Seven class champions from Bushy Park Motor Sports Inc.’s inaugural season are heading south for the fourth and final round of the Seaboard Marine Caribbean Motor Racing Championship (CMRC) at South Dakota in Guyana over the weekend of November 13 and 14.
They will bid farewell to their racing machines tomorrow as they are loaded for shipping in the Bridgetown Port.
Ten drivers and four bikers will represent Barbados as the CMRC’s first-ever four-round season comes to an end. Barbados is playing catch-up in the country championship. Trinidad and Tobago leads with 658 points, 125 ahead of Barbados –– a huge score at Bushy Park in round three in September had lifted the island from the bottom in the table –– with Guyana another 22 points behind. Jamaica and the Cayman Islands are fourth and fifth.
To win the title would be a tough call for Team Barbados, but not impossible. Country championship points are scored in all three car groups and there are four Barbados drivers going for points in more than one group. From an individual driver perspective, there is only one realistic chance to add to the individual titles won by local drivers, CMRC Group 2, which has always been won by a Bajan driver.
Reigning champion Mark Thompson (Honda Civic), also the winner in 2012, is currently second to Trinidad & Tobago’s Marc Gill (Civic), the only Gp2 driver to have raced at all three rounds. Consistency has been Gill’s strong suit –– he is yet to win a race this year –– but new-for-2015 rules mean he drops his lowest three scores. If the rule were applied now, his 60-point cushion to Thompson would be cut to 18, so there is all for Thompson to play for, although South Dakota has not always been a happy hunting ground.
Thompson will be well supported by a strong Gp2 turn-out, including his brother Neil (Civic), former champion Kenrick “Snappa” Husbands (Toyota Starlet), Adrian Bailey (Peugeot 205), Tremaine Forde-Catwell (Daihatsu Charmant) and Quincy Jones (Starlet). Bailey, Jones and Neil Thompson have all won class titles at Bushy Park his year, with Mark Thompson the Hilti Handicap Champion in cars. Husbands and both Mark and Neil Thompson will also race in Gp3.
Mark Maloney (Mazda RX-3) will fly the flag in Gp4, along with Sammy Cumberbatch (BMW M3), who will also join 2013 CMRC Gp2 champion Kurt Thompson (Honda CRX), his two brothers Mark and Neil, Husbands and Steve King (Starlet) to score points in CMRC Gp3.
While there is little doubt that the CMRC Superstock Championship will be won by one of the Guyanese cousins Stephen and Matthew Vieira, the former currently the leader by 14 points and the only previous champion, a quartet of local riders are determined make their presence felt.
Terrance Ollivierre (Suzuki GSX-R600), who has competed in Guyana in the past, will race alongside Devan McCartney, Brook Miller and Shirley Scantlebury, all on similar machines, representing their country outside these shores for the first time.