by Kamilah Cadogan
And they’re off!
The Top Gear Festival got off to a high powered start as patrons looked to the skies to witness Bajan songstress Shontelle arrive by plane on the newly renovated Bushy Park Circuit track.
Backed by the Royal Barbados Police Force Band, Joshua Maloney started the proceedings with a rendition of a the national anthem, followed by a prayer by Rev Dr Vaughan E. Watson.
CEO of the Bushy Park Circuit Mark Maloney said Barbadians should be proud of the phase one result seen at the circuit, noting that it was a major accomplishment.
He added that the facility has come a long way from being a 1km track to a multipurpose racing facility capable of hosting many events.
“The most exciting thing about today is that Top Gear coincides with a new era in motorsports in Barbados, and will be recorded in the history books as the first event to be held on the new circuit and the first for Top Gear in the Western Hemisphere and for Global Rallycross outside the USA.”
Maloney added that it was a pleasure to be hosting Formula 1 star Lewis Hamilton and hopes for a new record to be set on the track.
Minister of Tourism and International Transport Richard Sealy spoke to a vision for motorsports in Barbados taking shape.
He thanked all involved on behalf of the Government.
“Bushy Park transformed and woke up. It is no longer a dusty place to hold a racing event but we are on the cusp of becoming the motorsports mecca of the Caribbean,” he said.
The Minister continued by thanking Maloney and his team for “years worth of work completed in months’.
He, too, expressed his joy of having Hamilton at this event and hinted to big things in the works for Top Gear Festival 2015.
Minister Sealy then declared the festival open, which was marked by the releasing of balloons.