Thursday 5th of November 2020

Jamaica’s Fraser McConnell – a star of ARX2, the RX2 International Series and RallyX Nordic in recent years – is taking his love of rallycross back home to the Caribbean. McConnell has become a regular contender in international rallycross. He won the ARX2 Championship in 2019 and was a double podium finisher in RX2. This year he drove a Ford Fiesta Supercar in RallyX Nordic to be vice-champion.

Taking the model of the ultra-successful, entry-level grassroots Folkrace concept from Scandinavia (also known as Bilcross in Norway), McConnell is setting up an affordable version of rallycross in Jamaica, called Yaad Man Racing.

McConnell has already built a circuit, complete with a joker lap, similar to those in Scandinavia and eight events are planned for the first season in 2021. The regulations will limit cars to being more than 20 years old to keep costs down, with limited modifications, including a roll cage for safety. Just like in Folkrace, every car entered into each race will be placed into a bidding system, and once claims or bids have been made on each car, a lottery will be drawn after racing has been completed. Once a car is 'won' in the lottery, the owner has to sell the car for the set fee for all cars outlined by Yaad Man Racing. If a driver refuses to sell, that car and driver will be banned from the series. The initiative is to keep the costs down and mirrors the system used successfully in Folkrace.

Yaad Man Racing is planning testing pre-season, with training offered to get new competitors up to speed. “We’ve built the track and made rules tailored to most peoples situations. We’re really getting a lot of interest already and looking at hopefully 50 cars in the first event. I can see us being able to do eight events in the first year, as there will be a lot of learning for the club and the competitors. It’s something brand new, there will be a lot of questions, but I think it will be great,” explained McConnell. “The claiming system is a key factor in keeping the racing cost cheap and the racing true. We’re building four cars already and they’ve averaged out at 300,000-350,000 Jamaican dollars [€1700 to €2000], that’s for a full race prepped, competitive car. Everyone in Jamaica is a motor sports fan in my opinion, and if you’re a fan, you want to be a competitor as well. It’s just being able to get the funds to make it happen.”

Ishmael Moodie is working alongside McConnell in the creation of Yaad Man Racing. “We live and breathe racing. When we learned about the model of Folkrace we were hooked. The conversations started that we’d love to bring it to Jamaica, and the great thing about the McConnells is they said ‘why don’t we do it’. Believe it or not, COVID gave us the opportunity in a way, because Fraser had to come home and could not go back to school, so we jumped on it. The lottery system keeps the cost down. Nobody and can come into the sport and ruin it purely with money. If you’re going to spend a million dollars on your car, but you know you have to sell it or you’ll be banned, you’re not going to spend that money. You keep it close so everybody can compete. It’s so important that we give the people who don’t have the opportunity to build cars to purchase them, to give them an easier way into the sport.”

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