Walcott and Brathwaite Bushy Park Champions

Walcott and Brathwaite Bushy Park Champions

Andre Walcott and Kris Brathwaite were crowned Champion Driver and Champion Rider respectively at Bushy Park Barbados on Sunday (March 29), when Bushy Park Motor Sports Inc (BPMSI) launched its 2015 Championship at the Valvoline Glassesco John 'Tiny' Harrison Memorial Race Meet.

While the inaugural races in the Suzuki Challenge Series - the Swift Cup and SR3 Cup - were the feature events of the 17-race programme, and world-class stunt performers Terry Grant and Lee Bowers entertained the crowds, BPMSI competitors were keen to chalk some early points on the board, also claim a share of the $15,000 prize fund on offer from the meeting sponsors.

Walcott was joined by Steve King as a hat-trick class-winner, while Brathwaite also picked up one of the additional cash prizes on offer as the day's Crowd Favourite; the Best Pass was adjudged to have been made by Clubman class Peugeot driver Darren Lashley - a real accolade on his circuit racing debut - while the award for the Most Artistic Car, using Valvoline stickers, was won by Tremaine Forde-Catwell.

Just before the Clubman and Modified Production 1 classes made their way to the grid for the day's opening race, a shower of rain fell, making conditions tricky. Of the Clubman runners, Walcott (Suzuki Swift) had been fastest in qualifying, so sat on pole position, with Quincy Jones (Toyota Starlet) leading the MP1 field.

While Walcott stayed ahead of Jones for the first lap, the more powerful Starlet took the overall lead on lap two; Jones's main opposition in MP1, Forde-Catwell (Daihatsu Charmant), was delayed early on, but still finished class second, with Nathaniel Munroe (Mini) third, although he was later disqualified for being underweight. The Clubman contenders could do nothing about Walcott, Jermin Pope (Starlet) finishing second, while Lashley was the winner of Clubman 2, driving the Peugeot 205 usually campaigned by Simon Gillmore.

In race two, it was a determined Forde-Catwell's turn for MP1 class honours, after a lively battle with early leader Jones, who finished second; Walcott claimed Clubman honours again, from Kevin Wiggins (Starlet) after Pope retired just before half-distance. Jones and Forde-Catwell continued their battle into race three, until the latter rolled his Daihatsu at the Digicel Dipper - he was uninjured and returned for the Hilti Handicap - leaving Jones on his own in the class.

There was less competition, and a degree of attrition in the SuperSport, SuperModified and Modified Production 2 encounters. King won SS1 in all three races in his Starlet, fighting off the similar cars of Kenrick Husbands and Eddie Corbin, while Kurt Thompson (Honda CRX) was alone in SS2. In SM1 and SM2, class victories were shared by brothers Mark (Mazda RX-7) and Stuart Maloney (Peugeot 306 Maxi) and their father Doug (Audi A4 quattro), while it was also a family affair in MP2, brothers Mark (Starlet) and Neil Thompson (Honda Civic) the winners.

Munroe's Mini was the first car flagged away in the eight-lap Hilti Handicap and he held the lead until the end of lap six, by which time the field was bunched together across less than half the 2.01-kilometre lap; Lashley passed Monroe to lead into the final lap, as did Jones to take second place, but Stuart Maloney then passed them both, carrying brother Mark with him, to cross the line nose-to-tail.

The Motorcycle Championship kicked off in fine style, with the largest grids seen at Bushy Park in recent years. Kris Brathwaite claimed pole position in Saturday qualifying, ahead of the very evenly-matched Devan McCartney and Terrance Ollivierre, all aboard Suzuki GSX-R600s. These three were the class of the field throughout the day, Brathwaite beating Ollivierre and McCartney to the line in races one and three, Ollivierre the other winner; Rommel Martin (Honda CRF 450) beat Kevin Wickham (Honda 600) home in class B all day. Former double Champion Ryan Beckles (Yamaha R6) won the Hilti Handicap, after a lively battle over the last couple of laps with Dexter Small (Suzuki GSX-R600), both racing at the redeveloped Bushy Park for the first time.