‘Tiny’ Harrison Memorial Meet not to be missed

This weekend’s Vavoline Glassesco John ‘Tiny’ Harrison Memorial Race Meet (March 28/29) is an action-packed feast of motor sport not to be missed, honouring the memory a key figure in the development of island motor sport over the past three decades.

The organising club, Bushy Park Motor Sport Inc (BPMSI), will not only launch its 2015 Championship for competitors on two and four wheels, but also play host to the inaugural races of the Suzuki Challenge Series, which look set to start a revolution in motor sport across the region (scroll down for more details). Add in the end-of-day Hilti Handicaps for bikes and cars, and there’s lots to look forward to:

• Sunday performances by legendary British stunt driver Terry Grant (remember him setting his 20th Guinness World Record at Race Of Champions last December?) and the UK’s Number 1 stunt bike rider and European Champion, Lee Bowers. They’ll be in action at the Simpson Motors Used Cars parking lot in Warrens on Friday evening, too – check them out at 5.45pm

• the launch of the brand-new 4 x 4 Hammer Zone, overlooking one of the circuit’s busiest corners, with DJs on hand to keep things lively between racing and commentary

• a $15,000 prize fund for competitors - $1250 each for all class winners, $500 for the most artistic car, $500 for the best pass of the day

• the VIP Lounge will be open on Sunday: tickets are Bds$150, which will include mid-morning tea, coffee and nibbles, a buffet lunch, then mid-afternoon tea, coffee and nibbles. Bottled water is also included in the price and there will be a paying bar

• the post-race Prize-giving in the Pits Canteen will be open to all: once racing is done, the tunnel gates will be open to allow fans access to the pits

More than all that, Sunday’s admission tickets will have a value even once the action is done: Automotive Art is offering a 15 per cent discount on all car care products, tyres and wheels for up to one month after the event on presentation to the cashier of a Bushy Park ticket for this weekend

Suzuki Challenge Series launched at Bushy Park

Bushy Park Barbados was the venue for this week’s media launch of the Suzuki Challenge Series, ahead of the inaugural races at the Valvoline Glassesco John ‘Tiny’ Harrison Memorial Race Meet.

The Swift Cup, for identical Suzuki Swift Sport, promises affordable and competitive racing for drivers, close and exciting action for the fans and unrivalled exposure for corporate sponsors. The SR3 Cup, for Suzuki-powered Radical SR3 RS open-topped sports racers, offers the fastest racing in the region.

Circuit racing and stage rally champions from Barbados, Martinique and Trinidad & Tobago are in the first group of confirmed competitors for the Swift Cup, with discussions continuing across the region. All nine of the first batch of race-prepared cars have been taken up, with a further six base cars now on order.

There will be six rounds at race meetings organised by Bushy Park Motor Sports Inc (BPMSI), including the Digicel Williams International Race Meet in September, alongside the Seaboard Marine Caribbean Motor Racing Championship. A three-round Winter Cup will allow prospective future competitors a chance to taste the action.

Based on a standard production Suzuki Swift Sport, each car has been race-prepared over the past few weeks, with all necessary work done in Barbados, where engineers, mechanics and technicians in workshops and bodyshops across the island have been working around the clock. With all extraneous interior trim removed, the mandatory safety requirements, such as roll-cages, racing seats and engine cut-off switches have been installed, while some minor cosmetic changes have been made to the exterior, such as replacing light clusters front and back with purpose-moulded glass-fibre blanks.

The cars retain the standard 150bhp 1.6-litre engine and six-speed gearbox, but a limited slip differential is added, along with adjustable suspension and dual brake cylinders to further enhance the already impressive handling and stopping power of the production Swift Sport. All cars will run on control all-weather tyres, the whole package promoting close racing and focus on individual driver skill.

Bushy Park joins Blue Sky Luxury loyalty programme

Bushy Park Barbados has been included in the Caribbean’s first villa rentals loyalty programme, launched in January by Blue Sky Luxury. The facility joins a destination-wide list of potential benefits, including private in-villa shopping, rounds of golf, surf lessons, deep sea fishing charters, privileged seating and savings at desirable restaurants in this innovative programme.

Kathy-Dawn Burke, Leader - Holiday Home Rentals at Blue Sky Luxury, said: “We created the Blue Loyalty programme to thank both our villa repeat guests and owners with lifestyle rewards for the experiences and services that we know they patronize and value.”

The programme is complimentary for the firm’s repeat guests and property owners, with no complicated points system to navigate, members receiving a five per cent discount on future villa bookings in the Blue Sky Luxury destinations around the region, among other benefits.

Track Day popularity on the rise

Track Days at Bushy Park Barbados, allowing competitors and motoring enthusiasts alike the chance to enjoy some laps of the 2.01-kilometre International Circuit, are growing in popularity; the Barbados Auto Racing League (BARL) and Bushy Park Motor Sports Inc (BPMSI) hosted days on consecutive weekends in March.

On the first Sunday, BARL’s turn-out included former Overall Champion ‘Sluggy’ Blackman in his Toyota Starlet, committee member Charles Lynch (Nissan) and race and rally all-rounder Justin Campbell (BMW M3), along with other competition vehicles, some race bikes and a number of road cars.

The following weekend provided a chance for BPMSI members to get in some valuable testing, falling just a week before the Club’s opening race meet of the season: cars seen included the Hondas of brothers Kurt (CRX) and Mark (Civic) Thompson, Tremaine Forde-Catwell in his Nissan, plus a galaxy of Toyota Starlets, in the hands of Andre Forde, Robert Gill, Kenrick Husbands, Quincy Jones and Steve King.

Thompson takes BKA lead in close-fought season

There is good news on all fronts for the Barbados Karting Association (BKA), which staged the second round of the Frutee-Chefette Championship on March 8, sponsored by Crane & Equipment. With Chefette confirmed as the ‘Official Restaurant’ of the BKA and Frutee re-titled ‘Official Drink’, continuing corporate support is being rewarded by booming grids and spectacular racing.

More than 30 drivers have scored Championship points and it is clear that the battle for overall supremacy will be hard-fought, with just 10 points covering the top six drivers. After reigning champion Nick Gill started his title defence with a clean sweep in the 310 Yamaha class in February, he could not quite match that form, although he still leads the class, with 185 points, from Kyle Proverbs (161) and his own brother Reggie (127).

Mark Thompson, again the highest scorer in Easykart 125, has edged one point ahead of Gill on 186, leading Jim Mark by 38 points – currently the highest class margin – with Ian Warren third (122). Cousins Joshua and Zane Maloney again shared the race wins in Easykart 100, now tied on 184 points, to lie third equal overall.

After having to give best to Ricky Kirton (by one point) last time out in the X30 class, Christian Hinds was top scorer this time round, boosting his total to 177, with Kirton on 145 and Javani Smith recovering from a disappointing first meet to sit third with 137.

As before, the Easykart 60cc ‘Cadets’ produced some class racing, Kyffin Simpson enjoying the better results, his total of 175 now moving him ahead of Kayleigh Catwell (165), but with Sebastian Thompson just two points behind in third. This class promises some real fireworks as the season progresses.
Business Development Manager Zoe Manning’s monthly update on other goings-on behind the scenes at Bushy Park Barbados:

 â€¢ “the new Bushy Park Committee, agreed at our meeting of partners and sponsors last month, was convened in the middle of March. We discussed the content, marketing and advertising of the John ‘Tiny’ Harrison Memorial Race Meet, also our sponsors and partners involvement. All in attendance were very excited to be involved, also vocal with their suggestions and thoughts. We look forward to continuing with our committee meetings and working together as a team for the betterment of all.”

• “Kadooment is already in the air, as planning has started for the National Cultural Foundation’s Soca Royale on July 26 - we are very excited to be involved in cultural activities like this outside of motor sport. We have had our first meeting and site visit with the key players, Adisa Andwele and Dorsie Boyce, to start the ball rolling for 2015.”
Tickets for this event will available for sale online from April 1st from!!!
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