Over the last weekend, among the multitude of killings that took place, there was one particular incident that occurred which was unlike the rest, but sadly, resulted in the loss of an innocent life as well. The fallen, though, was not the victim of a gun or cutlass attack. Neither was he a casualty of a domestic incident that went awry. The young man, Darren Sirjoo, lost his life doing what his family said he loved best, racing his car at a legal race track in Wallerfield. We highlight this fact because this casualty was not a road traffic statistic that also seems to heighten on weekends.

The 28 year old Sangre Grande resident reportedly lost control of his vehicle last Sunday on the drag-strip of the Frankie Boodram International Raceway and also his battle to survive his injuries while receiving medical attention. Sirjoo reportedly crashed into a steel structure at the end the course resulting in his fatal injuries. But just 24 hours earlier, at the same race course, there was another mishap that didn’t result in death thankfully, but the destruction of one of our most famous local race cars. Ryan Garcia luckily survived the horrific crash of the SKF Lancer. The world famous race car was known to be one of the fastest 4 cylinder cars in the world.

While the Trinidad and Tobago Automobile Sports Association conducts an investigation into both incidents, the raceway will remain closed.   And we do hope that a thorough investigation is conducted. You may also recall another incident over a year ago when a race car flipped over the flimsy barriers and into a group of spectators causing serious injuries to many. We are wondering whether that matter was investigated too and what was the outcome. Why did Garcia survive and Sirjoo didn’t? Are international safety standards being upheld by TTASA or is it a matter of ‘anything goes’?

Auto racing in Trinidad has always been the treated like the unwelcomed guest at the dance. Many people enjoy the activity but the Ministry of Sports offers little support. We beg testosterone fuelled youngsters to get off the streets with their race cars but don’t provide adequate facilities for a safe alternative. Instead, auto racers with millions of dollars worth of equipment are forced to make do around a decades old, abandoned World War 2 Air Base that has become our only alternative for legal auto racing. A crying shame we say, while our hundred million dollar, white elephant stadia lay waste across the country. How much more wrong-side could we be?

Web Master

June 1st, 2018

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