Team Barbados’ revs are ready
Team Barbados is targeting a maximum points haul in the home round of the 2016 Seaboard Marine Caribbean Motor Racing Championship (CMRC) to move up the Country Championship standings. Round three of the CMRC is the headline event at the Williams Digicel International Race Meet at Bushy Park, St Philip on September 3 and 4.
Preparations are now moving into high gear, with the first meet and greet planned for this Friday at 5 p.m. on the Simpson Motors Lawn at Warrens and an Open Track Day at Bushy Park on Sunday at 11 a.m., an ideal chance for local runners to go testing. Fans attending Friday evening will be the first to collect the race card with full entry lists, timetable and spectator information for race weekend.
After the first two rounds at Jamwest in Jamaica and the Frankie Boodram Wallerfield International Raceway in Trinidad & Tobago, the twin-island republic has a total of 799 points; Jamaica is second (465pts), Guyana third (276pts) and Barbados fourth (202pts), with the Cayman Islands and CAMS completing the table. In the separate Country Championship for Bikes, Guyana leads Jamaica, with T&T third and Barbados fourth.
Organised by Bushy Park Motor Sports Inc (BPMSI), the 23-race programme at round three will feature three races each for the CMRC Groups, the Suzuki Challenge Series SR3 Cup and Swift Cup and the BPMSI’s 2016 Club Championship, a total of more than 170 racing laps. Hilti Handicap races for cars and bikes will round off the programme.
BPMSI chairman Sean Maloney has been in confident mood.
“We are fielding a strong team across all groups and I believe we can move up the Country Championship table. While I can’t see us getting close to Trinidad, which is sending many of its successful cars from the earlier rounds, I hope we can move past Guyana, and perhaps Jamaica. And we can definitely rely on the bikers to make some progress too.”
Best placed of the four Team Barbados members to have competed so far is Mark Maloney, who leads Group 4 two-wheel drive after winning four of the six races in his Mazda RX-3. Elbowed out of the opening race at Jamwest, he went on to finish second, then first in the following two races, following that with a hat-trick of victories at Wallerfield.
Jamaica’s Peter Rae, who won the first two races at home in his Mazda RX-7, has a 100 per cent scoring record to lie second to Maloney in the points table, just 10, but will not race at Bushy Park. Maloney’s major threat, therefore, is T&T’s Franklyn Boodram, who is 16 points behind in his Renault Megane Trophy, which will make its Bushy Park debut. He will be backed up by his father Frankie in a Nissan 350Z.
Also confirmed for Team Barbados are Sammy Cumberbatch (BMW M3) and Barry Mayers, who returns with his Suzuki SX4, last raced two years ago. Brother Roger, CMRC Champion in 2011, is hoping for better fortune than last year in ‘De Focus’, when second place in the opening race was his only score of the day. Doug Maloney will also line up in Gp4 four-wheel drive, which is currently led by the absent Doug Gore of Jamaica (Audi TT).
In Gp3, reigning champion Paul Vieira of Guyana, who represents T&T, has a solid advantage, having won five of six races in his Mazda RX-7. The only driver to beat him – in the final race at Wallerfield – was Team Barbados member Steve King (Toyota Starlet), who is fourth in the points, behind Vieira, Guyana’s Danny Persaud – not touring to Barbados – and Jamaica’s Alan Chen (Starlet), who will race at Bushy Park.
Also travelling to Barbados are Guyana’s Nizam Gafoor (Mazda Miata), twice a second-place finisher at Jamwest and currently sixth, plus T&T’s Ravi Singh (RX-7) and Ronald Wortman (Honda Civic). On the home team, King will have support from Cumberbatch, who will double up with Gp4, Shawn Eversley (Suzuki Swift), Stuart Maloney (Peugeot 306 Maxi) and former Gp2 Champion Kurt Thompson (Honda CRX).
In Gp2, three points-scoring finishes at Wallerfield moved two-time champion Mark Thompson (Civic) straight in to eighth place, with the standings headed by T&T’s Luke Bhola (Civic), the only driver to have scored at both Jamwest and Wallerfield. His fellow countryman Mark Williams (Civic) – hat-trick winner at home – is second, ahead of Jamaica’s Sebastian Rae (Civic), but neither is travelling to Barbados.
The visitors include reigning Gp2 champion Marc Gill of Trinidad & Tobago and fellow countryman Daryl Ali, both looking for results after issues with their Civics at home, and Guyana’s Shan Seejattan (Civic), who had three second places at Wallerfield. Jason Harewood and former champion Kenrick Husbands will field their Starlets, with Roger Jordan (Ford Escort MkI) and Neil Thompson (Civic) also appearing for Barbados.