Esuf and Ming shake up Suzuki Challenge Series

Records tumbled at Radical International (January 23/24) when newcomers Suleman Esuf and Calvin Ming shook up the established order as the three-round SR3 Winter Cup got under way. Even so, Summer Series Champion Sean Maloney leads the standings after two rounds with 123 points, from Ming (110pts), Mark Maloney (84pts), Esuf (63pts) and Stuart Maloney (61pts).

Embarking on his first-ever season of circuit racing, Esuf shocked the establishment with pole position (a new qualifying record, 58.965s) on Saturday, Guyanese teenager Ming joining him on the front row. Sean, Mark and Stuart Maloney completed the top six with David Simpson, while quickest of the UK visitors, Brian Caudwell, started seventh.

As Saturday’s programme ran from the southern grid, Esuf and Ming looked set for a memorable one-two in race one, but Ming was caught in the closing stages, passed first by Sean, then Mark Maloney, as Sean slipped to fourth. A 10-sec jumped start penalty dropped Ming to fourth, however, with Caudwell fifth and Stuart Maloney sixth.

From the reverse grid for race two, Caudwell and Esuf were at the front until lap five, when a shake-up of the top four handed Sean Maloney a lead he kept to the end, chased over the line by Ming, with Simpson third.

Sean Maloney made sure of his start from pole in race three, leading Ming, Mark Maloney and Simpson throughout; Esuf passed Stuart Maloney for fifth on lap 10, to complete an impressive track racing debut. Such was the pace that a new lap record was set in every race, twice by Mark Maloney, before brother Sean took it back in race three.

On Sunday, Ming claimed another new qualifying record (58.869s), ahead of Sean, Stuart and Mark Maloney, with Esuf and Caudwell on row three. Ming led throughout race one, heading home the Maloneys in qualifying order, but another jumped-start penalty dropped him to fourth. Ming would not repeat the mistake, leading the field home in the remaining two races, while Sean Maloney clocked another new lap record (58.716s) in race one.

Peyrau and Summerbell on form in the Swift Cup

While multiple Jamaican Champion David Summerbell Jnr and Trinidad & Tobago’s Ryan Peyrau each claimed one pole position and two wins at Radical International (January 23/24), consistency paid off for Jason Parkinson, Mark Thompson and Ryan Wood. With one round left in the Swift Winter Cup, 37 points is the gap from leader Peyrau to fifth-placed Wood . . . and there’s 75 more points up for grabs!

Summer Series Champion Summerbell (Team Simpson Finance) claimed his first pole position on the Saturday with a new qualifying record (1:16.299), while Wood (Team Digicel) equalled his best qualifying performance with second; Thompson (Team Hard Rock Cement) and Peyrau (Team Suzuki) were on row two.

Summerbell led from lights to flag in race one, leading home Peyrau, Parkinson (Team Infra Rentals), Wood and Daryl Clarke (Team Digicel). Thompson won the second, his first win since September, leading home a family one-two, brother Kurt (Team Glassesco) claiming his best-ever Swift Cup result. Parkinson was third again, ahead of Peyrau and Freddie Gale (Team Gale’s Agro Products), with Samantha Summerbell (Team Suzuki) equalling her best result in sixth. Summerbell won again in the day’s final outing, beating Peyrau and Thompson, who claimed a new lap record.

On Sunday, Peyrau’s pole position came with another new qualifying record (1:16.090), ahead of a Swift Cup best for Josh Read (Team Massy United Insurance), with Parkinson and Summerbell on row two. Peyrau led from lights to flag, with Read, Parkinson, Mark Thompson, Husbands and Summerbell completing the top six.

In the reverse grid race, pole-sitter Paul Bourne looked set to achieve his first Swift Cup race win, a superb defensive drive keeping him ahead until part-way through the final lap, when Wood and Clarke both squeezed past for a Team Digicel one-two. Peyrau finished fourth, with Parkinson again in the mix, in fifth, and Mark Thompson sixth.

Peyrau beat Wood and Parkinson to the flag in the last race of the weekend, bringing his total to 104 points, ahead of Parkinson (82pts), Summerbell (80pts), Thompson (68pts) and Wood (67pts).

For further information on the series or to take part contact

Zane Maloney makes an impression at Daytona

Multiple Barbados Karting Association Champion Zane Maloney put his experience to good use at the Daytona International Speedway in December, where he finished fourth in the second round of the World Karting Association Winter Tour. Competing in the Pro Swift Sportsman Group, he claimed pole position on both days of the double-header weekend at the famous Stateside venue.

In round one, he was elbowed off the track in Heat 1, recovering to finish 11th, then improved to a ninth-placed finish in Heat 2; while running ninth in the Final, he crashed out. Although the kart turned over, he was uninjured. Starting from his second pole position of the week on day two, Zane finished both heats in second place then fought hard in an epic final; knocked off on the first corner, he slipped back to seventh position, then fought his way back to fourth, right on the bumper of second and third.

Cousin Joshua Maloney was one of the youngest in his age group in the Pro IAME Junior Group. On day one, he qualified 19th, then finished 18th and 16th in the heats, rounding the day off with a 17th place in the final. Steadily gaining experience of the venue, he gave it his all into the second day, qualifying 15th; he then finished 15th and 16th in the heats, completing the race meet 15th in a very competitive final.

For further information:

Rule changes for BKA as new season launches

The Barbados Karting Association (BKA) launches its 2016 Fruitee / Chefette Championship season on the Western Circuit on Sunday, January 31, with a number of rule changes agreed at a recent Extraordinary General Meeting. Last year was one of the most successful in the Club’s history, as the introduction of the Easykart 60, 100 and 125 classes increased opportunities for competition, attracting approaching 60 karters over the 10 rounds.

The key changes will see the number of races for each class cut from four to three at each round, with a time limit rather than number of laps deciding race distance: in the Easykart 60 cadet class, races will be of six, eight and 12 minutes duration (plus two laps); in all other classes, races will be of 10, 12 and 15 minutes duration (plus two laps).

The points-scoring system has also been changed: for competitors in a group to be eligible for the Driver of the Year title, a minimum of four karts will be required. In addition, a reduced scale of points will be awarded if the class falls short: if only three drivers race, then the points for second, third and fourth places will be awarded; if only two, then the points for third and fourth, while one driver on his own will score the points awarded for fourth place. Also new is a fastest lap award for each class for each race day.

On the safety front, the reverse grid will now be managed by setting a limit on the minimum time to be eligible to be put at the front of the grid (105 per cent of the fastest qualifying lap), while cameras may no longer be mounted on the body or safety gear of the krater.

British GT Champion heaps praise on Bushy Park

Jonny Adam, a factory Aston Martin driver and winner of the 2015 British GT Championship, took time out from a short pre-Christmas break in the island to enjoy a guided tour of Bushy Park . . . along with a few laps in a Radical SR3. A multiple saloon car Champion in the past, he arrived fresh from a third-place finish in the Gulf 12 Hours at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi.

These are his thoughts: “The facility is awesome. Compared to some of the circuits in the UK, it’s got a bit of everything. It’s got lovely corporate boxes so as a sponsor you can see absolutely everything and the grandstand with the viewing platform for all the spectators. If I’m honest, I thought it was going to be a lot smaller with less facilities - it is so clean, so tidy, the signs look really good, nice and clear, no litter and great facilities as well.

“It’s a cool circuit. I’d say it’s one of those circuits that’s got a bit of everything you want. It’s got a slow-speed hairpin mid-way through the lap then you’ve got a fast kind of kink towards the end of the lap. The circuit’s all one surface, so it’s nice to test on and it’s got a good character and a bit of everything. Towards the end of the lap, there’s a fast like kink that’s got a chicane a little bit off-camber with a bump part-way through and that could catch you out, it’s quite impressive.”

Jonny’s comments are also included in a new Bushy Park Barbados brochure, along with others from visitors including Andy Stobart, Head of Communications for the Lotus F1 Team (soon to be renamed following its purchase by Renault) and Top Gear Festival presenter Tiff Needell.

First School Tour plays host to 500 schoolchildren

The Bushy Park Pits echoed to the sounds of excited youngsters as the facility hosted its first School Tour, for pupils, teachers and parents from All Saints Primary School. A group of more than 500 enjoyed a complete tour of the facility on the Friday before Radical International, when the Pits was a hive of activity as competitors made ready for the first race meet of the season.

After they were dropped off on the north side of the facility by a fleet of coaches, BPCI Business Development & Marketing Manager Zoe Manning welcomed the visitors in the Clubhouse, where they could enjoy the panoramic view of the circuit. After the kids had heard a brief history of the circuit, Zoe led them on an energetic walking tour of the facility, starting with the General Spectator area and Festival Village, from which they could view the Radicals testing in advance of the weekend.

With frequent stops for questions and explanations, the whole group then walked down past the BP Bus Stop, the Emergency Services access to track, the quarry, the Plantation House ruins, through the southern ticket office and out into the spectator car park. They were then given a tour of the Pits in controlled groups, the highlight of the day for many, including those who were treated to the chance to sit in one of the Radicals. They were also shown the existing Driving Experience karts and told of the new machines due to arrive shortly, which will cater for the six to 12-year-old age group. Finally, each of the 500 kids was given a ticket to Radical International so a parent could take them along, since kids 12 and under are already free.

Zoe said: "We were delighted to have had our first such school tour of Bushy Park and to have been able to show the kids, teachers and parents our facility and give them a brief history and education on all that we do. The kids were very excited and all plan to have their next birthday party at Bushy Park doing a Driving Experience. We look forward to doing many more school tours."

Contact to book a school tour.

Business Development and Marketing Manager Zoe Manning’s monthly update on other goings-on behind the scenes at Bushy Park Barbados:

• in response to feedback from patrons, in particular family groups, we are expanding our Karting Experience fleet. We will shortly be taking delivery of karts suitable for ages six to 12 years, which will therefore slot in below our current minimum age, which is 12. These kids karts have been ordered as well as off road buggies, and we will have them up and running in a few months.

• the Pits Cafeteria is about to undergo a transformation. As we move towards welcoming more patrons to Bushy Park on a regular basis outside of race weekends, we will be remodelling the building to capitalise on its potential. The plans include a more comprehensive kitchen, a variety of food serving areas, plus the new Gantry Bar, which will become a focal point of the facility.

• work is also under way on the early stages of development of the Museum, which will celebrate motoring and motor sport in the island. Based on the footprint and surviving structure of the old Plantation House to the west of the W’s Hairpin, this will house an enviable collection of road-going and competition cars, tracing the island’s automobile heritage.

Upcoming Events

BKA Round 1 - 31st January

Open Track day - 21st February

Suzuki Challenge Series Round 9 - 27th February
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