King to make return at National Race of Champions
By Avenash Ramzan
Former Guyana motor-racing champion Andrew King is set to make a grand return at the National Race of Champions this weekend in a much more improved Mazda RX7. The driver has fully recovered from injuries suffered during the last season, and is eager to once again hit the track on Sunday.
King is one of the top names of local and Caribbean motor-racing, but his last bit of competitive action was in July 2016 when he was part of the night race organised by the Guyana Motor Racing and Sports Club.
News Room Sport caught up with the experienced Group Four driver, and he pointed out that his biggest challenge at the moment is getting his fitness to a satisfactory level.
“We started the changeover to the Turbo charged version of the same RX7 back in November 2015. Unfortunately, that development process was hampered because I had to undergo major surgery last year August to my spine,” King related.
He continued, “The nature of the injury necessitated that I be on total rest- no exercise, very restricted movement, neck brace, neck collar and all of that up until February this year. I was cleared by the doctors to restart mild training, and that included racing after a few months. Obviously, you still have to be careful and try to avoid any injuries.”
King explained that the RX7 is currently being upgraded and it could take a little while to get accustomed to the new features.
“I’m now getting up to speed with the technology; I had not been paying much attention to the new ways of engine management, new method of doing engine management, so I’m working with the technicians to try to improve that…all the controls, the over boost and all of that stuff is new to me, but hopefully we will start to improve and get it in better shape,” King explained.
He added, “We have changed the ECU (Engine Control Unit) on the car. As we speak, the boys are working on rewiring and getting that ready. In terms of testing prior to the meet, it’s almost going to be zero, but hopefully, like I said, we use it as testing period for both the car and of course myself.”
Despite the challenges faced in the lead-up to Sunday’s first circuit race of the year, King’s focus has remained on the chequered flag.
“Winning is always on my mind. It’s just that I’ve learnt not to be too disappointed when I don’t win. But winning is always on my mind, I always go out there with the intention of winning. Like I said, we’ve prepared as best as we could, it’s not ideal. But I’m still hoping to be with the top runners. Obviously the challenge would be a bit different; I have to get accustomed to the Turbo charged car, breaking points will probably be a bit different. But like I said I’m looking to test myself as well as the car,” King stressed.
The National Race of Champions is expected to attract a large group of drivers and riders, while spectator turnout is also expected to be massive. The day’s activities, set to get underway at 09:00h, will be coordinated by the Guyana Motor Racing and Sports Club in partnership with a number of sponsors.
They include Stag Beer, Exxon Mobil, Fly Jamaica, Seaboard Marine, Palm Court, Rohit Lumber Yard, Rohan Auto Sales, B.M Soat Auto Spares, Special Auto, National Hardware, Tony’s Auto Spares, Japarts, Carnival Casino, Caricom Auto Sales, S. Jagmohan Hardware Supplies, Jialing, Choke Gas Station, E-Networks, Truck Masters and Prem’s Electrical.
Admission to the venue is $1,000 for adults and $500 for children under 12.