II - 25th
by Duane Boodasingh
Photography byDuane Boodasingh, Rawle Francis, Daren Dhoray and Nebert
up to Arima Race Club's car park for Solodex can sometimes make you
wonder how big the crowd will be, if any at all. Solodex has definitely
proven itself to be the little event that could, as Creative Auto Recreational
Sports (CARS) has been pulling out all the stops to make autocross a
major motorsport event in Trinidad. But over the past year the amount
of spectators has been few, amounting to competitors themselves and
their close friends who support them. This was not the case for Solodex
II 2001, which pulled the largest crowd of spectators so far.
event was well put together, apart from a few understandable bumps.
This event in particular was in memory of Greame Hutchinson (may God
rest his soul) who passed away a few weeks ago. Greame was last years'
overall champion and would have been proud of this event.
event's course was notably faster than usual but it was also a longer
course with times averaging 1 minute for a good run.
was fierce in the ESP class but especially so in the EP class where
Cristian Bourne in his Civic Type-R, fought off the oncoming attacks
from the likes of Peter Morris in his fully prepped EVO VI. Cristian
managed the best times of the day but they were beaten by Morris every
time, until finally Morris managed an amazing 54.245secs as he negotiated
the course with four-wheel drifts and masterful handling. Cristian was
not about to put that in his pipe and smoke it. He raced out of the
starting grid and showed exactly how nimble the street version of his
Type-R was. Added to the already high revving VTEC engine, Cristian
introduced some nitrous to the car's intake just for this event for
that added punch. By the time he came to a stop in the finish box the
clock read 54.060secs. edging past Morris. He had managed again to bring
down the reign of the fire-breathing EVO with Honda power.
competition went on all day as contenders slipped from first to third
and then back to first again. Just point-something of a second separated
the bulk of the ESP class but William "SiR Bill" Barrow fought
his way to the top of the pack past Barry Mykoo's SiR clocking in a
best time of 58.265secs. in yet another Honda Civic.
seemed to rule the day as Andy Ali, also in a Civic dominated the ES
class with a best time of 62.182secs. Clayton Jobity took second place
in his Corolla with a time of 63.096secs.
Dial could be the best salesman for Chevy Joy's in Trinidad as he consistently
displays the nimble handling and small bursts of speed characteristic
of a small hatch. He dominated HS class with a time of 63.546secs. just
edging out Robert Bates' best time of 64.277secs. also in a Chevy Joy.
female driver Alicia McKenzie who usually dominates GS class with her
Lancer has secured a best time of 65.900secs. But alas, along came Anson
Eccles in his Bluebird SSS crushing her glory with a time of 65.009.
Just goes to show how fierce the competition can be.
fun runs after went on as planned, but without the help of many marshals
who also wanted to get their fun runs in as well. I tried my hand at
it and I must agree, this is the most fun you can have with your car
with out damaging it. It also helps you out on the road in real life
situations teaching you what your car will do under extreme cornering,
braking and acceration, so its definitely worth a try. CARS could maybe
look at holding some more instructive events for persons wanting to
improve driving skills around a course without the stress of competition
or the fear factor that spectators are watching. Maybe that may encourage
more competitors and hopefully draw even bigger crowds.