By Neto Baptiste
President of the Antigua Pro Racing Ltd, Carlo Falcone, has made it clear that he is not interested in managing the North Sound Raceway, neither is he interested and or authorised to dictate to the local drag racing association how they should run their organisation.
Falcone, who is the country’s Honorary Vice-Consul to Italy, said his goal is to promote the country and its drag racing prowess on the international scene.
“As Antigua Pro Racing, we are not actually managing any track; we are not organising any races. Our mandate is to develop the sport at any level, starting from young — girls, women — and Antigua is amazing because we have so much talent and I am very happy with what I am doing. I would like to make it very clear to whosoever is listening, I don’t want to arrange any races, I don’t want to get involved in that,” he said.
The avid racer and sailor said, however, that Antigua Pro Racing Ltd is obligated to report to the sport’s international governing body, the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile) and that recent security breaches at the track have raised concerns.
“The government realised that because they are the owners of the track, they could be liable and the FIA, after the last accident, even though it happened on a track that is now beyond FIA, we are obliged to make [submit] our report. And there is where I think things really started because now that FIA is informed as to what happened, they came back to me because we are the ones in charge. We are working now with the drag racing association; next week [we meet] along with the government and ourselves,” Falcone said.
Concerns have been raised recently over the make-up of the Antigua Pro Racing Ltd as it consists of only those associated with rally racing.
Falcone said he is willing and has been pushing for equity on the board.
“Every year we have the election of the board members and from the beginning I wanted to have balance so at the time there was Lisa Abraham and she was the vice president and then I asked Nigel Pigott and there were some other people who would chance every year depending if they could manage,” he said.
“What happened is that somehow, things went wrong in a way that they felt the FIA wanted to make rules that were not possible for the drag racing and I don’t know if there were issues on their board or whatever and they just practically said, ‘Carlo, we don’t want to be on the board anymore’,” he added.
No races have been held at the North Sound Raceway since March, following the death of racing driver Marcus Williams during the staging of an event there.
Williams’ death was however, not due to any safety breaches at the track but the sport was halted along with all other sporting activities as part of government’s efforts to slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus. The sport is yet to be given permission to resume.