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Showing posts from April, 2015

Race day images

A FEW MORE of Tony Robertson's photos from the Havana motorcycle racing event described in the previous post.

Motorcycle racing on the Malecón

THE-STATE-APPROVED drag-racing events described here recently weren't the first time Cuba has broken its own ban on organized motorsports.    In 2004, the government allowed motorcycle races on a closed circuit on Havana's Malecón, the same waterfront avenue that was the site of the Cuban Grand Prix in 1957 and 1958. CARISTAS contributor Tony Robertson was at the races and took the photos you see here.
   Several large-displacement bikes took to the course in what may have been a demonstration event for the Caribbean Motor Racing Championship. Running in their own class were smaller-displacement Cuban motorcycles, many with modifications suggesting they were part of some regular, if little-publicized, local racing series.

Photos by Tony Robertson. Used by permission.

Racing returns, a quarter mile at a time

ORGANIZED DRAG racing still hadn't reached Cuba when Fidel Castro gave motorsports the black flag in the early 1960s.
   Rallies and road races were the island's competitions of choice, starting with the 100-mile Havana Cup in 1905. The racing scene grew significantly in the 1950s (as it did in so many countries), with three Gran Premio de Cuba events attracting some of the world's top drivers.
   Then the new government banned car racing and other "bourgeois" professional sports, throwing its support behind the amateur athletics it felt was more in keeping with the socialist ideal.
   Of late, however, drag racing has somehow found a toehold, with occasional state-sanctioned race days and a small but fervent street racing movement in the Cuban capital. The latter is the topic of a documentary, Havana Motor Club, that will debut this month at the Tribeca Film Festival.
 American filmmaker Bent-Jorgen Perlmutt worked on the movie for three years, riding with the Havan…