Emphasis on road safety, youth, for this Sunday’s SXM Drag Race

 Emphasis on road safety, youth, for this Sunday’s SXM Drag Race
At the press conference for Sunday’s SXM Drag Race, from left: AMAN President Miguel Mingau, Territorial Councillor Valérie Fonrose, and Local Council for Safety and Crime Prevention (CLSPD) representative, Jocelyn Jermin.  (Robert Luckock photo)

MARIGOT--This coming Sunday’s first officially-organised drag race in Grand Case since June 2017 will combine amateur and professional racing with heavy emphasis on road safety with workshops aimed at the youth; the reason why the event is being supported by the Collectivité, Préfecture, and several associations. 
  Organised by Association Moto Action du Nord (AMAN), the event takes place from 7:00am to 2:00pm. The RN7 will be closed to traffic from the car wash all the way up to the Hope Estate commercial zone entrance where a road safety village will be located opposite Grand Maison. The drag strip itself is 200 metres long. From 7:00am the timing systems will be installed followed by testing sessions and trials.
  Participating categories includes scooters from 50cc to 180cc, Quads, Sport Bikes, and Pro Stock (sport bikes that are highly modified). T-Max scooters which can range from 500cc and up will be in a category on their own. All categories will have three test runs and three qualifying runs. After that bikes will be matched according to their times for the elimination round. Participants will be vying for “King of the Track” overall honour, “Best Time”, and so on.
  Organiser and President of AMAN, Miguel Mingau, noted one or two hours at the end of the event, depending on how the programme runs, will be set aside for settling “grudge” matches, which are typically played out on the RN7 in Bellevue on Sunday mornings.
  “They will be allowed to express themselves in complete security which has never been the case for that type of racing in Bellevue,” said Mingau. “Everyone who wants to participate has to have the proper gear for protection; helmet, long sleeve jacket, long pants (preferably leather), back protection, gloves, appropriate shoes etc.
  “Riders also have to hand in a signed and stamped doctor letter, and a completed registration form. This is to provide the rider with a “daily licence” which covers him on that day for anything that happens. Inspections of all the bikes, scooters, quads, takes place on Saturday afternoon between 3:00pm and 7:00pm at SXM Moto Addict in Hope Estate. Registration closes on Saturday at 3:00pm.
  Asked how most scooters that are generally seen as not legal for use on the public roads could participate, Mingau said insurance for the bike is not required for a drag racing event.
  “However, we insist on the bike or scooter being in good condition, that’s where the inspection comes in. No oil leaks, brakes working well, no covers missing, just to be good riding condition.”
  He acknowledged that some scooters will not pass the inspection for this first event. “What we’ve done also for those young riders in Sandy Ground is to make the safety gear available to them, in other words the protective gear or suits can be shared by other riders who are not competing at that moment.”
  Drag racing officials, safety technicians and arbitrators will be coming over from Guadeloupe to assist and also carry out training so that eventually AMAN will be able to organise the events independently.
  Workshops are on traffic rules and regulations, the danger of alcohol and drug additions, a motorcycle simulator demonstration, a course for kids riding 50cc bikes to learn signs and rules of the road, and the main demonstration, simulating an accident between a scooter and a car.
  The Gendarmerie, Territorial Police, Pompiers, Red Cross, ambulance and emergency medical staff will be present for the entire event. Mingau added over 1,000 spectators are expected to watch the racing involving 40 participants. Among the overseas competitors there is one from Anguilla, six from Guadeloupe, two from Curacao and the rest from St. Martin/St. Maarten.  
The Daily Herald

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