A couple of years ago, we couldn’t have dreamed of it.
Progress in the diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba has opened up a world of new possibilities, including sanctioned drag racing in Cuba. We’ll say it again:
Racing in Cuba!
If rumors are to be believed, a major sanctioning body is planning to build a dragstrip and move a national event just outside of Havana, Cuba. Drag racing — and motorsports of any kind — had been prohibited in Cuba since communism took hold in the 1950s. The communist regime’s ban on importing American cars and American car parts has left the roadways teeming with vintage American iron. A few of the cars are restored, but most have been cobbled together to remain on the roadways. As this Detroit Free Press article points out, you’ll find American classics with diesel engines, cheap paint, and MacGyver-like engineering as no parts have been shipped to Cuba for these vehicles since the early 1960s.
Love for drag racing among some Cuban citizens has also created a robust underground racing scene. This simmering passion for racing, along with improving relations between the U.S. and Cuba, has led the top sanctioning body to explore the possibility of professional drag racing in Cuba, according to one insider.
Few details have emerged:
- One race to take place in Cuba at a new 1/4-mile dragstrip facility
- Oversight and management of the facility would be performed by the sanctioning body
- Land for the facility would be near Havana, Cuba
- Site plans and event details would have to be approved by Cuban government
Is this good news or bad news for American drag racing? As this story develops, we’d urge you to read the fine print before forming your opinion.