Suzuki Challenge Summer Series champions Suleman Esuf (SR3 Cup) and Ryan Wood (Swift Cup) head to Bushy Park Barbados this weekend for the Winter Cup determined to continue where they left off in October. They will have their work cut out, however, as Radical International 2017 plays host to competitors from five nations, all keen to make their mark.
Ryan Gonsalves is returning to the SR3 Cup from St Vincent & The Grenadines for the first time since the end of the first Summer Season in 2015, while Ryan Peyrau, who won the inaugural Swift Cup, is back to defend the red, white and black of Trinidad & Tobago. Adding British drivers Brian and John Caudwell, plus teenager Jack Manchester, into the mix, will also add spice to the weekend double-header.
Following the five-round Summer Series, the Winter Cup will this year be decided over two rounds and six races at Radical International. The points from the Summer Series and Winter Cup will then be totalled, to decide which drivers will succeed Peyrau and Sean Maloney as the second Suzuki Challenge Series Champions.
In the SR3 Cup, Esuf claimed his Summer Series title by 30 points, a healthy margin with which to start the final run in to the overall Suzuki Challenge Series title chase; he will come under pressure, however, from Stuart Maloney and David Simpson, who finished second and third, with Simpson only 44 points behind.
While Gonsalves will need some seat time to get back on the pace in an SR3, the UK contingent all have a strong Radical record behind them over the past year. Brian Caudwell was a race-winner at Bushy Park in 2016, his brother John is a regular front-runner at home, while Manchester has developed rapidly since his racing debut in the island a year ago.
Swift Cup champion Wood’s (Team Digicel) margin was even higher, at 33, over Jason Parkinson (Team Infra Rentals/Sol), with Josh Read (Team Massy United Insurance) another 22 points behind. The return of the hugely successful Peyrau, however, promises to shake up the established order over the coming weekend, as he brings the number of former race-winners in the 11-car field to seven.
On both days, patrons will enjoy access to the Open-Air Suites in the Automotive Art Pits Complex to view racing from the south side of the circuit. The starting grid will be moved back to the Pits Straight on Saturday & Sunday, providing thrilling viewing for spectators, as cars surge downhill from the start, jostling for position into the ‘Ws’, which becomes the first corner of the lap.
Suzuki Challenge Series – Winter Cup (January 28/29)
SR3 Cup, round 1 (Saturday):
12.15pm – Practice; 12.45pm – Qualifying
1.25pm – Race 1 (15 laps); 2.25pm – R2 (15 laps); 3.25pm – R3 (15 laps)
Swift Cup, round 1 (Saturday):
12.00pm – Practice; 12.30pm – Qualifying
1.00pm – Race 1 (8 laps); 2.00pm – R2 (8 laps); 3.00pm – R3 (8 laps)
SR3 Cup, round 2 (Sunday):
9.15am – Practice; 9.45am – Qualifying
10.25am – Race 1 (15 laps); 11.25am – R2 (15 laps); 12.25pm – R3 (15 laps)
Swift Cup, round 2 (Sunday):
9.00am – Practice; 9.30am – Qualifying
10.00am – Race 1 (8 laps); 11.00am – R2 (8 laps); 12.00pm – R3 (8 laps)
SR3 Cup – provisional entry list, Winter Cup:
4 Ryan Gonsalves – SVG
5 David Coelho – T&T
7 David Simpson
10 John Caudwell – ENG
14 Suleman Esuf
16 Stuart Maloney
15 Jack Manchester – ENG
22 Sean Maloney
66 Brian Caudwell – ENG
86 Mark Maloney
261 Kristian Jeffrey – GUY
SR3 Cup Summer Series – final points: 1st Esuf 173 points; 2nd Stuart Maloney 143pts; 3rd Simpson 129pts; 4th M Maloney 118pts; 5th Sean Maloney 107pts; 6th Jeffrey 59pts; 7th Timothy Stewart – JAM 35pts; 8th Mark Vieira – GUY 30pts; 9th Coelho 28pts; 10th James Abbott – ENG 27pts; 11th Calvin Ming – GUY 24pts; 12th Manchester 8pts
Swift Cup – provisional entry list, Winter Cup:
1 Kristian Jeffrey – GUY (Team Suzuki)
2 Daryl Clarke (Team Digicel)
3 Ryan Wood (Team Digicel)
4 Jason Parkinson (Team Infra Rentals/Sol)
5 Josh Read (Team Massy United Insurance)
6 Kenrick Husbands (Team Williams Industries)
7 Barry Gale (Team Gale’s Agro Products)
9 Carlos Edwards (Team Rock Hard Cement)
12 Ryan Peyrau – T&T (Team Simpson Finance)
Swift Cup Summer Series – final points: 1st Wood 254 points; 2nd Parkinson 221pts; 3rd Read 199pts; 4th Husbands 128pts; 5th Clarke 119pts; 6th Catwell 101pts; 7th C Edwards 98pts; 8th Dane Skeete (Team Simpson Finance) 77pts; 9th Pascal Calvel (Team Suzuki) 69pts; 10th Peyrau 63pts; 11th B Gale 57pts; 12th Parris 56pts; 13th David Summerbell Jnr (Team Simpson Finance) 18pts; 14th Derek Edwards (Team Digicel) 15pts; 15th Rhett Watson (Team ICBL) 14pts; 16th Timothy Stewart (Team Simpson Finance) 11pts; 17th Jeffrey 8pts; 18th Freddie Gale (Team Gale’s Agro Products) 4pts