A need for speed
After years of being off the road, the luxurious race cars that once lined the streets of New Providence will rev their engines in the return of the Bahamas Speed Week Revival.
The 1.1 mile sprint circuit event will highlight cars from around the world. Cars will be on display from Wednesday, November 30. The Bahamas Speed Week Revival will conclude on Sunday, December 4 with the Arawak Cay Sprint Day, followed by the trophy presentation. Drivers such as Sir Stirling Moss, James Bond, Rob Walton and Tom Jones are on the list of competitors. They will be in top line cars like the Porsche 911, Aston Martin DB6, OSCA FS 372, Maserati 450S and Ferrari Testarossa.
The Bahamas Speed Week was a regularly scheduled event on the race car calendar. Since it was not held here in a while Jimmie Lowe, the company’s president said, “It has been quite a challenge actually. We had to deal with drivers from England, Europe and the United States trying to encourage people to come for this first revival. We have done extensive advertising and marketing in both of those areas to try and encourage persons to come back and see what The Bahamas is all about again.
“The Bahamas was the place to be in the 50s and 60s. Motor racing was prolific here during that time. When they finish the season in Europe and the USA in December, everyone came here to relax, have some parties and also do some racing. To that end, a lot of the cars made their debut here.”
More than 40 entrants have confirmed their participation in the week-long affair. Events, starting from Wednesday, will give Bahamians an opportunity to get up close with cars that cost anywhere from $100,000 to $1 million.
The luxurious cars, many of which are vintage models, will parade the streets of New Providence, in an island tour, on Thursday. The tour will start at Arawak Cay. Other events are set for Thursday and Friday, with the race days being scheduled for Saturday and Sunday.
The mapped out roads for the event will be closed. Road closure will start on Saturday between the hours of 7 a.m.-2 p.m. Traffic will be diverted to different routes on Sunday for more than 10 hours. Access to West Bay Street, starting from Arawak Cay going north, will be diverted through Infant View Road, St. Albans Drive and Chippingham. Organizers have mapped out a picturesque route for the drivers.
Lowe said: “This is a revival this year so we won’t have an all out race; it is actually going to be one car against the clock. It is going to be a sprint pursuit where one car will start, when that car is halfway through the lap, the other car will begin. It is going to be a continuous flow of vehicles going around, but it won’t be head-to-head competition.
“There is no prize money. Everyone is competing for fun and a trophy. These people own and pride these cars. This is their hobby. It is not about money or winning money; it is about having fun and enjoying themselves while they ride.”
As far as the roads being ready, Lowe revealed that work has already started. The work on the roads around Arawak Cay is completed. He said a remarkable job has been done on the upgrade.