Drivers and bikers claimed race-winning hat-tricks over the Easter weekend as Bushy Park Motor Sports Inc. (BPMSI) kicked off its 2016 Championship at the Glassesco Valvoline John ‘Tiny’ Harrison Memorial Race Meet at Bushy Park.
Maurita Forde made history as the first female biker to race at the redeveloped facility. A record number of bikes –– more than ever outside the CMRC –– turned out to race and Brook “Unique” Miller claimed a new Bike Lap Record.
The BPMSI Bike Championship opened the 17-race programme, with Miller (Suzuki GSX-R600) on pole, ahead of Canada’s Kevin Graham (GSX-R600), Kris Brathwaite (Yamaha R6) and Terrance Ollivierre (GSX-R600); Steve Linton (Honda CBR600) and Ronnie Cooke (Yamaha R6) were on the Class B front row. Miller stormed away at the lights, and stayed ahead all day, leading every lap of the three bike races, chased home each time by Graham, with Brathwaite and Ollivierre sharing the third places. In Class B, Cooke (R6) and Mario Blackett (CBR600) shared the wins.
Miller brought the Outright Bike Lap Record back home with his second-race fastest lap of 1m 04.192s (70.04mph/112.774kmh), beating the mark set by Guyana’s Elliot Vieira (Triumph Daytona) at last September’s Williams Industries’ Digicel CMRC International.
On four wheels, the Group 1 races were close-fought and entertaining, Quincy Jones (Toyota Starlet) the overall and Class 2 winner in all three, the first after snatching the lead from Robert Gill (Starlet) mid-way round the final lap. Geoff Ullyett (Nissan 120Y) won Group 1 Class 1 each time. On a day when attrition played a major part in proceedings, the merged races for Groups 2, 3 and 4 were less exciting, although hat-trick overall winner Kenrick Husbands (Starlet) and Ullyett (BMW M3) did a sterling job of keeping the crowd entertained with some ad hoc drifting.
The Hilti Handicap races were shortened from ten to eight laps, when rain started to fall, but the bikers proved a hardy bunch, pleasing the equally hardy spectators with an impressive display of determination against the elements. Class B biker Blackett was a worthy winner, a riding boot to the floor on each corner to steady his progress, as Class A runner Ollivierre hunted him down, reducing the handicap start of 23 seconds to just three seconds by the checkered flag. Shaquille Kellman (Triumph) finished third.
The BPMSI also hosted the opening rounds of the Suzuki Challenge Series over the weekend and a number of Swift Sports and Radicals joined the handicap for the first time. Amid a host of spins in the extremely tricky conditions, Stuart Maloney added a fourth victory to his SR3 Cup hat-trick from earlier in the day, with fellow Radical racer David Simpson and Ryan Wood, who was the dominant force in the Swift Cup over the weekend, completing the podium.
Early in the day, between the traditional Herringbone and the start of racing, around 30 bikes assembled, some which would race later in the day, for a parade lap of the circuit to celebrate the memory of Euwin Noel, who was killed in a road accident earlier this month. A keen biker and a regular at Bushy Park track days, Noel had been training to be a competitor, but never realised his dream.