Team Barbados was the top points-scorer in the third round of the Seaboard Marine Caribbean Motor Racing Championship (CMRC) at the Williams Digicel International Race Meet last weekend, September 1 and 2.
More than 20 local drivers contributed to the 527 points scored, moving Barbados from fourth to second in the Country Championship standings, with Mark Maloney and Devan McCartney the round three champion drivers in CMRC Group 4 and the new-for-2018 Gp1 respectively.
With 1,227 points in the provisional standings, Trinidad & Tobago is in a strong position to claim a third straight title, but the battle for the places is still on. Barbados has 677 points, 200 more than at this stage last year, ahead of Jamaica (526pts), Antigua (205pts) and Guyana (196pts), which will field a strong home team for the final round on November 10/11.
Organised by Bushy Park Motor Sports Inc (BPMSI), the 22-race programme also included the Radical Caribbean SR3 Cup’s third round and three Bimma Cup Challenge events, while BPMSI’s 2018 Championship Groups were incorporated in the CMRC races. Fans enjoyed a day of glorious sunshine before the last two races, including the Hilti Handicap for cars, were run under the all-arena lighting.
The return of Guyana’s Mark Vieira to the CMRC at Bushy Park for the first time since 2014 was much anticipated, and the action did not disappoint, at least in the first Gp4 races. Vieira (Mazda RX-8) claimed pole position in Saturday qualifying, ahead of a small field led by Orry Hunte, who qualified the RX-3 in place of reigning Gp4 two-wheel drive (2wd) champion Mark Maloney, who was feeling unwell. The 2wd and 4wd classes are merged for 2018, with Doug Maloney (Maloney Racing Team Audi A4 quattro) and reigning Gp4 (4wd) champion Andrew King of Guyana (GT&T RX-7) on the second row, ahead of local drivers Steve King (Nissan Skyline) and Justin Maloney (Mini).
Mark Maloney was on good form on Sunday morning, but had to start from the back of the grid, having not qualified the RX-3 himself; he was third by lap two, second a lap later, then harassing Vieira at every turn in a battle reminiscent of many these regional veterans had enjoyed in the past. Maloney eventually got past two laps from home to the delight of the crowd on The Hill. He was only 2.3secs ahead at the flag, however, with Andrew King and Doug Maloney the only other finishers.
Steve King, who retired on lap one of the first race, looked set to return for race two, but his front left wheel broke loose approaching the grid, while Doug and Justin Maloney were also absent. Vieira and Andrew King moved ahead of Maloney at the start, but Vieira retired at half-distance, then Maloney slowed on the last lap, leaving King to claim victory. Maloney did not reappear for the final, Andrew King retired after three laps, with a lonely Vieira taking the win ahead of Justin Maloney.
Groups 2 and 3 both hosted strong T&T entries, although Luke Bhola, leading Gp2 and second in Gp3, opted to concentrate on the Radical Caribbean SR3 Cup. A hat-trick of wins earned T&T’s Ronald Wortman (Honda Civic) the weekend’s Gp3 champion driver title, moving him from third to first in the points. Team Barbados was well-represented, Tremaine Forde-Catwell (Daihatsu Charmant) second in each race, with Shawn Eversley (Suzuki Swift) and Tyrone Martindale (Honda CRX) sharing the final step on the podium.
Having been fastest in Saturday practice, four-time champion Mark Thompson (Honda Civic) missed Gp2 qualifying after taking his car home to work on some issues, so started at the back of the grid for race one. He finished third behind the T&T pair of Marc Gill (Mobil 1 Civic) – the only non-Bajan to have won the CMRC Gp2 title – and Justin Sanguinette (Auto Center Civic), whose second place behind Gill was his fourth in a row at Bushy Park, after he chased Thompson home each time on his debut last year. He turned the tables on Gill in the remaining two races, however, his first CMRC Gp2 wins, to claim the day’s champion driver trophy, as the two T&T drivers climbed to the head of the standings, with Thompson fourth behind the absent Bhola.
Group 1, introduced to attract new blood to the CMRC, enabled a number of local racers to score points for their country for the first time. With the biggest grids of the weekend, Gp1 provided class entertainment, wheel-to-wheel, door mirror-to-door mirror. While Devan McCartney (Honda CRX) led every lap, to collect the round three champion driver trophy, there was action aplenty behind. Jermin Pope (Honda Civic) finished second in race one, the only one he contested, the place taken thereafter by Verdon Inniss (Toyota Starlet), while T&T’s Aqeeb Ali (Honda Civic) claimed a fourth and two third places to move into the lead of the Gp1 standings after a good weekend on four wheels for the twin-island state.
On two wheels, however, it was all about Guyana, with British brothers Matt and Harry Truelove riding a pair of Yamaha R6s for Team Mohameds Enterprise. Both had raced in the island before, at the 2016 Barbados Festival of Speed, so knew the circuit. Matt claimed pole position, by eight-tenths from his brother, with Guyana’s Matthew Vieira (Yamaha R6) third and local ace Terrance Ollivierre (Suzuki GSX-R600) fourth, back in action after dislocating his shoulder in a tumble at Bushy Park in March.
And the races followed the same pattern: although Harry led for a lap or two here and there, Matt claimed a hat-trick of wins – he did the same at round two in T&T in June – the champion rider title for round three and a new bike lap record for the International Circuit. Last year, Bryce Prince clocked 61.910s on one of the same Guyanese team’s Yamahas, which Truelove reduced twice, initially to 61.788s in race one, then further to 61.542s in race two.
Williams Digicel International Race Meet
Seaboard Marine CMRC – Results & Provisional Points Standings
Seaboard Marine/SeeSash CMRC Group 4 – Race 1: 1st Mark Maloney – BAR (Mazda RX-3); 2nd Mark Vieira – GUY (Mazda RX-8); 3rd Andrew King – GUY (GT&T Mazda RX-7); 4th Doug Maloney – BAR (Maloney Racing Team Audi A4 quattro); no other finishers Race 2: 1st King; 2nd M Maloney; no other finishers Race 3: 1st Vieira; 2nd Justin Maloney – BAR (Sol/Bushy Park/Rock Hard Cement Z Cars Mini). No other finishers Round 3 Champion Driver M Maloney
Driver’s Championship – Group 4: 1st Vieira 95 points; 2nd A King 67pts; 3rd Quinian Lall – JAM (Mazda Miata) 62pts; 4th M Maloney 43pts; 5th Franklyn Boodram – T&T (Renault Megane Trophy) 36pts; 6th Lamar Larmond – JAM (Toyota Corolla) 33pts; etc
Seaboard Marine/Glassesco CMRC Group 3 – Race 1: 1st Ronald Wortman – T&T (Shell Helix Ultra Honda Civic); 2nd Tremaine Forde-Catwell – BAR (Hilti/Rezult Auto/Mark’s Auto Spares/CCT Paint/Cheese Autoglass Finish Daihatsu Charmant); 3rd Shawn Eversley – BAR (SE Performance/Structural Systems Suzuki Swift); 4th Darren Lashley – BAR (Honda Integra); 5th Tyrone Martindale – BAR (Honda CRX); 6th Junior Benskin – BAR (Nissan NX Coupe); Race 2: 1st Wortman; 2nd Forde-Catwell; 3rd Eversley; 4th Lashley; 5th Martindale; 6th Ripley Greene – BAR (Toyota Corolla); Race 3: 1st Wortman; 2nd Forde-Catwell; 3rd Martindale; 4th Lashley; 5th Greene; no other finishers Round 3 Champion Driver Wortman
Driver’s Championship – Group 3: 1st Wortman 124 points; 2nd Williams Myers – JAM (Honda Civic) 75pts; 3rd Luke Bhola – T&T (Honda Civic) 67pts; equal 4th Forde-Catwell & Peter Jaggon – JAM (Honda Civic) 54pts; 6th Paul Vieira – T&T (Mazda RX-7) 45pts; Seaboard Marine/Crane & Equipment CMRC Group 2 – Race 1: 1st Marc Gill – T&T (Mobil 1 Honda Civic); 2nd Justin Sanguinette – T&T (Honda Civic); 3rd Mark Thompson – BAR (Honda Civic); 4th Rameez Mohamed – GUY (Honda Civic); 5th Aqeeb Ali – T&T (Honda Civic); no other finishers Race 2: 1st Sanguinette; 2nd Gill; 3rd Thompson; 4th Daryl Ali – T&T (Honda Civic); no other finishers Race 3: 1st Sanguinette; 2nd Gill; 3rd Thompson; 4th D Ali; no other finishers Round 3 Champion Driver Sanguinette
Driver’s Championship – Group 2: 1st Gill 136 points; 2nd Sanguinette 122pts; 3rd Luke Bhola – T&T (Honda Civic) 80pts; 4th Thompson 68pts; 5th Fraser McConnel – JAM (Honda Civic) 61pts; 6th Mark Williams – T&T (Honda Civic) 47pts; etc
Seaboard Marine/Percy King Auto Parts CMRC Group 1 – Race 1: 1st Devan McCartney – BAR (Honda CRX); 2nd Jermin Pope – BAR (Honda Civic); 3rd Verdon Inniss – BAR (Toyota Starlet); 4th Aqeeb Ali – T&T (Honda Civic); 5th Ryan Peyrau – T&T (BMW 318ti Compact); 6th Derek Edwards – BAR (BMW 318ti Compact); Race 2: 1st McCartney; 2nd Inniss; 3rd A Ali; 4th Peyrau; 5th Robert Gill – BAR (Toyota Starlet); 6th Mark Skinner – BAR (Honda CRX); Race 3: 1st McCartney; 2nd Inniss; 3rd A Ali; 4th Peyrau; 5th Andre Walcott – BAR (Suzuki Swift); 6th Edwards; Round 3 Champion Driver McCartney
Driver’s Championship – Group 1: 1st A Ali 117 points; equal 2nd McCartney & Ronald Spencer – ANT (BMW 318ti Compact) 75pts; 4th Aslim Ali – T&T (Honda Civic) 54pts; 5th Inniss 51pts; equal 6th Carlo Falcone – ANT (BMW 318ti Compact) & Steve Hosein – T&T (Honda Civic) 42pts; etc
Country Championship – Cars: 1st Trinidad & Tobago 1,227 points; 2nd Barbados 677pts; 3rd Jamaica 526pts; 4th Antigua 205pts; 5th Guyana 196pts; 6th CAMS 80pts; 7th Cayman Islands 32pts
Seaboard Marine CMRC Superstock 600 – Race 1: 1st Matt Truelove – GUY (Yamaha YZF-R6); 2nd Harry Truelove – GUY (Yamaha YZF-R6); 3rd Matthew Vieira – GUY (Yamaha YZF-R6); 4th Terrance Ollivierre – BAR (Suzuki GSX-R600); 5th Kevin Bynoe – BAR (Suzuki GSX-R600); 6th Ravieiro Tucker – GUY (Yamaha YZF-R6); etc Race 2: 1st M Truelove; 2nd H Truelove 3rd Vieira; 4th Ollivierre; 5th Bynoe; 6th Tucker; etc Race 3: 1st M Truelove; 2nd H Truelove; 3rd Vieira; 4th Ollivierre; 5th Bynoe; 6th Tucker; Round 3 Champion Rider M Truelove
Rider’s Championship: 1st M Truelove 150 points; 2nd Vieira 109pts; 3rd Kiel Abrahams – T&T (Kawasaki ZX-6R) 91pts; 4th McShane Heslop – JAM (Suzuki GSX-R600) 78pts; 5th Kyle Reynolds – JAM (Kawasaki ZX-6R) 56pts; 6th H Truelove 54pts. (BPCI)