GT Motorsports honours top drivers, marshalls and others
By Avenash Ramzan
The uniforms and helmets were off; the tools were down and maybe for the first time at GT Motorsports the engines were silent and there was no whiff of fuel.
Not that the gladiators weren’t around. They were indoor, all slickly dressed, mingling and reflecting on a great 2017, where they lit up the track and once again made go-kart racing a prominent feature on the local race calendar.
It’s hard to believe GT Motorsports has only been around a year now, and after 12 months of action-packed racing, it was time to reward those who helped to turn a mere idea into a facility that is now widely regarded as the training ground for motorsport in Guyana.
Founder Vishok Persaud, who chaired the formal aspect of the awards ceremony on Friday night, told the gathering, which included racers, parents, marshalls, sponsors, well-wishers and friends, that their efforts in 2017 has made GT Motorsports one big family.
He reflected that it was the likes of Stanley Ming and Kevin Jeffrey, who gave him the push to go ahead with the construction of the facility after there were some initial doubts. Persaud thanked the racers and sponsors for a great year of racing, noting that bigger things are in store for 2018.
Plaques were presented to the top three drivers of the seven categories of racing at the GT Motorsports’ marquee event, the Georgetown Grand Prix.
Kristian Jeffrey, with six wins and one third place finish, was named champion driver of the Shifter Pro Cup. Jeffrey topped the charts with 189 points. Fellow Guyanese Elliott Vieira came in second with 138 points, followed by Canadian Darryl Timmers third with 131.
Mikhail Persaud, with eight wins in the season, was the champion driver of the highly competitive 125cc Junior category, chalking up 272 points. Rayden Persaud, with four victories, was second overall with 239 points, followed by John Phang with 205.
The champion driver of the 125cc Senior was Matthew Phang, who tallied 148 points, finishing the season with three top podium spots. Trinidad and Tobago’s Bridget Singh got the most victories in this category (four), but had to settle for second spot with 115 points, followed closely by Denzel Hopkinson with 109.
With six wins, Shan Seejattan was a runaway winner of the Easy Cup Heavy, accumulating 186 points. His nearest rival, Haniff Mohamed, had exactly half that amount, while Raymond Seeabarran came in third with 65 points.
Seebarran, however, topped the Easy Cup Light category, gathering six podium spots- three first, two second and a third. His 172 points were 17 more than second place Mohamed, while Ralph Persaud took third with 147 points.
The indomitable Raymond Baksh emerged with the joint-most wins by a single driver across all categories in 2017, copping first place in nine of the 12 races in the Easy Cup Rookie.
He raced up 273 points, comfortably ahead of Ralph Persaud with 184 points and two wins, and Dharmendra Dharmo, who impressed with a third place finish overall, managing 154 points and a win and four second place finishes against his name.
The promising Jeremy Tenpow was the lone driver to accumulate more than 300 points for the season, ending as the top driver of the Sunburst Kids Cup 60cc with 306 points. Like Baksh, Tenpow had nine wins, as well as three second finishes and a third place.
Nathan Rahaman came in second with 254 points (three wins, five second place finishes and three third), while the only female driver in the category, Paide Mendonca, was third overall with 234 points. Paige managed two wins, three second and four third.
The racers aside, several other persons were recognised for their contributions to GT Motorsports and the sport in general. They included Kevin Jeffrey, Stanley Ming, Ray Rahaman, Rameez Mohamed, Sunil Persaud, Harold Hopkinson, all the marshalls, sponsors and the club with the most racers on the podium in 2017- Pure Racing.
The sponsors were STAG Beer, Exxon Mobil, Bounty Farm Ltd., Monster Energy, All in One Distributors, Sunburst Orange Juice, Rent-A-Tent, Cyril’s Taxi Service, Fly Jamaica, Optique Vision Care, King’s Jewellery World, Karcher, Prem’s Electrical, Truck Masters, Secure Innovations and Concepts, Auto Toy Store, BM Soat, Industrial Supply of Guyana, Marics Company Ltd., Superbet, Ray’s Auto Sales, Zoon, Hero Motorcorp, Hand in Hand Insurance, Readymixx Concrete, Rid-O-Pes, Scotiabank, Toucan Distributors, Windjammers, Ticketmaster Travel Agency, Japarts and Nexus Machining.