Summerbell out to win
Jamaica, which last won the country title in the Seaboard Marine Caribbean Motor Racing Championship in 2008, is looking to build on its impressive start to this year’s campaign when the Barbados Auto Racing League (BARL) stages the Digicel Williams Seaboard Marine International Race Meet at Bushy Park this Saturday and Sunday.
After a strong performance in his home round at the Dover Raceway in May, multiple champion David Summerbell Jnr. leads the CMRC standings in advance of round two for the fifth year in a row, with fellow Jamaicans Peter Rae and Andre Anderson lying second and third.
Jamaica currently leads the country standings by a margin of 50 points from the Cayman Islands, with Guyana and Barbados languishing far behind in single figures.
Last year, Barbados became the first territory to win both the driver and country titles in the same year since joining Guyana and Jamaica in the competition in 2008, and also the first to win the country title twice – after Jamaica’s triumph in 2008. Barbados claimed the title in 2009, then Guyana in 2010.
Looking ahead to next month’s face-off, Jamaica Race Drivers’ Club president Marck Carey said: “After a strong showing in the first round at Dover, Jamaica leads both the country and driver’s points standings. We hope to extend the championship lead, but expect stiff competition from our Bajan and Guyanese rivals.”
Driving the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VIII, Summerbell claimed a hat-trick of victories in the opening CMRC round in May, and arrives in Barbados with a perfect score of 30 points. The 2009 and 2010 champion knows only too well, however, that the balance of power can shift rapidly.
Since his first visit to the venue, Summerbell’s results at Bushy Park have steadily improved. After failing to score any points in 2008, he claimed one win in 2009 – he is the only driver of the current crop to have won CMRC races at all three host circuits; then two second and three third places over the past two years.
He has never qualified lower than fifth in Barbados, his best grid position being third in 2009.
Veteran racer Rae finished second to Summerbell in all three races at Dover in his Mazda RX-7 to sit six points adrift in the standings. With ninth last year his best grid position in his two visits to Barbados, he enjoys a 100 per cent finishing record at Bushy Park, with seventh each year his best result, a position he intends to improve on this time round.
Former kart racer Anderson claimed a hat-trick of third places in the opening round in May in his unusual Mitsubishi Mivec. This will be only his second visit to Bushy Park, where he qualified 10th last year with one finish in 12th place. George Bayley, who was originally listed in a four-car team from Jamaica, was forced to withdraw, after parts for his Evo VI did not arrive in time for his car to be prepared.