Search for representatives for ROC ends Sunday
This Sunday is D-Day for 20 of the island’s top drivers, selected last month for The Suzuki Race Of Champions Barbados Challenge. The quest to find the two best all-rounders to represent Team Barbados against motor sport champions from around the world in the ROC Nations Cup at Race Of Champions on December 13 and 14 comes to an end at Bushy Park this weekend.
A packed programme of family fun for motoring and motor sport enthusiasts is planned at Suzuki Rocks –– The Final/JDM Squared Street Champions at Bushy Park on Sunday, with the pits area to the south of the circuit the focus of activities. Alongside the search for winners in a number of categories, including best-looking car and best-sounding car, JDM Squared will have competitions and giveaways, with prizes including Race of Champions tickets, Chefette vouchers, Digicel phones, Goodyear vouchers and T-shirts and stickers.
After the first two Suzuki Rocks driver challenges at the Beacon Insurance Barbados Motoring Federation Club meet last month, Rhett Watson is currently the runaway leader in the selection process with a score of 63 points. He has a 21-point advantage over Roger Mayers and Josh Read, who ended the day tied in second place. But all that can change in the blink of an eye at Bushy Park on Sunday.
There will be three driver challenges during the day, all timed against the clock, and with double-points available for each. That means a total of 210 points on offer if a driver were to win all three challenges, so even the four drivers who have yet to score are in with a chance. The vehicles to be driven in the first two challenges have not yet been confirmed, but each driver’s final challenge of the day will be at the wheel of a radical powered by Suzuki, for nearly all of the contenders a first-time experience.
As drivers are from a cross-section of disciplines, and some have already raced at Bushy Park, a new circuit configuration will be used, which will be unfamiliar to all. It will be on the southern side of the circuit, keeping all the action close to the pits, where fans will have gathered, and will also feature cones placed strategically to slow drivers at some points, also to indicate the direction of the course.
After a drivers briefing and “classroom tutorial” scheduled for 9 a.m. during which former karting champion Orry Hunte will highlight key features of the radicals powered by Suzuki, the 20 Suzuki Rocks contenders will be allowed a maximum of four practice laps each.
These first elements of the day will take most of the morning, after which there will be a lunch break, with the first of the three timed challenges slated for 12:30 p.m. on the ROC skills challenge course –– as in the first round of the Suzuki ROC Barbados Challenge last month, there is no head-to-head racing, simply competition against the clock. For the second and third challenges of the day, drivers will move on to the circuit, in a time attack format, at 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Drivers will be allowed two laps of the reconfigured circuit, the faster lap time to count.
It is planned to confirm the winners of the Suzuki ROC Barbados Challenge and who are therefore selected to represent Team Barbados at the Race Of Champions at the end of the day.
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