Following the success of the inaugural Barbados Festival of Speed in May 2016, Bushy Park Circuit Inc. (BPCI) has confirmed February 4 as the date for the 2017 repeat.
While no details of the planned content have yet been revealed, the one-day event will next year run from day into night, promising a whole new experience for spectators.
This year’s event, at which three-time Formula 1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton headlined a broad-based programme of activities both on and off-track, garnered significant international media coverage in both specialist and general media around the globe. The change of date to the off-season has opened doors to overseas acts and organisations that were not available to BPCI last year.
At an informal media briefing at Sunday’s Day-Night Race Meet at the St Philip facility, BPCI executive chairman Mark Maloney explained they were aiming to increase the influx of tourists into Barbados outside of the regular tourist season.
“The change of date also moves us away from the Formula 1 calendar and other International events. In the coming weeks, we will be divulging details about some of the exciting things that will be taking place at the 2017 Festival, which will be sure to draw the crowds and please a great cross-section of the public. Like us on Facebook to be among the first to know what is planned.
“Evolution and innovation are behind the work our team has been doing, but there will still be a place for all the clubs and disciplines in the island to be involved, drag racing, karting and circuit racers,” he said.
Maloney confirmed that Barbados Festival of Speed 2017 would again be hosting Formula 1 talent and also looked forward to other potential developments that will further enhance the festival.
“The facility is aiming to install permanent lighting for a continuous option for night racing in the country and Barbados Festival of Speed will be no exception. With successful night races being held before, we expect that this will continue to be a crowd pleaser. We are also looking at expanding the track using the neighbouring lands to allow for a greater cross-section of vehicles and entertainment in the years to come.”
The festival will be the second major event on Bushy Park’s 2017 calendar, as it will follow just one week after the Radical Carnival, slated for January 29 and 30. Building on last year’s inaugural event, which attracted competitors from Britain and the United States in addition to those from around the region, BPCI is already reporting interest from other countries, including Canada.
Organised by Bushy Park Motor Sports Inc (BPMSI), the Radical Carnival race weekend is the climax of a week of activities that allows overseas visitors the chance to enjoy some of the non-motor sport activities the island has to offer, including a barbecue welcome party and west coast catamaran cruise, as well as unfettered access for two days to Bushy Park for testing. Over the race weekend, there will be three races each day, the visitors participating in the first two rounds of the Suzuki Challenge Series SR3 Winter Cup, with the Swift Cup also on the programme.