Back to the Start—————————————————25th August 2014
When I was a kid, my dad took me to racing all the time at Wallerfield. It was a noisy magical place full of fast cars, burning rubber and happy people. A memory that stayed throughout my teen years and beyond. I started driving at age 13 and it was something inspired by those experiences there and I know it wasn’t just me… going home from any event meant racing other “inspired” patrons, strangers all united by the love and need for speed. I don’t remember how much of the races I attended were sanctioned or not, but in a blur it felt like we were always “getting away” from something in some mad dash and that was simply exhilarating. The influence transcended into my early adulthood, where I became involved in rally driving, both in the driver and passenger seats for a short chapter of my life’s nomadic experiences.
Long story shortened, the track was closed down in 2006 and I hadn’t been there since maybe a year (or two) before that. When it closed, I remember feeling both sad and angry and wishing I had gone to more events, like something taken for granted until it was taken away…but Motorsports in Trinidad wasn’t a cohesive body back then and some say it sadly still remains fractured: in-fighting ultimately leading to a death of something that worked for the youths in a positive way.
Yesterday, they re-opened the track for the first event in almost a decade to host the 2nd round of the CMRC, with competitors from my beautiful Trinidad, as well as from Guyana and Barbados and and with it came both hope and nostalgia and the chance to be back there again and naturally I welcomed the opportunity. I went there to do photography, but most times I didn’t shoot because I was busy simply enjoying something that was now returned and familiar, childhood nostalgia, thoughts of my dad, the smell of oil, gas and rubber and the sound of some sexy cars.
The weather held up after some early threats of rain, although I got the feeling that no matter what the weather, the fans would have braced it to be there.
The Speedway Motors Renault Megane Trophy (pictured above) was the star of the day, touted as the first of it’s species here in Trinidad … it was just what the fans needed to keep them on their toes. It’s first race was a spectacle to behold as it’s only competitor (an Evo 9) broke down on the final lap, prior to which they ran a very tight race. I must say I was especially impressed by the Evo’s driver, who certainly held his own in the corners. Along with many others, I would have loved if he’d had more time on the track.
The drag car demos were not as impressive as I had hoped since the surface wasn’t up to par for them to put forward their best. Other than that, the crowd loved the show put on by the Trinidad and Tobago Drift Association, but I left amidst the smoke to beat the traffic … hopeful that this wasn’t the last time I would see Wallerfield and who knows, maybe there’s a chance that she’d be restored to her former glory and become again that Motorsport destination the fans long for …