Team Barbados has its sights set firmly on winning the coveted Country Championship title as an 11-strong team has been confirmed for the final round of the Seaboard Marine Caribbean Motor Racing Championship (CMRC), to be staged at the South Dakota Circuit in Guyana on November 15 and 16.
Only 12 points cover the leading three territories, Trinidad & Tobago having leap-frogged into the lead with 308 points after returning as a host country in August for the first time since 2006. Guyana is second with 297, with Barbados third on 296. Jamaica trails on 151 points.
Stuart Maloney, the CMRC champion in 2008, is returning to the series for the first time in five years. He will drive the Group 4 Audi A4 quattro in which his father Doug has three times finished third in the CMRC.
Looking forward to his trip, he said: “I have always been very passionate over track racing and really enjoyed racing in the CMRC. The hospitality from the Guyanese is fantastic, too. It is important that we, as drivers, reciprocate to keep the momentum going.”
Maloney won five of the six races he contested in 2008 in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI, beating Jamaica’s David Summerbell Jnr (Evo VIII) to the title by five points, with Doug a further five points behind in third place. Maloney’s rivalry with Summerbell will be renewed next month, as it was confirmed a few days ago that he will return to Guyana, after missing last year’s event.
The Group 4 team is completed by Mark Maloney (Mazda RX-3) and Steve King (Nissan Skyline GT-R). The Mayers brothers are both sidelined, Roger with significant accident damage from CMRC round 1, and Barry with persistent engine problems. Stuart Williams was set to travel until his Lotus Elise developed a gearbox problem at the Beacon Insurance BMF Club Meet at Bushy Park a week ago.
Williams said: “There is no time to analyse and resolve the problem, unfortunately. Guyana made a concerted effort to send a strong team to Barbados this year, so I am saddened at the prospect of not being able to play my part in reciprocating that effort.”
Since last year, the CMRC Country Championship has been calculated by combining points scored in Group 4 and Group 2, in which Barbados is entering a strong team, led by current points leader and 2012 champion Mark Thompson (Honda Civic). While there is a slim mathematical chance for Marc Gill of Trinidad & Tobago to surpass Thompson’s current points total, it would need a hugely unsuccessful weekend for the Barbadian not to claim his second CMRC Group 2 title in three years.
The Group 2 list also includes the reigning champion, Thompson’s brother Kurt (Honda CRX), and 2011 champion Kenrick Husbands (Toyota Starlet), both of whom have race-winning pedigree at South Dakota. Also in action will be Quincy Jones (Starlet), Steve King (Starlet) and Thompson’s brother Neil (Civic).
Teenager Tremaine Forde-Catwell will make his debut for Team Barbados in his Daihatsu Charmant, which is currently undergoing a major refresh with a new yellow paint job and the installation of a Leeson Moe-prepared engine.
Finally, although there has been no official CMRC Superbike Championship this year, Devan McCartney (Suzuki GSX-R600) and Terrance Ollivierre (Suzuki GSX-R600) will be making the journey south.
Team Barbados manager Kurt Seabra said: “Although we are unable to field as strong a team in Group 4 as we had hoped, I expect Stuart Maloney in the Audi to perform well – he won two of his three races at South Dakota in 2008, enough to secure the title, and he should be a strong contender this time, too.
“Our Group 2 team is very strong, including three former champions, so we’re going to make a concerted effort to win our third Country Championship title.”
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