Former drag racing head advocates for track safety

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Former president of the Antigua & Barbuda Drag Racing Association (ABDRA), Lisa Abraham, has called on the organization to pay keener attention to safety during meets held at the North Sound International Race Way.
According to Abraham, who tendered her resignation as head of the association three weeks ago, enforcing of race day rules falls squarely on both the race director and the track marshal.
The happenings, she added, are constantly marshalled by the Federation of International Automobile (FIA), the sport’s world governing body.
“We have cars that have done remarkably well on what they would consider as a dirt track. We have millions of people following the sport worldwide and there are cameras inside of the cars showing you what the driver is doing. Then you have the people at the FIA who are following us because we are one of their newest outfits,” she said.
“They would send you an email and ask, Lisa what’s this. The driver has no suit, no gloves, no jacket and he’s running nine seconds. How is this still happening?” she asked.
The rules, Abraham said have been put in place to protect both drivers and spectators when or if an incident occurs, an incident she believes is inevitable.
“You can only give so many allowances because it’s not a matter of if but a matter of when. These cars are man-made. We have been safe for years. We have never had a fatality. Never has anyone [been] seriously hurt. Now that the sport has gotten a proper place where we can exercise the cars, push them to the limit then why can’t we as drivers look at the safety of the sport and continue to keep the integrity of the sport going,” the former president said.
“We want to wait until something mad happens that the government gets a bashing, the sport gets a bashing, the association gets a bashing and then the sport dies,” she added.
Abraham said she was hated for trying to enforce the rules during her tenure.
“I would prefer five people to race if they are ready than to have 100 people race and then we have a mad mishap. We got some breathalysers and to hear the racers say that we don’t want anybody to race if we are going to be checking alcohol content then what does that say to you,” she said.
“I am a racer and you think I would want somebody on the next side of me that is heavily intoxicated to then run into me and Miss Behaving and cause me some grievous bodily harm. It just cannot happen,” she added.
Abraham resigned suddenly during the ABDRA awards ceremony held on February 9 at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground.
The majority of the members of the association did not attend the awards ceremony, reportedly in protest that one female driver had not been nominated for a particular award.

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