Three new winners in Suzuki Challenge Series

Three new winners in Suzuki Challenge Series

Three new winners joined the Suzuki Challenge Series roll of honour, as the competition intensified in round three at Bushy Park Barbados yesterday (June 14). In the Swift Cup, Barry Gale and Jamaica's David Summerbell Jnr brought the number of race-winners to five in the first nine races, while Guyana's Mark Vieira finally broke the Maloney family's stranglehold on the top step of the podium in the SR3 Cup.

As the season reached the half-way point, Team Suzuki's Ryan Peyrau from Trinidad & Tobago extended his Swift Cup lead to 39 points from Mark Thompson (Team Rock Hard Cement), while Team Digicel drivers Ryan Wood and Daryl Clarke switched positions, Clarke now third. In the SR3 Cup, while the order remains the same - Stuart Maloney leading brothers Sean and Mark - the gap has come down from 25 to just nine points.

Peyrau claimed his second pole position in a row, but not by seven-tenths of a second like last time; on Sunday, he was just two-hundredths ahead of Thompson, with the top 10 drivers covered by less than a second in the production-based Swift Sports. Summerbell (Team Simpson Finance) and Wood sat on row two, with Kurt Thompson (Team Glassesco) and Jason Parkinson (Team Infra Rentals) on row three.

Peyrau made the best of the start and led from lights to flag, never more than a couple of lengths ahead of Thompson, with the Jamaican's best Swift Cup result so far making for a tri-nations podium. Peyrau said: "I was able to get ahead at the start. I had to take care of my tyres, as the track is a bit hot today and I was getting a bit of understeer."

While the day's opening race was largely incident-free, the remaining two encounters were very lively indeed. Pole for the reverse grid race two went to Swift Cup newcomer Paul Bourne (Team ICBL), with Barry Gale (Team Gale's Agro Products) second, returning to the series after father Freddie drove the car in round two.

As the lights went out cars dived to left and right, with Gale moving to the head of the pack seeing off a firstcorner challenge from Clarke. He went on to build up a healthy lead, claiming the day's second lights-to-flag victory. Gale said: "The start went a bit better than I planned and going into the Hammer, Daryl tried to find room, but I was able to assume the lead. After that it was just a matter of not making any mistakes."

Clarke and Sean Gill (Team Suzuki) completed the podium, while Summerbell read the start-line confusion to perfection, charging through from ninth on the grid to finish fourth. There was action right through the field: Thompson - from 11th on the grid - picked his way through to finish sixth, while Peyrau was less fortunate with the door handle-to-door handle scrapping, collecting just one point for 10th place.

Summerbell was on pole for race three, based on points scored during the day, with Peyrau, Thompson and Gale next up. The Jamaican made the best of the start, then spent eight laps giving a masterclass in defensive driving, which he noted afterwards represented one of his toughest race wins. Thompson was rarely more than inches behind, until a hiccough out of the final turn just before half-distance dropped him to fourth; he recovered to finish second, although he was subsequently disqualified under driving standards rules. That promoted Clarke to second and Peyrau to third.

In the SR3 Cup, the region's fastest race category, Mark Maloney's time of 59.634s set a new qualifying record for the Suzuki-powered Radicals, as he followed brothers Stuart (round one) and Sean (round two) on to pole. They sat on the grid behind him in that order, with Guyana's Mark Vieira fourth, all within two-tenths of a second and all under the 60-second mark, the first time more than one driver had achieved that in qualifying.

Mark Maloney got the best of the start, leading from his two brothers, who had been split by Vieira, looking set for a strong start to his day until he spun on the opening lap, recovering to finish sixth. While Mark Maloney crossed the line first ahead of brothers Stuart and Sean, he and Stuart were adjudged to have jumped the start, so were demoted to second and third places behind Sean.

In the reverse grid race two, Allan Kinch sat in pole, with guest driver Simon Jean-Joseph alongside him, the Martinique ace back in the island just two weeks after finishing second in Sol Rally Barbados. Vieira made a determined start from fourth on the grid, dealing quickly with the less experienced drivers ahead of him and made good his escape, while the Maloney brothers took longer to pick their way through the traffic. Although they had done so by mid-distance, they could not chase him down, Mark finishing second and Stuart third, after Sean spun, finishing sixth. Jean-Joseph looked more comfortable, finishing fourth, ahead of David Simpson, while Ryan Gonsalves from St Vincent & The Grenadines did not restart after a spin two laps from home.

For the final race, with the grid based on points scored, Mark Maloney sat ahead of brothers Sean and Stuart, sandwiching Vieira. The pole-sitter claimed his second (on-the-road) win of the day; highlight of the race was an impressive charge through the field by Britain's Bradley Ellis, sitting in for Jean-Joseph, who had left for the airport. A Radical Champion in Europe, Ellis started at the back, showing great pace as he picked the field off one by one, although his impressive last-lap pass on Stuart Maloney, who finished third, did not allow him time to catch Mark.

Peter Thompson, who had started from pole position, won the Swift Cup Masters Race, chased home by Hallam Edwards and Doug Maloney.


Suzuki Challenge Series, round 3 (June 4)

Swift Cup Race 1: 1st Ryan Peyrau - T&T (Team Suzuki); 2nd Mark Thompson (Team Rock Hard Cement); 3rd David Summerbell Jnr - JAM (Team Simpson Finance); 4th Ryan Wood (Team Digicel); 5th Josh Read (Team Massy United Insurance); 6th Kurt Thompson (Team Glassesco); 7th Jason Parkinson (Team Infra Rentals); 8th Kenrick Husbands (Team Williams Industries); 9th Sean Gill (Team Suzuki); 10th Daryl Clarke (Team Digicel); 11th Barry Gale (Team Gale's Agro Products); 12th Paul Bourne (Team ICBL) Race 2: 1st Gale; 2nd Clarke; 3rd Gill; 4th Parkinson; 5th Summerbell; 6th M Thompson; 7th Husbands; 8th Read; 9th K Thompson; 10th Peyrau; 11th Wood; 12th Bourne Race 3: 1st Summerbell; 2nd Clarke; 3rd Peyrau; 4th Read; 5th K Thompson; 6th Wood; 7th Gill; 8th Parkinson; 9th Gale; 10th Husbands; 11th Bourne; dq M Thompson

SR3 Cup Race 1: 1st Sean Maloney; 2nd Mark Maloney; 3rd Stuart Maloney; 4th Ryan Gonsalves - SVG; 5th David Simpson; 6th Mark Vieira - GUY; 7th Simon Jean-Joseph - FRA; 8th Allan Kinch Race 2: 1st Vieira; 2nd M Maloney; 3rd Stuart Maloney; 4th Jean-Joseph; 5th Simpson; 6th Sean Maloney; 7th A Kinch; 8th Gonsalves Race 3: 1st M Maloney; 2nd Bradley Ellis - ENG; 3rd Stuart Maloney; 4th Vieira; 5th Sean Maloney; 6th Gonsalves; 7th A Kinch; dnf - Simpson


Positions after round 3

Swift Cup: 1st Peyrau 148 points; 2nd M Thompson 109pts; 3rd Clarke 99pts; 4th Wood 94pts; 5th Read 87pts; 6th Summerbell 84pts; 7th B Gale 63pts; 8th Husbands 49pts; 9th Gill 46pts; 10th K Thompson 45pts; 11th Parkinson 33pts; 7th Barry Gale (Team Gale's Agro Products) 36pts; 12th Karl Waterman (Team Williams Industries) 25pts; 13th M Kinch 12pts; 14th Jean-Philippe Mongaillard - FRA (Team Suzuki) 10pts SR3 Cup: 1st Stuart Maloney 163 points; 2nd Sean Maloney 156pts; 3rd M Maloney 154pts; 4th Vieira 118pts; 5th Gonsalves 99pts; 6th Simpson 64pts; 7th A Kinch 56pts; equal 8th Ellis & Jean-Joseph 18pts; equal 10th B Gale & Jim Parr - USA 14pts