By Neto Baptiste
Although some repair work has been carried out on the track at the Staddaco Raceway located at North Sound, head of the Antigua and Barbuda Drag Racing Association (ABDRA) Yousef Michael is of the view that it could be months before the facility is 100 percent ready to host meets.
“Don’t get me wrong; I am not crying down because of the track because if you look at all other tracks across the world, they do crack up too. The track actually needs to get some resurfacing because on some parts of the tar, the shoulder is cracking up or sinking because of the movement of the earth, but at the end of the day some work needs to be done on it. Measures are being put in place to get things done, hopefully for next year. The only thing I don’t want and that is going to be for the next president, that they tie up the track for a next three to six months just to do what needs to be done,” he said.
A number of cracks in the track had caused some concerns last year with officials opting to halt racing at the facility to have the issue addressed.
According to Michael, a number of stakeholders have been working in unison to have the matter addressed.
“The government did get involved with C O Williams who were the ones that actually did he job at first where there was a little here and there, but I kept out of it. The government came, they looked at it, sent their surveyors in, C O Williams came and did the work. Now, what they are trying to say is that up there was swampland, it got too dry and the earth shifted and certain things were not put in place. At the end of the day I am not pointing fingers at anybody but I am just being straight as the president and things do happen, we overlook things, rushed things and it happened,” he said.
However, the drag racing boss said he is pleased with the developments at the facility over the past five to six years.
“From where it was we own a container, we own our own lighting system, we put up our own lights and so a lot of stuff has been put into the facility but we have to still big up APUA with the solar lights because no [electricity] is at certain parts but at the same time, as cars get faster you want to upgrade and change certain things,” he said.
Michael said that he will not be contesting the pending elections when the body holds its electoral congress in December.