Nearly 80 local competitors will share centre stage with former F1 World Champion Jenson Button, 2017 Le Mans class-winner Will Stevens and 2014 European Le Mans Series Champion Oliver Webb tomorrow at Bushy Park Barbados as the St Philip facility hosts the island’s second Festival of Speed.
Highlights will include Button racing against a Twister aerobatic plane around the 2.01-kilometre circuit, while Stevens and Webb will take part in the Super Cars demonstrations.
With the World Championship at a crucial stage and just four races remaining, Sahara Force India Formula One’s Esteban Ocon is now unable to make the trip to Barbados ahead of the following weekend’s United States GP. Bushy Park Circuit Inc. operations manager Amy Willis explained: “Force India is in sight of finishing fourth in the Constructors Championship for the second year in a row, perhaps also a record points haul, so it is understandable after their recent run of good form that th ey want to focus on that. We are working to confirm a replacement driver shortly.”
Members of the Barbados Association of Dragsters & Drifters (BADD), Barbados Karting Association (BKA) and Bushy Park Motor Sports Inc (BPMSI), the three clubs which host race meets on the St Philip facility’s annual calendar, will all enjoy track time during the eight-hour programme, which runs from 2 p.m. into the night under the facility’s new all-arena lighting.
With the Dreamers Banger Racers, the Twister Aerobatics Team, half-time entertainment headed by Alison Hinds, Nikita and Marz Ville, and the chance to get up close to the Sahara Force India VJ09 F1 show car in the Festival Village, there is something for everyone in the packed schedule.
While the BADD and BKA track action will provide each organisation with an opportunity to showcase its particular discipline in front of wider audience than usual, for the BPMSI competitors there is serious business at hand. While the drag racers and karters are competing purely for fun, the two Hilti Handicap races for cars and bikes represent the final chance to score points in the BPMSI’s 2017 Championship.
With four rounds run, there is a spread of just three points across the top four drivers fighting for the Hilti Handicap for cars. Although he has not yet won a Handicap this year, last year’s champion Tremaine Forde-Catwell (Daihatsu Charmant) leads the standings with a total of 38 from three points-scoring finishes, including second place in round three. Chasing him are Kyle King (Toyota Starlet) on 37 points, including victory in round one, Andre Corbin (Toyota Corolla SR) on 36 and second-round winner Kevin Wiggins (Toyota Starlet) on 35. With the strongest Handicap grid of the year now assembled, these four will not only have one another to worry about.
On two wheels, there has only been one Handicap race this season, which was won by Ronnie Cooke (Yamaha R6), who therefore leads with 25 points; Kevin Bynoe (Suzuki GSX-R600) is second with 18, three ahead of last year’s Bike Handicap Champion Terrance Ollivierre (Suzuki GSX-R600).