San Fernando Grand Prix 2010

San Fernando Grand Prix 2010

In 1986, Trinidad & Tobago was treated to a spectacle of Motorsport that many remember as one of the greatest events they ever witnessed. The effect was such that spectators rushed on to the roads and racing had to be stopped after the second race. So great was their passion for seeing the streets of San Fernando alive with the glorious sound of full race machines at full throttle.

On November 14th, 2010, the City of San Fernando was once again treated to an historic circuit racing event. The Festival of Sport was the brain-child of Selwyn Bunny Persad, past president of TTASA, current FIA/NACAM delegate, and PRO Secretary General on the board of NACAM. All the necessary approvals were granted by the City of San Fernando, and the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs. In addition to being organized and put on by veteran motorsport enthusiasts, this event was also about giving the people of San Fernando an experience they would never forget.

The programme included a 5K Marathon, multiple categories of cycle racing and a parade with 4x4s, exotic, V8, historic cars and Carnival customes in addition to kart racing and two classes of car racing. Prime Minister the honourable Kamla Persad-Bissessar, other Government Ministers, political dignitaries and of course her worship the Mayor of San Fernando, Marlene Coudray were also in attendance.

The streets comprising, and around the popular Cross Crossing a.k.a. ‘the cross’ Intersection were configured to form the road course. Every effort was be made to ensure safety was given paramount importance. While the cars themselves were capable of speeds in excess of 100mph, strategically placed chicanes ensured the overall course was rated for up to 70mph collisions. Along with these chicanes, water filled and tyre barriers were also used to maintain safety margins, as well as to create opportunities for overtaking and braking maneuvers. All of this was certified by officials of NACAM, the FIA’s western hemispheric governing division, who were flown in two days before the event.

The rains came early, hampering the first few hours of the programme but in the afternoon the weather began to change and allowed the track to dry off. The qualifying runs, and first races of the two run groups of under 1800cc and over 1800cc cars as well as the karts were all run under wet conditions.

In the under 1800cc Group, Zak Waddel was the crowd favorite with his operatic 1000cc motorcycle-engined Caterham replica. He led the race but midway through had to retire with a mechanical failure, much to everyone’s disappointment. For the next few laps Jameer Ali took the lead but only to drop out due to a disintegrated front right tire leaving TTRC’s Ansel Ali to hang on and take the win. In the second Group of cars over 1800cc, Castrol-sponsored Gerard Carrington battled his way through the field from last place. He started at the back of the pack after failing to make the qualifying run but in just four laps he quickly worked his way up to first place all the way to the end.

After that former Mayor Ian Atherley and friends lit up the streets with a few drag-style demonstration runs as the evening came to a close. The day was relatively incident free except for two very minor injuries which the medical team was able to promptly address after one of the cars spun into the tire barriers and met the fence. It’s been years since the general public has seen real circuit racing action and from all indications, everyone was very pleased with the running of the Festival of Sport and San Fernando Grand Prix. Looks like it will happen again next year and we’re definitely looking forward to it!


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