RX-7 rules 1320 Heat; fans enjoy successful day of racing


The Guyana Motor Racing and Sports Club’s 1320 Heat certainly lived up to its name on Sunday, providing faithful Drag Racing fans with an intense and competitive day of racing at the South Dakota Strip.

On a day blessed with brilliant weather, patrons turned out in their numbers and were treated to some scintillating action as drivers and riders brought their ‘A’ game to kickstart the 2024 Drag Racing Series in earnest.

A constant flow of races with very little downtime meant fans were given value for money, a model that the Club is resolutely pursuing at every race meet.

Patrons at the GMR&SC’s 1320 Heat on Sunday (Photo: News Room/Avidesh Narine/February 18, 2024)

At the end of a well-executed event, it was Peter Daby’s third generation RX-7 that reigned supreme, winning the nine-second class and clocking the fastest time of the day- 9.076 seconds.

Daby’s camp has definitely set the tone for the series, the white Mazda putting down immense power to overcome its competitors in the fastest class of the day.

Krishna Ramseywack won the 10-second class in his Toyota Verossa (Photo: News Room/Avidesh Narine/February 18, 2024)

Krishna Ramseywack, powering the Trans Pacific Toyota Verossa, won the 10-second class, while Vishal Gewan’s Toyota Caldina topped the 11-second class and Suriname’s Prakash Lachman, with his GMC Typhoon, took top honours in the 12-second class.

Pankraj Ramdeo won the 13-second class with his Toyota Corolla RUN-X and the 16-second class with a Toyota Caldina, while Shivan Raganauth (Toyota Carina 212) won the 14-second class and Vivikanand Jaikaran (Toyota Corolla Fielder) topped the 15-second class.

Pankraj Ramdeo won the 13-second class with his Toyota Corolla RUN-X and the 16-second class with a Toyota Caldina (Photo: News Room/Avidesh Narine/February 18, 2024)

A major highlight of the day was three females taking to the line, signaling a new frontier for motorsport in Guyana.

While Malicia Lawrence competed in her Toyota Altezza among the males but lost out in the final, it was Fiona Dhanpat, with her Cadillac ATS, who emerged the overall female champion, winning ahead of Zaleema Haniff’s Toyota Levin.

“Today is my first time driving at the races and my experience was very good,” Dhanpat said after her victory.

“Every time I went to try out I keep getting better times. I would want to encourage more females to come out and race.”

From left: Malicia Lawrence, Fiona Dhanpat and Zaleema Haniff

Haniff related: “It was a really great experience. I learnt a lot and it was great fun. I certainly plan to come out more often. At the next circuit race I plane to compete and I’m hoping we can have more females coming out.”

Lawrence, who started racing in February 2023 and is now charged with overseeing female motorsport development, pointed to the significant gains made in the push to promote that aspect of racing.

“We kind of got a little bit to our goal today because we want the girls to run against the guys, not only among the girls.”

A total of 69 competitors participated in the elimination rounds on Sunday.

99-year-old Norman Illsley (second left), who is credited with introducing motorbike racing at South Dakota in 1956, and former motor-racer John Sutton (right) of England share a moment with GMR&SC President Mahendra ‘Raj’ Boodhoo (left) and Group Four driver Mark Vieira (second right) at 1320 Heat on Sunday (Photo: News Room/Avidesh Narine/February 18, 2024)

See below full list of official results

16 Second Class

#185 – Pankraj Ramdeo –  Toyota Caldina

15 Second Class

#53 – Vivikanand Jaikaran – Toyota Corolla Fielder

14 Second Class

#66 – Shivan Raganauth – Toyota Carina 212

13 Second Class

#85 – Pankraj Ramdeo – Toyota Corolla Run-X

12 Second Class

#810 – Prakash Lachman – GMC Typhoon (Suriname)

11 Second Class

#1167 – Vishal Gewan – Toyota Caldina

10 Second Class

#59 – Krishna Ramsewack – Toyota Verossa

9 second class

#2811 – Peter Daby – Mazda RX-7 (3rd gen)

Female Class

#148 – Fiona Dhanpat – Cadillac ATS

600 CC Bikes

#101 – Shem Chattersingh – Suzuki GSX-R

1000 CC Bikes

#103 – Jermaine Chattersingh – Suzuki Hayabusa

Fastest Time of the day

9.076 – Peter Daby – Mazda RX-7 (3rd gen)

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