Havana, Feb 1 (IANS/EFE) A dozen drivers of classic cars from the 1940s and 1950s competed in Havana over the weekend in races that had to be called off when over-enthusiastic fans mobbed the track.
All that could be completed Sunday were races down a 400m straightaway for cars with four- and six-cylinder motors manufactured before Dec 31, 1981, said a spokesman for an automotive organisation.
Cuba in previous years has organised a number of classic-car rallies, but this time the novelty was individual races against the clock.
The competition, in which 30 vehicles were entered, was stopped at about the halfway point because a group from the hundreds of spectators present ran excitedly onto the track at the Marina Hemingway tourist centre on Havana's west side.
The crowd was impossible to control since no barriers to hold them back had been installed and the organisers decided to suspend the event to avoid any mishaps.
Unable to compete were the eight-cylinder cars and those in the "special category", which included true relics manufactured more than 30 years ago, but with modified motors.
A Fiat 125 led the four-cylinders, while the six-cylinder category went to a 1954 Ford.
Frequently seen on streets around the island are vehicles made before 1959, mostly US brands like Buick, Chevrolet and Ford.
Many of them still have their original motors, bodywork and accessories, while others have been given modifications and replacement parts just "to keep them going".
The first auto race in Cuba took place in 1903 when the Havana Automobile Club was founded, and in which five cars competed through the streets of the Havana districts of Guanajay and La Lisa.