Biking action next month
Bike racing fans are set for a bonanza weekend at the Williams Digicel International Race Meet on September 3 and 4, when Bushy Park, St Philip hosts round three of the 2016 Seaboard Marine Caribbean Motor Racing Championship (CMRC).
Lap record-holder Brook Miller will lead Team Barbados against a record regional entry, with seven of the top 10 points-scorers in the CMRC Superstock Championship confirmed.
Miller is the only local rider to have competed in the CMRC so far this year, having claimed two fifths and a seventh last month aboard his Suzuki GSX-R600 at the Frankie Boodram Wallerfield International Raceway in Trinidad & Tobago, which slotted him into the points table in 10th place.
Already confirmed to ride alongside him are Kris Brathwaite (Yamaha R6), whose fourth-placed finish in the first race of the day at last year’s International was the home team’s best result, Terrance Ollivierre, who has toured to CMRC events regularly in recent years, and Shirley Scantlebury, both riding Suzuki GSX-R600s.
Flying in to represent Team Barbados are Bermuda-based Bajan Kirk Greaves, also Suzuki-mounted, and Canada’s Kevin Graham, riding a Yamaha R6. Both raced at BPMSI’s Easter fixture, the experienced Graham finishing second three times to Miller, with a best lap just four-tenths shy of the new lap record. Graham has been a regular competitor in the region, is a former lap record holder in Guyana and Jamaica and claimed pole position and a hat-trick of CMRC race wins at the old Bushy Park.
Organised by Bushy Park Motor Sports Inc. (BPMSI), the 23-race programme will feature three races each for the CMRC Groups, the Suzuki Challenge Series SR3 Cup and Swift Cup and the BPMSI’s own 2016 Club Championship, offering fans a total of more than 170 racing laps. Hilti Handicap races on two and four wheels will round off the weekend’s programme.
Miller brought the Outright Bike Lap Record back home at BPMSI’s Easter race meet, when he led every lap of the three bike races; his second-race fastest lap of 1m 04.192s (70.04mph/112.774kmh), lowered the mark set by Guyana’s Elliot Vieira at last year’s CMRC International, but Team Guyana is determined to get the record back.
Cousins Stephen, Matthew and Elliot Vieira are the only race-winners so far in the 2016 CMRC Superstock Championship. With two wins at the Jamwest Raceway in Jamaica in March then a string of four second places, multiple CMRC champion Stephen (Kawasaki ZX-6R), leads the rider standings with 122 points, 17 ahead of Matthew (Yamaha R6), who claimed a hat-trick of wins at Wallerfield last month. Elliot (Kawasaki ZX-6R), winner of the third race at Jamwest, is fourth in the points, behind Jamaica’s Robert McDonald, who did not travel to Wallerfield and is not entered for Barbados.
For the first time, there is a separate country championship for the bikers, which Guyana comfortably leads with a total of 326 points; that places them 188 ahead of Jamaica’s Reggae Racers, with the Trinidad Tigers third on 97 and Team Barbados fourth with 26 points from Miller’s results at Wallerfield.
Reggae Racers also fields a three-man team, comprising Kyle Reynolds (Kawasaki ZX-6R), who lies sixth in the points – his best result is fourth at Jamwest – Mario Woon (Honda CBR 600RR) and Norman Chung (Yamaha R6). Reynolds is currently battling for the Jamaica Race Drivers’ Club’s (JRDC) Class A title with McDonald, while Woon seized the advantage in Class B with a brace of wins at the JRDC’s Independence of Speed Race Meet 10 days ago.
T&T’s challenge is led by Kiel Abraham (Kawasaki ZX-6R), who twice finished third at home last month to lie fifth in the standings, backed up by Luke De Nobrega (Yamaha R6), whose best finish at Wallerfield was fourth, and Nicolas Gonzales (Kawasaki ZX-6R), who is yet to score. De Nobriga and Gonzales both raced at Bushy Park last year, fourth for De Nobriga in the weekend’s final race their best result.
The growing enthusiasm for bike racing in the island has resulted in competitor numbers rising steadily – the grids at the 2015 International were the largest ever seen at Bushy Park, while this year’s BPMSI Easter race meet saw a record number of bikes assembled outside CMRC races.