‘A promise fulfilled’ – Min. Indar views motorsport as key in expanding tourism sector

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By Akeem Greene

akeem@newsroom.gy

Through a strategic partnership between the Government and the Guyana Motor Racing & Sports Club (GMR&SC), the South Dakota Circuit has undergone a massive transformation as regards the layout of the track in less than five months.

From 0.78 miles in recent years, it has doubled in length to 1.6 miles, including one of the longest straights in the region, at half a mile.

Minister within the Ministry of Public Works, Deodat Indar, paid a visit to the track on Tuesday afternoon and expressed a high degree of satisfaction with the immense progress and the quality of the work completed as the GMR&SC gears up to host a mega International Race Meet on November 12-13.

The two-day extravaganza, which will feature the final round of the Caribbean Radical Championship, will see Guyana’s Kristian Jeffrey vying for the title against Kristian Boodoosingh of Trinidad.

In applauding all stakeholders for their sterling job in executing the project, he reminded the gathering that the expansion is another fulfillment of a promise made by the People’s Progressive Party/Civic during their 2020 campaign trail.

Then, presidential candidate Irfaan Ali made a promise to develop the South Dakota Circuit into a world-class facility, one that would massively boost the country’s sport tourism potential.

“We are a government that when we promise stuff, we deliver it… today we are standing on that development. We worked with the GMR&SC, all of the members, and you can achieve a lot as I think this is one of the best in the Caribbean in terms of what we have put together here”, the Minister stated.

Minister within the Ministry of Public Works, Deodat Indar, said the government has delivered on yet another campaign promise by forming a strategic partnership to develop motorsport (Photo: News Room/Avidesh Narine)

At the request of President Ali, Minister Indar revealed he was personally involved in the process and now proud the campaign promise has been fulfilled, he hopes to see “bigger races”.

“This is one of them, a promise fulfilled, and I am proud to be here standing with the team because it is a partnership for expanding tourism. We are building the infrastructure, so we can enable the expansion in the tourism sector.”

He added, “The country is not just an Oil & Gas economy or an Agriculture economy or a Construction economy, tourism is a big part.”

In October, President Ali indicated he is looking beyond the impending wealth from the country’s riches in oil and gas to one where Guyana is developed as the premier destination for entertainment and sport tourism in the region.

Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh visited the facility a few weeks ago and he too outlined its potential as a huge tourism package.

A fantastic time awaits

Veteran racer, Mark Vieira, who has been a key player in the expansion, said “a fantastic time is coming” as Guyanese would be very proud to see what the club has achieved with the overwhelming support from the government and private sector due to the vision of President Ali.

Vieira dubbed it to be “one of the fastest tracks in the Caribbean” as Group Four cars will potentially exceed 155 miles per hour and some corner speeds will be 125 miles per hour “which is unheard of in the Caribbean as only in Europe you see tracks like that.”

Group Four legend, Andrew King greets Minister Deodat Indar during his visit to the improved South Dakota Circuit (Photo: News Room/Avidesh Narine)

He added, “safety is a priority and because we have this amount of space, we can afford to have the safety as we have  run-off areas of 200-400 feet, so no one can really get hurt, and that is the most important thing.”

The GMR&SC Committee Member echoed the sentiments expressed by Minister Indar as it regards the key role motorsport in particular will play in the expanding tourism sector within the next five years.

The immediate aim of the club is to have an FIA Grade 3 course and with further investments, an FIA Grade 2, which would make it the premier racing facility in the Caribbean.

The next phase will entail the installation of further safety apparatus and more secure fences, while phase three will be the construction of stands and other amenities.

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