Caribbean’s #1 karter ready to rumble at Georgetown Grand Prix
By Avenash Ramzan
Widely regarded as the Caribbean’s number one karter, Jamaican Collin Daley Jr. is set to light up the GT Motorsports track on Saturday (December 16) when he competes for the first time in the season-ending Georgetown Grand Prix Final Showdown.
The 20-year-old, who has ambitions of one day competing in Formula One, touched down in Guyana on Friday morning and is in a race against time to get familiar with the kart and the track. For this reason, qualifying for the Shifter Pro Cup will take place on Saturday.
Despite starting on the back foot in terms of having lesser preparation time than his competitors, Daley Jr. is not too concerned. In fact, he is very confident of being in peak condition for the grand showdown against the likes of Guyanese Kristian Jeffrey and Stefan Jeffrey, Canadian Darryl Timmers and Barbadian Orry Hunte.
“I’m expecting to win of course, but it will take some time…first time at track, learning the track and getting the set-up right, it’s going to take some time,” he indicated.
Daley Jr. chuckled when asked if he had any words for his competitors. “Have fun and watch out because I won’t be taking it easy.”
Daley Jr. spoke of his strategy on a track that is much smaller to those he would be competing on in Jamaica. “A track is a track, it has corners and it has its difficulties so I have to find where I’m strong and capitalise on it.”
The most highly anticipated clash of the evening is between Daley Jr. and Guyana’s ace driver Kristian Jeffrey. Jeffrey has branded Daley Jr. as the number one karter in the region and has predicted that the lap time would be broken this weekend.
It’s a head-to-head showdown Daley Jr. is looking forward to. “I’m really excited because you know he’s a very good driver and I think it would be good racing; good for the spectators, good for everyone, get people more involved in motorsport in the Caribbean and I hope we have clean racing and just have fun.”
Daley Jr. is bubbling with confidence after recently finishing second in the Super Nationals in Las Vegas. He is also a regular on the European circuit.
Earlier this week, Jeffrey spoke of the impact the presence of Daley Jr. has had on the event.
“I think because of Collin coming everyone’s been more alert and ready. Timmers came four days early to put in the time and even the local guys are much faster; everyone is within lap record times already so we’re going to see the lap record being shattered this weekend if the weather holds up and fans should come out and support our local drivers,” Jeffrey predicted.
He continued, “It’s the best race meet we’re going to have in Guyana. We got drivers from Jamaica, Trinidad, Barbados and even all the way from North America and it’s all seasoned drivers, and even the junior drivers are going to put on a good show. Because it’s the final race you want to close the year on a good note so everyone would be giving their all because all the talking will go all the way to next year. It’s about bragging rights.”
Not much separates the drivers in terms of lap times in testing, making the Shifter Pro Cup a wide open race, something Jeffrey is fully aware of.
“So far in testing everyone is like 0.1, 0.2 within each other so it’s going to be four way battles you’re going to see in the Shifter race- no big drive away. Anything could happen in the race,” the #261 driver said.
The Georgetown Grand Prix Final Showdown is set for Saturday (December 16) from 18:00h at GT Motorsports. Qualifying will take place on Friday (December 15).
Among the categories to be contested are Easy Cup Rookie, Easy Cup Light, Easy Cup Heavy, 125cc Junior, 125cc Senior and Shifter Pro Cup. Admission to the venue on race night is $1,000 for adults, $500 for children and $6,000 VIP.