Rajab Memorial 1000k Rally (Wallerfield
Stage) - 6th May 2001
by Nebert Marin
Photography byDuane Boodasingh
There's not much to say really. With all the anticipation built up online
in the weeks prior to the event, everyone waited to see who would have
the fastest front wheel drive rally car. The day started off quite good
with some very fast runs by most competitors but by the second stage
disaster struck when a fire broke out under the hood of Erica Dinoo's
Turbo Starlet. The day's action came to a stop as fellow competitors
used up their fire extinguishers in a futile effort to prevent the inevitable.
Competitors, marshals and spectators looked on helplessly as the car
burnt to the ground.
watched the Castrol logo burn one letter at a time as the intense heat
of the flames added to the already hot weather conditions. People openly
expressed their sorrow while others cautioned that the car was full
of fuel and the gas tank could blow any minute. It was good to see that
the ambulance sprung into action and went to the aid of the driver and
navigator immediately. The theme of the day turned out to be the importance
of fire resistant race gear, fire suppresser systems and emergency personnel.
event was officially called off, not only out of sympathy for Erica
but because the other teams were now left with empty extinguishers and
the ambulance was gone. A crew from ERS and Big Boyz Toyz came to the
scene and after making sure that the car was completely extinguished,
hoisted the burnt shell onto their flatbed wrecker and took it away.
the fire, we witnessed some blistering runs by the infamous Bench, Franklyn
Seegobin's Corolla and Roger Williams' Mazda. There were some visitors
from Suriname that took part in the Navigational Rally on Saturday.
Their team came to Trinidad with their media contingent and was probably
disappointed that they could not see more action.
we all gathered at the pit area of the circuit track and Peter Morris
gave us a spectacular show with his EVO VI, pulling donuts at will in
both directions proving that true donuts can be performed in an all-wheel
drive vehicle. Of course Peter has a Hydraulic Hand Brake which makes
all the difference. Afterwards Peter took to the circuit to help burn
out some more adrenaline to the delight of the crowd.
people have speculated that the trauma of this fire will keep Erica
out of racing but I for one doubt that she is so fragile. There must
have been some sentimental attachment to that car, having helped her
to win the 16 Second Drag Racing Title, Circuit Racing and Rally Championships
all in the same year but racers are tough people. Main team sponsor
Castrol, has indicated their commitment to Erica's comeback. The last
we heard, Erica already started work on another turbocharged Starlet
and plans to maintain her points lead on the rally circuit, taking on
drag racing and circuit racing as they come her way. We anxiously await
the new machine.
leave you with this. Every fire starts with just a little spark. Every
big fire starts out as a small one. It only cost about TT$175.00 for
a decent ABC type extinguisher. It's always too late to try to find
an extinguisher by the time a fire has started. How many of you weekend
warriors are going out to get yourselves an extinguisher this week?
We hope all of you.