Fast-paced weekend

Coulthard the Champion of Champions

After a weekend of thrills, Scotsman David Coulthard emerged as the Champion Of Champions in the Race Of Champions (ROC) at the Bushy Park Racing Circuit yesterday. He beat out a very competitive field of 15, including young F1 reserve driver Pascal Wehrlein. This was not Coulthard’s first time in a Race Of Champions grand final. In 2008, he was beaten by Sébastien Loeb, a rally legend.

The champion was pleasantly surprised by his win and described the weekend as “fantastic”. He was full of praise for Wehrlein, who he described as a star to watch for the future. He also thanked the people of Barbados for coming out to the event.

Wehrlein, who was racing in ROC for the first time, said he had a lot of fun, but admitted that Coulthard was unbeatable.

“Maybe because for me it’s a bit tough to drive a manual shift car with a clutch and everything. I’m used to driving with shift pedals and braking with my left foot so I was struggling a bit with that.”

In the other major event of the day, the ROC Skills Challenge Final, Esteban Ocon from France came out victorious after undertaking a series of tests such as 180 and 360 degree turns and parallel parking.

Stuntman Terry Grant broke a world record after piling 15 people into a Nissan Juke and driving on two wheels, much to the delight of the crowd.

The day ended with a thrilling show from the Bajan HotBoyz and the Freestyle Motocross. The latter performed gravity defying acts that left everyone slack-jawed as they did dangerous flips and tricks on their motorcycles, finishing the weekend on an absolute high.

Gravity-defying tricks from Freestyle Motocross.
Gravity-defying tricks from Freestyle Motocross.

It was even more impressive than the evening before when motorsports fans were treated to a thrilling tease from the Freestyle Motocross after the Team Nordic duo of Tom Kristensen and Petter Solberg were left hoisting the ROC Nations Cup.

Before a modest crowd at the St Philip facility, the team was impressive all day Saturday, racing in a variety of cars, including the Audi R8 LMS, VW Polo RX and the Euro NASCAR.

On that occasion, Team Scotland were forced to settle for second place. Coulthard, a multiple Grand Prix winner, is no stranger to the track, or to Barbados for that matter. He revealed that he had visited the island several times in his youth.

On the other hand, this was Wolff’s first appearance at ROC and she proved she could be a force to be reckoned with in future competitions.

Team Barbados’ Rhett Watson and Dane Skeete made it to the semi-finals stage for the Nations Cup but narrowly missed out on a spot in the finals. However, the pair redeemed themselves by winning ROC Caribbean, beating out Doug Gore and Jeffrey Panton of Team Jamaica.

Over the weekend, fans also got the chance to take a spin around the track in one of the race cars. I was among the lucky few.

Paired with Barbadian driver Rhett Watson, I boarded the KTM X-Bow car and took to the track with no idea of what speed we were travelling at, but when we took off my body was thrust back in the seat and I had to remember to breathe.

It was an experience I would not soon forget.


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