Guyana Breaks Into The Formula 4 Market

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Guyana has broken into a new realm of racing with the introduction of its first Formula 4 (F4) Driver, Calvin Stanley Ming, at the Inaugural NACAM (Norteamérica, Centroamérica, Caribe y Norte de Sudamérica) Championships in Mexico.
At the big weekend (October 30 to November 1), the launch of the F4 class took place on the grandest stage of them all: the Mexican Formula 1 Grand Prix set for Mexico City’s revamped Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.
Leading up to that weekend, Ming told the media that he was relaxed. He was adamant about his usual game plan: “apply the concepts and techniques that I would have learnt over the last year in the (United) States at Team Pelfrey.”
It was on Saturday October 31 2015 that Ming broke the barrier as the first driver of Guyanese parentage to enter the F4 arena and one of the first Caribbean men to make a stake in that level. Ming is the son of eminent Guyanese entrepreneur and veteran Guyanese racer Stanley Ming.
The young Ming qualified a decent 7th on the grid. He had faced some late issues on qualifying day but that did not dampen his spirit. Rather, it worked as the motivation which fired him to do better come race day.
Making a bit of a ‘bobble’ (as he describes it) at the start of the race cost him a quick two spots after just the first lap but the Guyanese was intent on flying the Golden Arrowhead high.
Reverting to his game plan and putting his shoulder to the wheel, the young Ming moved up to fourth spot, much like his racing number, before the safety car was called onto the track in the dying minutes after another competitor spun.
He used his reflexes to dart to third quickly on the restart of the race but was overtaken on the last lap of the race, owing to the fact that he did not block because his team radio had incurred problems and could not hear that it was the last lap.
Nonetheless, the Guyanese racer took the optimistic approach, saying, “The race was pretty intense and I was able to learn a lot more being the first time I’m in a winged open-seated car race. I will definitely keep up the momentum and keep pushing for more. Hopefully next race I’ll be on the podium.”
In July this year, the junior Ming did some testing in a F4 car belonging to Team Pelfrey, a top team in the United States. After an evaluation, he was invited to drive for the team. Calvin Ming was exposed to some valuable lessons in F1600 series – another open wheel, single-seater, open cockpit setup, similar to the F4 series that he would be participating in.
The F1600 class featured the same basic design and driving style of the F4 cars. As such, he quickly picked up a podium finish during the second of the three race days, copping valuable points that aided his team to constructors’ glory.
He called that fixture, “A really good race from the go”, adding that “as soon as they dropped the flag, I tried to stay up with the lead pack. That was my whole objective for the race.” It proved a valid strategy as he ended second.
All the while, testing continued at the Gingerman Raceway in Michigan, Putnam Park Road Course in Indianapolis, Indiana and the New Jersey Motorsports Park where he completed over 500 laps and covered a distance of approximately 800 miles. The 6 days of intense testing in the US was done in preparation for his ‘rumble with the big boys.’
During his training, Calvin Ming was under the watchful eyes of his personal coach, team directors, mechanics, and engineers.
The next stop on the Ming train is right here in Guyana, where he will thrill fans with a demonstration run of one of his two F4 cars during the final leg of the Seaboard Caribbean Motor Racing Championships (CMRC) on November 14-15.
Calvin Ming started racing in the shifter kart division in Guyana before attending the Florida International University where he pursued a Degree in Engineering. He also attended the Skip Barber Racing School Programme where he emerged as top student in a class of 21.

Article Categories:
Columns · Issue 20 · Publication · Sports

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