Motor racing extraordinaire Pat Holder passes on
Motor racing extraordinaire and Life Member of the Guyana Motor Racing and Sports Club, Pat Holder, passed away this week at a city hospital. He was 84.
Holder actively participated and provided his services to motorsport in Guyana for 43 years in succession, from 1955 to 1998.
His career in racing started at the age of 14 with bicycles where he was the “A-Class” champion and was selected to represent British Guiana in Suriname.
Unfortunately, or fortunately for those in motorsports, Pat’s cycling career hit a roadblock when he suffered a near-fatal motorcycle road accident in 1953.
Upon his recovery, he turned to motorcycle racing with his brothers Billy and Clive. Pat raced in the 50 cc classes early on, and then eventually moved up to the 250 and 350 cc classes as the years went by, riding Victoria, Ducati and Yamaha bikes.
After much success in bike racing, Pat turned his attention to powerboat racing in 1960, starting off with a 40 hp engine.
At his first race event, having very little knowledge of powerboat racing, Pat lost all of the races of the day, with the exception of the final race. Pat’s luck had gotten him into the news and he was then known as a champion.
As if cycling, motorcycle racing, and powerboat racing weren’t enough, Pat also competed in rally racing in Barbados, Trinidad, and Suriname several times.
Additionally, he participated in endurance racing, dexterity events and even horse riding.
In the ensuing years, Pat became more involved in the organisational aspects of motorsports and served as the president of the GMRC/GMR&SC from 1983 to 1987.
During those years, Pat played an essential role in having the headquarters of the GMR&SC established at the COSMOS ground, where it stands to date.
As the years went by, he continued to serve as the chief starter for circuit events at the South Dakota Circuit up until 1998, when he passed the position on to his nephew and apprentice, Suren “Froggy” Singh.
From there, he retired to the clubhouse, attending almost every circuit race event.
In honour of his contributions to motorsport in Guyana and to the GMR&SC, the clubhouse at South Dakota Circuit was renamed after him a few years ago.
Pat Holder’s contributions to motorsport in Guyana and to the GMR&SC will never be forgotten and his legacy will continue to live forever in the hearts and minds of those he touched in his 84 years, and of course, in the motorsport community that he helped to build from the start. (Adapted from articles by GMR&SC, Avery Gomes, Stephan Sookram and Calvin Chapman)