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. RUNNING LEAN: German-built MZ 125-cc carries not a gram of excess weight. TWO TO SIPHON: Crew members get fuel flowing. BUMP START: A push, and he's on his way. BUILT FOR SPEED: Fairing on MZ 250 appears to have been handcrafted. Photos by Tony Robertson. Used by permission .  

Motorcycle racing on the Malecón

Sportbikes sweep through the course along the Havana waterfront.     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. Bigger motorcycles may have come from the Carribean Motor Racing Championship. A Cuban entry passes the Monument to the Victims of the USS Maine. Photos by Tony

Racing returns, a quarter mile at a time

A '32 or '33 Ford Altered Coupe makes a run during one of the rare state-approved race days.      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 Tr