FIA President Todt praises island motor sport

President of the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) Jean Todt heaped praise on the island’s motor sport fraternity during a one-day visit in his capacity as the United Nations Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety. Speaking to the media at Bushy Park, he said: “In Barbados, a small country of less than 300,000 population, there are a lot of skilled people with energy and passion, which makes me very happy.”

Five years to the day since his previous visit in 2012 for the ground-breaking ceremony ahead of the redevelopment, President Todt returned to tour the facility and review the progress made by the Barbados Motoring Federation (BMF) with projects assisted by funding from the FIA Sports and Safety Grant programmes. His party, hosted by BMF President Andrew Mallalieu, also included FIA Vice-President for Sport Jose Abed and Pierre Guyonnet-Duperat, Charge de Mission to the President.

In addition to the substantial funding received towards preparing the Bushy Park Development Plan in 2011, the FIA also supported the Senior Officials Training weekend in January 2013, in which more than 30 local volunteers participated. The most recent grant has facilitated the purchase of new safety equipment for the Barbados Rally Club, including a mobile fire suppression unit, which was displayed in the Pits, along with a cross-section of the competition and Driving Experience vehicles used at the venue.

President Todt said: “You have an amazing facility, which is hosting all different categories of motor racing from karts to touring cars and dragsters. This is a small country, but I saw a lot of energy, a lot of professionalism. When I visited just five years ago, this was virtually an empty field. Now I see a lot of facilities to encourage young drivers, to teach them how to behave on the road, how to drive, and I really hope that a lot of new projects and new initiatives will come soon.”

Williams Industries to sponsor CMRC International

Williams Industries will maintain its unbroken record of title sponsorship for the island’s round of the Seaboard Marine Caribbean Motor Racing Championship (CMRC) when the 2017 series reaches round three at Bushy Park Barbados on September 2/3. The local conglomerate’s support for regional race meets at the St Philip facility dates back to 2004, although Barbados only became part of the current CMRC in 2008.

Preparations are in high gear for the Williams Industries International Race Meet, organised by Bushy Park Motor Sports Inc (BPMSI); hundreds of fans have already been interacting with Team Barbados over the past two weekends at the RevUp at JAD Performance at Six Roads Industrial Park and then the popular annual Meet & Greet at Sky Mall, Haggatt Hall. All are welcome to watch testing during Friday, September 1, in the Bushy Park Pits . . . and don’t forget, Practice & Qualifying on Saturday is free!

Digicel, which had shared title sponsorship with Williams Industries since 2010, remains involved as sponsor of the Group 2 races, while Crane & Equipment (Gp3), Hilti Tools (Handicaps), Percy King Auto Parts (Gp1) and Rock Hard Cement (Gp4) are also on the roster of race-day sponsors. The programme will also include races for CMRC Superstock, the Sol-backed Suzuki Challenge Series SR3 Cup and Swift Cup, round four of BPMSI’s Club Championship and the Rally Car Challenge.

BPMSI chairman Sean Maloney said: “I am really pleased that Williams Industries is on board again as title sponsor. Bushy Park may not look much like it did when ‘Bizzy’ Williams first carved the original shape out of an onion field more than 40 years ago, but that link with the past is still so very important to all of us involved in the sport.”

Gregg heads up regional invasion for CMRC

Jamaica’s Kyle Gregg is targeting a new Bushy Park Barbados lap record at round three of the Seaboard Marine CMRC on September 2/3. With races for all five CMRC categories on two and four wheels on the 25-race programme, Bushy Park Motor Sports Inc (BPMSI) will welcome an invasion of approaching 30 racers from six regional territories. After the first two rounds, at the Jamwest Raceway in Jamaica in May and the Frankie Boodram Wallerfield International Raceway in Trinidad & Tobago last month, the group leaders are: Group 4 (4wd) – Cristian Bourne (T&T); Gp4 (2wd) – Franklin Boodram (T&T); Gp3 – Paul Vieira (T&T); Gp2 – Daryl Ali (T&T); Superstock – Bryce Prince (GUY). All but Bourne will compete in Barbados.

Gregg won both CMRC Gp4 (4wd) races at Jamwest – the third was abandoned following an incident involving Doug Gore and David Summerbell Jnr – and currently lies second in the points, 15 behind Bourne (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VIII), who won all three races at home; Gore and Summerbell will also miss Bushy Park. Bourne’s absence opens the door for Gregg to take control and the Jamaican is looking forward to racing his 3-litre Suzuki-powered Radical RXC (pictured above by Mikey Spice) in Barbados for the first time: “We believe the car will do very well, as the SR3 Cup has proven that the Radicals are very quick. With sufficient practice, we believe we can set a new track record.”

In addition to Team Barbados, Gregg’s opposition will include T&T’s Kristian Boodoosingh (Evo VI) and Guyana’s Andrew King (Mazda RX-7). The Gp4 (2wd) field will include T&T’s points leader Boodram (Renault Megane Trophy) and Jamaica’s Peter Rae (RX-7), with Champion for the past two years, Guyana’s Paul Vieira (RX-7), heading up the Gp3 field. A strong T&T team will also contest Gp2, while the Superstock races are expected to host visitors from Guyana and T&T.

Gale, Esuf chase more Suzuki Challenge Series wins

Suzuki Challenge Series leaders Barry Gale and Suleman Esuf head for round three at the Williams Industries International Race Meet on September 2/3 keen to build on their earlier successes in the championship’s third season. Leading the Swift Cup standings for the first time, Gale is a mere four points ahead of former Champion Ryan Peyrau of Trinidad & Tobago, while Reigning Champion Esuf has an eight-point advantage over Stuart Maloney in the SR3 Cup.

Gale was the big winner last time out, claiming his first Swift Cup pole position, then winning two of the day’s three races and finishing second in the other, clocking one fastest lap along the way. Peyrau won race two, his second victory of this year’s campaign, to join Gale in leap-frogging past early series-leader Josh Read, who was the big loser of the day, in terms of results. After qualifying second to Gale, he followed him home in race one, but was pushed wide in race two, finishing last, before a chain-reaction incident in the third race resulted in a dnf, dropping him down the standings.

In the SR3 Cup, Esuf has continued to impress, still only in his second full season of circuit racing, with two wins, three seconds and one third to his credit, along with one pole position and four fastest laps. Maloney, who has won three times and finished second twice, claimed the other pole and two fastest laps, these two very much the class of the field so far this year. Mark Maloney is the only other winner so far, but they will all need to be on their toes, as Guyana’s Kristian Jeffrey is back! After four wins on his way to becoming Winter Cup Champion in January, he has been widening his experience by racing in Europe.

From Silverstone via Goodwood to Barbados FoS

From the British Grand Prix and Silverstone Classic in July, followed by the Goodwood Revival in September, British racing driver and presenter, Steve Deeks, will soon be inbound for Barbados and the second Festival of Speed, which will run from day into night on Saturday, October 14. Formerly a full-time racing driver, in single-seater categories including Formula Ford, Formula Renault and Formula 3, he has built a successful business as a driver trainer and live presenter, working with many legends of motor sport and key businesses in the industry. After a 15-year hiatus, he has also recently returned to racing, in the Historic Sports Car Club’s (HSCC) 70s Roadsports Championship in a classic Porsche 911.

Of his forthcoming trip to Barbados, he says: “I am really excited to come to Barbados to help present what will undoubtedly be one of most exciting motor sport shows on earth. Jenson Button is not only one of the fastest men on the planet, a World Champion, an athlete and an all round good guy - he is also very funny. I fully expect October 14th to be the highlight of my 2017 calendar - presenting Formula 1 is cool, Le Mans, epic, The Goodwood Festival of Speed? Iconic. World Rally Championship? Exciting. But racing late into the Caribbean night? Are you kidding? Nothing comes close.”

Just one week later, Deeks will be back behind the wheel of his beloved ‘Project7/911’ at the HSCC’s Silverstone Finals meeting.

Record competitor numbers for BADD Round 3

The Barbados Association of Dragsters & Drifters (BADD) attracted the largest-ever entry in its seven-year history when 54 competitors faced the starter at Bushy Park on August 20. Many of the racers in Launch Control: Round 3 were newcomers, who made the transition from the extremely-successful Practice Day run on the previous Sunday, while all eight class-winners from Round 2 in May had taken advantage of BADD’s generous offer of free entry for Round 3. A sizeable crowd of enthusiastic supporters settled on ‘The Hill’ alongside the drag strip to witness seven categories being decided.

Newcomers in winners row on their first-ever outing were Tahir Kara in a Toyota Corolla RunX, who won the 10.0 to 11.0-second bracket, and Rick Dowridge (Toyota Starlet), who won the 9.5 to 10.0s bracket. Shorn Joseph came from the bottom of the 9.0 to 9.5s bracket to claim top honours in his nitrous-fed Nissan Pulsar, while Anthony Mayers (Honda Civic) upset usual class winner Kevin Griffith (Suzuki Swift GTi) for a win in the 8.0 to 9.0s bracket. Graeme Finlayson had one final go in the turbo Hyabusa-powered Westfield to edge out a hard-charging Dwayne Browne (Pulsar) to take the 7.5 to 8.0s class. Barry Gilkes (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo III) won the 7.0 to 7.5s class, while Dan Johnson in his electric Westfield dispatched David Balgobin (Evo IV) for the 6.0s category. Johnson also set the fastest time for the day, 6.594s.

BADD Chairman Jason Downey said: “A huge ‘thank-you’ to all of the spectators, drivers, scrutineers, marshals, and anyone else who volunteered their time and effort for helping to make today's event a success!” The fourth round of Launch Control is scheduled for Sunday, October 1, when BADD will share Bushy Park with the Barbados Karting Association (BKA).

Maloney leads local karters in overseas campaigns

Former Barbados Karting Association (BKA) Champion Zane Maloney finished 13th in the FIA CIK European Karting OK-Junior Championship, which finished in Sweden over the last weekend of July; by the end of the season, 68 drivers from 18 countries had competed, only 38 scoring points. And he is not the only BKA regular who has been racing overseas – Adam and Alex Mallalieu, Kyffin Simpson and Jamaica’s Alex Powell have all seen action in recent weekends in the United States (see Bushy Tales).

Having contested the previous European rounds in Italy, Spain, France and Finland, spending on average three weeks each month ‘on the road’, his most recent trip home coincided with the visit of Jean Todt, President of the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), to whom he was introduced (above) after participating in a brief karting demonstration at Bushy Park.

While his European Championship campaign is over, Maloney has a busy programme between now and the end of the year. He has been testing at PF International (PFI), the UK’s largest outdoor karting circuit, close to Grantham in the eastern county of Lincolnshire; he will return there in early September to compete in the Super One Series as final preparation for the CIK-FIA World OK and OK-Junior Championships on September 23/24 at the same venue. After two further Cup events in Italy in the first two weeks of November, he will head straight to the United States, where he will compete in the annual SKUSA Supernationals in Las Vegas on November 18-19.

Our monthly update on other goings-on behind the scenes at Bushy Park Barbados:

• while Zane Maloney has been powering around Europe, other BKA regulars have been racing in the USA. Jamaica’s Alex Powell and Kyffin Simpson raced in the Mini Swift class at the New Castle Motorsports Park in Indianapolis; while Powell qualified 16th (of 48 runners) and fared better in the races – he was ninth and eighth (with fastest lap in the Main Event) - Simpson can be proud of making up 20 places to finish 23rd in the Main Event, after finishing in the 40s in the Pre-Final. The Mallalieu brothers, Adam and Alex, raced at the same track a week later in the ROK Mid West Cup; although the race meeting was very poorly attended, the boys received some excellent coaching and gained valuable experience . . .

• the UK’s Twister Aerobatics Team, which will be here at the Barbados Festival of Speed to thrill local crowds with its spectacular Twilight Pyrotechnic Display, has been warming up in front of motor racing crowds in the UK in recent weeks. The team’s 180mph Silence SA1100 Twister aircraft were seen at the Silverstone Classic, where more than 1,000 cars participated in the world’s biggest classic motor racing festival at the end of July, then a week later they travelled to north Yorkshire, where the Croft Circuit played host to its annual Nostalgia Festival. Don’t miss them on Saturday, October 14 . . .

Upcoming events

September 2/3 – Williams Industries International Race Meet
           – Seaboard Marine Caribbean Motor Racing Championship, round 3
           – BPMSI 2017 Championship, round 4
           – Suzuki Challenge Series SR3 Cup and Swift Cup, round 3

September 10 – BKA SDRR Motorsports/Chefette Championship, round 7

October 1 – BKA SDRR Motorsports/Chefette Championship, round 8
           – BADD Launch Control, round 4

October 8 – Open Track Day

October 14 – Barbados Festival of Speed 2017
           – Suzuki Challenge Series SR3 Cup and Swift Cup, round 4

October 29 – BKA SDRR Motorsports/Chefette Championship, round 9
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