The name Zane Maloney was on the lips of motorsports enthusiasts over the past weekend at the Bushy Park, St Philip raceway
Taking a break from his F4 British Championship campaign, Maloney thrilled the fans on The Hill at Bushy Park with a sensational debut in the Radical Caribbean SR3 Cup (RCC), racing a car for the first time on his home track.
During the Williams Industries International Race Meet on the weekend, the 15-year-old claimed pole position in Saturday qualifying, then won all three races on Sunday, clocking the fastest lap in the first two.
Because he bagged his maximum points score driving his father – and championship leader – Sean’s car, a major shuffle in the standings has resulted. As Sean dropped from first to fifth, reigning champion Stuart Maloney assumed the lead, albeit by a margin of only one point, 132 to 131, over Jamaica’s William Myers. Early points leader Mark Maloney has slipped to third with 121 points, while two-second places for Trinidad & Tobago’s Kristian Boodoosingh have promoted him from sixth to fourth.
The F4 British Championship leader and Myers were separated by just nine-hundredths in the practice session, with Boodoosingh another quarter-second behind. While Myers and Stuart Maloney topped the qualifying times mid-session, Zane was fastest when it counted. His pole position time of 58.653s was 0.141secs up on Myers, second in qualifying for the third time, despite improving on his personal best qualifying time by four-tenths. Stuart Maloney was third, Boodoosingh fourth – another to improve on his qualifying PB by four-tenths – and Mark Maloney fifth, nine-tenths off the pole time.
Guyana’s Kristian Jeffrey, returning to Bushy Park for the first time since 2017 when he won the SR3 Winter Cup, completed only three laps each in practice and qualifying with gearshift problems. He qualified sixth, ahead of Jamaica’s Horatio Brown and T&T newcomer Stuart Johnson, returning to circuit racing for the first time in 15 years.
With an enthusiastic crowd on The Hill and the VIP Suite occupied by the event’s sponsors, all races started from the recently repainted northern grid. As pole man Maloney made a perfect start, Boodoosingh saw a gap and powered past Myers and Stuart Maloney to follow the teenager into the kink and hammer. In the early stages, the Trinidadian put pressure on the race leader, but a string of fastest laps extended Maloney’s advantage to around 4secs at half-distance, by which time Stuart Maloney was harassing Boodoosingh and distracting him from his target. In his first car race at Bushy Park, Maloney’s margin of victory was 5secs, with Boodoosingh just half-a-second ahead of Stuart Maloney at the flag.
Johnson and Brown sat on the front row of the reversed grid for the second race, Jeffrey and Mark Maloney on row two, Boodoosingh and Stuart Maloney on row three, Myers and Zane Maloney at the back. When the lights went out and eight radicals fought for space into the hammer, Mark Maloney was tipped into a spin, rejoining at the tail of the field. As the dust settled, Boodoosingh had made an excellent start, to lead by more than one second at the end of the opening lap, with Stuart and Zane Maloney second and fourth, sandwiching Myers in third place. This four-car train lapped nose-to-tail, Boodoosingh unable to break away, his advantage pegged back to less than one second. Zane Maloney passed Myers on lap four, then his uncle Stuart at half-distance, a tussle that had allowed Boodoosingh to extend his lead to 1.5 seconds. Four consecutive fastest laps carried Zane Maloney right up to the rear wing of Boodoosingh’s car with two laps to go, but the T&T driver was driving a superb defensive race. When the pass came, at the Ws Hairpin half-way round the final lap, the crowd on The Hill erupted, cheering their hometown hero all the way to the chequered flag. Boodoosingh then spun two corners from home, allowing Myers to pass Stuart Maloney to whom he had lost third place a few laps earlier, for his sixth podium finish of the season, with Maloney third and Boodoosingh recovering to fourth.
Based on points scored in the first two races, Zane Maloney and Myers were on the front row for the day’s final encounter, with Stuart Maloney and Boodoosingh on row two, Mark Maloney, Brown and Stuart Johnson completing the grid in the absence of Jeffrey, a non-starter with transmission problems. In a near-repeat of the day’s first race, Zane Maloney stormed into the lead, with Boodoosingh in hot pursuit. Following the first-corner contact with Mark Maloney, Brown was an early retirement to the pits, with Maloney adding to his record total of fastest laps (now 22) on a chargeback to fifth place. Boodoosingh could not find a way past Zane Maloney, the youngster’s margin of victory just under four seconds, with Stuart Maloney making it a hat-trick of third places, despite the best efforts of Jamaica’s Myers. (BPCI)