By Neto Baptiste
Former head of the Antigua and Barbuda Drag Racing Association (ABDRA), Lisa Abraham, wants to return to the helm of the drag racing fraternity here and believes the sport is in dire need of positive leadership.
Abraham, who was first elected president in 2013 replacing Anthony “Spanky” Spencer, said the body is in need of direction and she’s confident she has what it takes to move it to the next stage.
“Straight, big and serious, we haven’t seen anything big developmental-wise happen in the last two years. The track has been on a standstill and I have gotten cussed left, right and centre that I made government waste their money and I didn’t,” she said.
“I went to the government with a proposal on behalf of the organisation and the proposal is still there and they have all the documentation to take the plans forward. If the people that are there are not so inclined, or they chose to take a different direction — I don’t know what their directional point of view was. Everybody is saying it is government’s place and yes it is government’s place but it is our sport. If we want the place developed, we can’t sit down and wait on the government,” she added.
Should she receive the necessary support from the membership during both the nomination and electoral processes, Abraham said her aim is to look at improving the facilities currently available at the North Sound International Raceway.
“This time around, I have a different mindset and I am on a different mission. The first time was to get it done and now, it needs further advancement and further development so the focus now is completely different because it is done. We have a track and we are using it. Yes, the cars are getting faster so a lot more things need to be put in place now,” she said.
Abraham left the post in 2016 citing personal reasons. Since then, the sport has somewhat lost vibrancy, and issues concerning the quality of the track have arisen with a number of cracks emerging across the surface of the strip.
Abraham, normally a straight shooter, said many within the organisation had issues with being led by a female but reminded that all benefited from the work of her executive.
“The guys need to get away from a woman being at the helm and them having issues. We are going where we are going so regardless who is at the helm, just let the thing run. At the end of the day, when God made man, a woman was the next thing so if it means now that a woman has to take the helm and pull the man along with him it is just what it is,” she said.
“When I got in there I had all appreciation for Spanky [Anthony Spencer]. Spanky worked a full-time job, has a company he was running and still running the drag racing association and people think that running the drag racing association is a small feat but running any organisation is like running a business,” Abraham added.
Yousef Michael announced in October that he will not be seeking re-election when the body hosts its electoral congress which is slated for later this month.
Michael said his decision is based on his inability to dedicate the time needed to manage the affairs of the body.