Team Barbados on track this weekend
A seven-car team from Bushy Park Motor Sports Inc. (BPMSI) will see action at South Dakota in Guyana this Saturday and Sunday, as the 2016 Seaboard Marine Caribbean Motor Racing Championship (CMRC) reaches its fourth and final round.
Three 40-foot containers loaded in the Bushy Park, St Philip pits before the weekend were scheduled to land in Guyana Wednesday.
Mark Maloney (Mazda RX-3) will contest in Group 4 two-wheel drive, in which he has won five of the nine races so far this year. Apart from being elbowed out of the opening race at Jamwest in Jamaica in May, he has a 100 per cent finishing record, winning all three races at Wallerfield in July, then the third race at Bushy Park in September, after a thrilling duel with Barry Mayers (Suzuki SX-4).
The Group title will be decided between Maloney, Jamaica’s Peter Rae (Mazda RX-7) and Trinidad and Tobago’s Franklyn Boodram, who looks set to be racing his Renault Megane Trophy for the last time, as the car has recently been advertised for sale. The top group is split this year, with a year-end champion to be declared in both four-wheel drive and two-wheel drive and no overall CMRC champion.
Guyana’s Paul Vieira is champion elect in Gp3, having won eight of the nine races in his former Mazda RX-7, which he campaigns under the Trinidad and Tobago flag. Even if he failed to finish three times at South Dakota, no-one can prevent him winning back-to-back titles. But there’s a huge scrap on the cards for the places behind him, with just eight points spread across the next four drivers, including equal fourth Steve King (Toyota Starlet), who claimed his first CMRC win for Barbados at Wallerfield.
In his battle with Guyana’s Nizam Gafoor and Danny Persaud, both in Mazda Miatas, and T&T’s Ronald Wortman (Honda Civic), King will be hoping for strong performances from his three Barbados teammates. Former Gp2 champion Kurt Thompson (Honda CRX) is currently eighth and Shawn Eversley (Suzuki Swift), who will be touring for the first time to represent his country, is 10th.
Also lining up in Gp3 is Tremaine-Forde Catwell, who will campaign the Datsun 1200 Turbo, in which his father had considerable success at Bushy Park.
Mark Thompson (Civic) is in with a shout for a third Gp2 title – he was champion in 2012 and 2014, and currently lies third in the standings. Trinidadian Luke Bhola (Civic) leads the title chase, and has scored in all nine races, although he has yet to win one. His fellow-countryman and reigning champion Marc Gill (Civic) has only scored in six, as has Thompson.
Once Bhola’s lowest three scores are dropped, there are only 18 points spread across these three very competitive drivers, so there is all to play for this weekend, with a potential 75 points on offer. Thompson will be hoping that Kenrick ‘Snappa’ Husbands (Starlet), another former Gp2 Champion, will be able to mix up the action and help him to the title.
Qualifying from noon on Saturday will be followed by an action-packed programme of 27 races on Sunday, slated to start at 8.20a.m., following the traditional lap of honour. As well as three races each for the CMRC categories, there will be local events for the Guyana Motor Racing & Sports Club Championships.