Whereas T&T regularly comes into the glare of the international spotlight for violent crimes, murders, guns and drugs, it has recently made news for a positive “feel good” story of a Trinidadia
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White Heat keeps the legacy alive
The 35-year legacy of brothers Victor, Richard and Winston Tardieu was preserved when the Ministry of Sports came on board to assist their boat White Heat’s preparations for this Saturday’s Carib Great Race.
According to driver Victor, a lack of sponsorship had left the trio on the verge of sitting out the race for the first time since 1979 before the intervention of the Ministry enabled them to continue.
“Without money you can’t do anything in this sport,” he said. “Gaining corporate sponsorship has never been easy but there was a lot more begging and pleading this year. Sitting out was definitely a consideration and it’s only because of our history we continued to struggle. Luckily, the people at the Ministry saw it fit to give us some assistance along the way.”
Tardieu gave special thanks to the former Minister of Sports Anil Roberts for coming to their aid with an undisclosed sum.
“The same person who got all this criticism in recent times. Nobody pays attention to the positive that he did. He had been involved in all these sports that people usually turn their backs on. We are very grateful for his support.”
The 31’ Bowen, the third incarnation of the White Heat name, has been a fixture at the Great Race for the past 16 years. With Victor serving as driver, Richard as throttleman and Winston as navigator the brothers had previously raced a 26’ Formula
III and a 20’ Formula III in the years before. Winston will sit this year out with some back trouble though the slack will be picked up by their cousin Robert.
“There have only been two years where we did not complete the race,” he said. “I would think we’re the most consistent racing team in world. We’ve definitely been together the longest.”
He added that shared faith had been the secret to their longevity.
“The family that prays together stays together. The camaraderie we have is something to cherish. In the end you have your fights and tense moments but you just keep coming back for it. I would not change it for anything.”
The Primis Corporation is the team’s other major sponsor.
Carib Great Race Contenders
A Class (130 mph)
Monster, Mr Solo, Paramount
B Class (120 mph)
Fire One, Stampede
C Class (110 mph)
D Class (95 mph)
Sheriff Lobo, Rush, Chris Gone Wilder
E Class (80 mph)
Hero III, White Heat, Elixir, Energiza
F Class (70 mph)
Rite Formulal, Energiza, Extreme Measures, Cynisca
G Class (60 mph)
Matrix Reloaded, Chris Gone Wild, Infusion IV, Wethead, Outcast