Regional motor racing opens an exciting new chapter this weekend June 23 and 24 at the Frankie Boodram Wallerfield International Raceway in Trinidad & Tobago, when the Radical Caribbean SR3 Cup gets underway.
Seasoned campaigners from Barbados and Guyana will be joined by one of the twin-island state’s rising stars on the starting grid for the first of four qualifying rounds, as teenager Isa Deen makes his debut in the new regional championship.
The three 15-lap SR3 Cup races look set to be a highlight of the supporting programme for the Seaboard Marine Caribbean Motor Racing Championship’s (CMRC) second round, organised by the T&T Automobile Sports Association (TTASA). Run to the rules that have applied in Barbados since 2015, the series will only cater for the Suzuki-powered Radical SR3 and not for the Radicals of different specifications now being raced in the region by drivers such as Jamaica’s Kyle Gregg and David Summerbell Jnr.
Among the SR3 Cup regulars looking forward to the new challenge is Mark Maloney, who is already familiar with Wallerfield, following CMRC campaigns with Team Barbados in his Mazda RX-3.
“Trinidad is a nice place to race and they have made some improvements to the facility and the management over past years. It will be interesting to see what lap times we do with the Radicals. There are some technical parts on the track that will be good for them, where they will be faster than the high-powered cars like my Mazda, but the straight is long, so they will lose time there,” Maloney said.
Joining Maloney from Barbados for the opening round of the new regional series are his brothers Sean, the first SR3 Cup champion, and Stuart, along with Sol Esuf, the reigning champion. He is looking forward to his first time competing outside Barbados.
“I have never driven, furthermore even seen, Trinidad’s track. So I think it will be a challenge, but I am looking forward to it. I am praying we get the cars on time, so I can get familiar with the track. I will give it my best and I am hoping for a great weekend,” Esuf said.
Guyana’s Mark Vieira, who finished fourth in the initial SR3 Cup Summer Series in 2015 with two race wins, returns to the series for the first time since a one-off appearance at the Bushy Park CMRC International in 2016, while hometown teenager Deen makes his debut, already familiar with the 1.4-kilometre circuit, having won TTASA’s Group 1 Championship in his Honda Civic Type-R last year.
In the 61 SR3 Cup races run since the series was launched in 2015, there have been 10 race-winners, eight from the region. Barbados, where the series was created, has a strong record, with the Maloney brothers having amassed a total of 36 wins between them, with Esuf (12) and David Simpson (one) adding to the total. Guyana’s Kristian Jeffrey has won six times, with fellow-countrymen Calvin Ming and Vieira twice each.
Rounds two and three will be hosted by Bushy Park Motor Sports Inc (BPMSI) in Barbados. Night-racing on the recently-unveiled national circuit will add to the challenge in July, while the series will return to the international circuit at the CMRC round in September. The final round will be at the Guyana Motor Racing & Sports Club’s (GMR&SC) traditional CMRC finale at South Dakota in November.