Bajans gearing up
Bushy Park outright lap record-holder Stuart Williams will lead a five-man team into action when the Barbados Auto Racing League stages the Digicel Williams Seaboard Marine International Race Meet on September 1 and 2.
They will be coming up against drivers from Guyana, Jamaica and – for the first time at Bushy Park – the Cayman Islands.
Last year, Barbados became the first territory to win both the driver and country titles in the same year since joining the competition in 2008, but goes into next month’s second round of the Seaboard Marine CMRC on the back foot.
BARL chairman Adrian Mayers explained: “With a number of our front-running cars undergoing off-season upgrades, we could not field our usual team for the first round at Dover Raceway in Jamaica. Coming from behind is nothing new: three years ago, when we won our first country title, we were trailing Jamaica before our home round, and went on to beat them by 39 points. Our situation is more challenging this year, but I am confident that we will take the fight to the visiting teams once we have them on home ground.”
Driving the Lotus Elise, Williams was the only Barbados entry in the first round, where his challenge was marred by mechanical issues, a disappointing outcome after qualifying an impressive third. The winner of more than 80 races at Bushy Park, Williams set the new outright lap record of 40.866s, an average speed of around 71.2mph, in the first race on Easter Monday.
The previous record-holder – his time of 40.996s is still the four-wheel-drive lap record – Roger Mayers will also see action in his Ford Focus. The reigning Caribbean Motor Racing Champion has won three of the five CMRC races run at the St Philip facility since 2010, all from pole position.
His two victories in 2011 were followed by a hat-trick of wins in the final at South Dakota in Guyana which gave him the title by a margin of six points over Jamaica’s David Summerbell Jnr, while Barbados beat Jamaica to the country title by a massive 86 points, the highest winning margin ever.
Last year’s crushing victory in the country title was helped in no small part by the performances of Doug and Mark Maloney, who finished third and fourth in the year-end standings.
Two of the most consistent supporters of the CMRC in recent seasons, each failed to score only once last year, a record unmatched by any other competitor.
Driving a Mazda RX-3, Mark will be hoping to repeat his form of 2009, when his two wins at Bushy Park played an important part in bringing the country title home for the first time.
Doug, driving an Audi A4 Quattro, finished just two points behind Summerbell Jr. last year, repeating his 2008 result, when son Stuart claimed the driver’s title in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI.The final member of the Barbados team is Steve King, who has enjoyed steadily improving results since he started racing in Group 3C in 2005 in his Nissan Skyline; he has been the group champion for the past two years, with 15 wins since 2008, and added the Monster Energy Drink Handicap Champion’s trophy to his cabinet last year.