Bushy Park Barbados launches Karting Experience

Bushy Park Barbados launches Karting Experience

Bushy Park Barbados welcomed the first participants for its new Karting Experience at the weekend, as part of an on-going programme to develop an ever-broader range of circuit activities on offer to regular competitors, the wider community and visitors to the island. Approximately 100 people turned up to drive the recently-imported Birel karts on a purpose-built track in sessions on Saturday and Sunday.

"It was great . . . can't wait to go again!", "Had a blast also, great fun, friendly staff!" and "So my birthday is next week. Who's paying for my kart ride?" were just some of the comments posted on social media by the first group of participants, while there is already a league table of fastest times, headed by Nicholas Watson on 27.487s.

The grass roots sport of kart racing is where motor sport Champions the world over learned their craft, and is a discipline that dates back, in island terms, to the early days of Bushy Park in the 1970s. On the International front, multiple FIA Formula 1 World Champions Lewis Hamilton, Michael Schumacher and Ayrton Senna were all kart racers in their youth, as were current island competitors such as the Mayers brothers, Roger and Barry, and Dane Skeete.

The new Karting Experience offers participants the chance drive on a specially-designed 0.41-kilometre circuit in a Birel kart, powered by a 270cc four-stroke Honda engine, capable of up to around 50mph on the straights . . . although it will seem much faster for the driver, sitting just a few inches above the ground.

The karts are designed to meet worldwide 'arrive & drive' safety regulations, with front, side and rear crash protection; the seat and pedals are adjustable - pretty much anyone can be accommodated, although there are minimum limits for height (5ft) and age (12 years). Before each Experience, there will be a classroom session, with a video explaining the basics, including how to get in and out of the kart, also safety flags and their meaning. Safety helmet, neck brace and balaclava are provided, and enclosed shoes are required. Each participant must sign a liability waiver.

Two packages are on offer, to cover individual interest, also that from fan groups or corporate bodies. The individual package, priced at Bds $50 per driver, is a timed session for 10 minutes: an official sheet of lap times will be available at the finish, indicating the participant's best overall performance.

The Grand Prix package is aimed at groups of participants, with a minimum of five drivers (at Bds $100 per driver); there will be a five-minute qualifying session, with lap times available for each participant, followed by a 15-minute race. Full results will be available after the race.

Bushy Park Circuit Inc (BPCI) Business Development Manager Zoe Manning says: "We're overwhelmed by the response so far. The Grand Prix package has had a tremendous reception - competition is on! There has been great interest from corporate Barbados for a company day out, where participants can battle in the preliminary rounds, working their way up to the final to decide the overall winner.

"Even better, there is also interest in inter-company competitions, so this could really take off. Bushy Park is also offering corporate Barbados and large groups the opportunity to use the open-air Hospitality Suites during these events."