Andrew King is coming, and driving fury is coming with him.
The Guyana Motor Racing & Sports Club (GMR&SC) is sending a 10-member team to contest the Digicel Williams Seaboard Marine International Race Meet at Bushy Park this Saturday and Sunday and that south Caribbean territory’s racing pride, along with Paul Vieira, is certain to set tongues wagging.
King and Vieira will race in the second round of the 2012 Seaboard Marine Caribbean Motor Racing Championship (CMRC), facing competitors from Barbados, Jamaica and the Cayman Islands.
Reigning CMRC motorcycle champion and Bushy Park lap record-holder Stephen ‘Rossi’ Vieira will make his racing comeback after recovery from an accident in June, heading a six-man team of Guyana’s leading superbike riders, while the country will also be represented in the CMRC Group 2 championship.
Confirming the details of his club’s contingent, the largest in recent years, president of the GMR&SC John Carpenter said: “You can rest assured that our Guyana team of car and motorcycle racers will be competitive and provide thrills and excitement.
“Driving the GT&T Mazda RX-7, King has been Guyana’s most consistent performer in the current format of the CMRC and his country’s highest-placed driver in the year-end standings three times since 2008. He finished second to multiple champion and top two-wheel-drive contender David Summerbell Jr. (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VIII) in 2009.
A racer since the mid-1970s, he had previously finished runner-up twice – also to Summerbell – in the 1990s Caribbean Championship. A regular visitor to Barbados, his best CMRC finish at Bushy Park is second (2010), among a total of 10 top five results since 2004.
King’s fellow-countryman Vieira assumed the mantle of top 2wd in 2010, his first season in the CMRC, when he finished third overall in his Carib Mazda RX-7 behind Summerbell and Guyana’s Kevin Jeffrey, also in an Evo VIII.
A former motorcycle racer, along with elder brother Mark, Vieira moved to Canada where he competed in circuit racing, sprints and road races before shipping the car home in 2009, when he won the GMR&SC Group 4 title. This will be his third visit to Bushy Park, where his best result is fourth, on his 2010 debut.Guyana has two cars in the 1600 class of CMRC Group 2: John Joseph, who finished all three races on his Bushy Park debut last year – two fourth places were his best results – returns with his D & G Foreign Auto Honda Civic, accompanied by newcomer to Barbados, Mohamed Roshandin (Honda Civic Type R).
Superbike ace Vieira, cousin to CMRC Mazda racers Mark and Paul, has won a hat-trick of GMR&SC superbike titles in the past three seasons, as well as his first CMRC title last year. This will be Vieira’s fourth visit to Bushy Park, where he won two races on his debut in 2009, claimed the motorcycle lap record (44.003s) in 2010, then dominated the field with a hat-trick of wins last year on his way to the CMRC title.
Having won two out of three races in the season-opener at the Dover Raceway in Jamaica, he went on to claim one further victory in the Guyana finale to give him the title, with six wins in nine races.
Riding his Suzuki GSX-R600 at the opening GMR&SC race meet of this season at South Dakota in April, he won the first of three well-supported superbike races, but was beaten by Joel Neblette (Yamaha YZF-R6) in the second, then Kevin Graham in the third. In June, however, he was involved in a road accident which has kept him away from competition. His fellow superbike riders elected not to compete in the season’s second race meet in July, out of respect for his continuing recovery.
In addition to Vieira and Neblette, the Guyana team also includes Ricardo Fagundez (Kawasaki ZX600R) and Carey Griffith (Suzuki GSX-R750), both of whom have been superbike B class-winners at South Dakota this year, Carlos Rodrigues (Yamaha YZF-R6) – he won the third CMRC race at South Dakota last November – and Maurice Meneze (Kawasaki ZX600R), who is the only one apart from Vieira to have raced in Barbados before. On his previous visit, in 2009, he had two fourth-place finishes.