Drag racing excitement at Bushy Park this weekend
A world record-breaking two-ton drag racing truck, the return of a three-time Bushy Park champion driver and the Suzuki Challenge Series debut of one of the region’s most decorated race and rally champions are just some of the ingredients that make this weekend’s Bushy Park, St Philip fixture a must-see event.
With more than 20 hours of on-track action on offer, the second race meet of the season is jointly hosted by Bushy Park Motor Sports Inc (BPMSI) and the Barbados Association of Dragsters & Drifters (BADD). Track action on Sunday starts at 8 a.m. while practice is scheduled for noon tomorrow, followed by qualifying from 3 p.m.
Reigning Barbados Rally Club Champion Rhett Watson is looking forward to “a little fun before the Sol Rally Barbados seriousness starts.” He has entered BADD’s first event of the year in his family’s 8.3-litre V10 Dodge Ram SRT10. A limited number of single cab versions were built in 2004, when it entered the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s fastest production truck. NASCAR driver Brendan Gaughan clocked 154.587mph. Since then, only quad cabs have been built, so is a rare beast.
“It has around 650bhp, up from 525 stock, 700 ft/lbs of torque and sits on 22ins x 12ins wheels. It weighs in at just over 2.3 tons. Traction will be an issue but, with the open exhaust from the heads, it’s something to hear at full chat,” Watson said.
Roger Mayers (Ford Focus) was confirmed by BADD earlier this week. The growing entry list now also includes the Mitsubishis of Matthew “DMZ” Forde (Lancer) and Sherlock Payne (Colt) and brothers Mark and Sean Maloney in Audi A4 and Mini respectively.
In the Suzuki Challenge Series, Swift Cup points leader Mark Thompson will now be starting on a 12-car grid, up from nine at the season-opener, and looking to extend his 14-point advantage over Trinidad &and Tobago’s Ryan Peyrau.
The new competition includes old Bushy Park saloon car lap record-holder Sean Gill, making a one-off appearance following the withdrawal of Jean-Philippe Mongaillard. Mark Kinch, who topped the Easykart 125 action on his first competitive outing of the year two weeks ago, multiple Jamaican race and rally champion David Summerbell Jnr, former race-winner Jason Parkinson and three-time champion driver Karl Waterman, standing in for Kenrick Husbands, who is off-island.
In the SR3 Cup, where just five points cover the leading contenders, Sean Maloney (58 points), and brothers Mark (55pts) and Stuart (53pts), there will be an extra Suzuki-powered Radical SR3 RS on the grid. Having contested round one of the Swift Cup, Barry Gale will try his hand at sports car racing; father Freddie taking over the Swift Sport.
Early front-runners in the BPMSI’s 2015 Championship, Quincy Jones (Modified Production 1 Toyota Starlet), Steve King (SuperSport 1 Starlet) and Andre Walcott (Clubman 1 Suzuki Swift) are all entered. Walcott faces increased class competition, including Shawn Boxill (Swift), Clubman 2 also has extra runners –– rally man Jeremy Croney (Peugeot 205XS) and Dirk Grey (Opel Corsa) –– while a special welcome will be reserved for the returning Sammy Cumberbatch in his familiar SuperModified 1 BMW M3.
Kris Brathwaite and Terrance Ollivierre, who shared the race wins in the BMPSI Bike Championship’s opening round on their evenly-matched Suzuki GSXR-600s, head an increased entry list of two-wheeled competitors, with familiar names including Ryan Beckles, Devan McCartney, Shirley Scantlebury and Rommel Walton.
Three races each are scheduled for the Swift Cup and SR3 Cup, BPMSI’s Clubman, Modified Production, SuperSport, SuperModified and Bike championships, plus Hilti Handicap races on two and four wheels towards the end of the day. There will be five half-hour practice sessions for BADD, the first two on Saturday afternoon, building up to qualifying and the all-important eliminations on Sunday. If time permits, BADD hopes to include grudge matches at the end of the day.