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Land Donation Brings STX Drag Racing a Step Closer to Reality

Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. and Jehangir Zakaria. vice president of Engineering/Energy for Renaissance Group LLLP, sign the agreement for a 2.5- acre donation of land to be used for the construction of a drag racing facility on St. Croix while members of the Bryan-Roach administration and the Caribbean Drag Racing Association look on. (Photo by Government House)
Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. and Jehangir Zakaria, vice president of Engineering/Energy for Renaissance Group LLLP, sign the agreement for a 2.5-acre donation of land to be used for the construction of a drag racing facility on St. Croix while members of the Bryan-Roach administration and the Caribbean Drag Racing Association look on. (Photo by Government House)

A St. Croix drag racing facility is one step closer to reality with the donation of a 2.5-acre property adjacent to the 16-acre site owned by the V.I. Port Authority and leased to the Caribbean Drag Racing Association.  

St. Croix Renaissance Group donated the 2.5-acre parcel to the government of the Virgin Islands in an agreement signed this week by Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. with the company’s Vice President of Engineering/Energy Jehangir Zakaria.

The extra land will allow the nonprofit Caribbean Drag Racing Association to extend its strip and drag racing facility, as well as to enhance safety measures, according to a Friday press release from Government House announcing the donation.  

V.I. Sports, Parks and Recreation Commissioner Calvert White, St. Croix Administrator Sammuel Sanes, CDRA President Arthur Hector Sr., and member Ramon Cuencas were also at the signing. White and Sanes have been working closely with the association to keep the re-emergence of drag racing on target, the release stated. 

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“We are pleased to be able to assist Mr. Hector and his association board members in developing this site and the sport of drag racing and being able to invite cars and drivers from other islands to come to the V.I. to race,” Bryan said.

“The government of the Virgin Islands appreciates the good corporate citizenship of St.  Croix Renaissance Group in making the donation as part of its Economic Development Commission benefits responsibilities. The agreement for the undertaking has been several years in the making,” said Bryan.

The donated land, when added to the adjacent 16-acre site, makes for a complete drag racing development site that permits safe drag racing, not on Virgin Islands highways, the release stated.  

The entire 33rd Legislature, all 15 senators, passed a bill in December 2019 allocating $500,000 from the St. Croix Capital Improvement Fund to the Caribbean Drag Racing Association to refurbish the St. Croix Motor Sports Complex, as long as the association adheres to financial disclosure obligations. Bryan signed the bill into law in January.

That funding, in addition to private sector support, covered the cost of paving the main drag racing strip and the construction of ADA-compliant bleachers and a judge’s tower with a VIP section. The reconstruction also includes installation of safety walls and fencing and paving the return lane, Friday’s release stated.

“I’m in full support of spectator sports. We need to have things to do here in the Virgin Islands; that is critical and important,” Sen. Donna Frett-Gregory said at the time.

In October, the association received $337,750 in grant funding to complete the redevelopment of the drag racing site, which is just east of the Henry E. Rohlsen Airport. 

The Caribbean Drag Racing Association said at the time that it expects to complete the track by February 2022.

Bryan has touted sports as one of the best avenues for community engagement and youth activity and as a niche market for tourism, the release stated. The Sports, Parks and Recreation Department will supervise the drag racing operation, it said.

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