in souped-up cars from Toyota, Honda, Subaru, Mitsubishi, among the many other foreign automakers. They race hard, too.
For a race lap, click here. For an all-alone lap, do the same.