Team Barbados wins at Williams Digicel International

Team Barbados wins at Williams Digicel International

Team Barbados was the top points-scorer in last weekend's (September 3/4) Williams Digicel International Race Meet at Bushy Park Barbados, moving from fourth to second in the Country standings of 2016 Seaboard Marine Caribbean Motor Racing Championship (CMRC). With two wins and a second place in Group 4 and a new CMRC lap record to his credit, Barry Mayers was the most successful individual in the team.

With a total of 1,133 points, Trinidad & Tobago now looks set to win the title it missed out on last year by just eight points, but the battle for second place will go down to the final round at South Dakota in Guyana on November 12/13. Barbados now has 583 points, ahead of Jamaica (465pts) and Guyana (350pts), with the smaller Cayman Islands and CAMS teams completing the table. In the separate Country Championship for Bikes, Guyana has a healthy lead, with 437 points, ahead of a close battle for the runner-up spot between T&T (161pts), Jamaica (156pts) and Barbados (133pts).

Organised by Bushy Park Motor Sports Inc (BPMSI), the 23-race programme had also included races for the Suzuki Challenge Series SR3 Cup and Swift Cup and the BPMSI's 2016 Club Championship; fans enjoyed a total of more than 170 racing laps, their enthusiasm undiminished by a day of frequent rain showers, with Hilti Handicap races for cars and bikes rounding off the programme.

Although 'De Focus' was missing in action during Saturday Qualifying with an oil pressure problem, losing the chance of a hat-trick of CMRC Group 4 pole positions, the name atop the times was still Mayers, albeit Barry rather than brother Roger. Driving the Chefette / Digicel / Sol / DHL / Hankook / Illusion Graphics Suzuki SX4, the younger sibling set a time of 1m 01.407s, 1.4sec faster than Mark Maloney (Digicel / RBC / Maloney Racing Team Mazda RX-3), these two well ahead of the field.

When the lights went out at the start of the first race, it was clear the battle would be between these two, and so it played out. After winning the first encounter by 6.5secs, Mayers came under greater pressure in race two on a damp track, the margin of victory just 1.2secs, which set up a thrilling finale, which had the crowd on its feet. Mayers led from the start, but Maloney found a way past on lap three . . . but could not pull away. Mayers piled on the pressure, hoping for a Maloney error, but made a mistake of his own under braking at the Dipper, spinning out and rejoining to finish 10.6secs adrift, but with the consolation of a new CMRC lap record of 1min 01.178secs, knocking four-tenths of the mark set by Guyana's Kristian Jeffrey (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX) in 2014.

Steve King (Automotive Art / Valvoline / Percy King Auto Parts Toyota Starlet), Sammy Cumberbatch (Williams Industries / Hilti / Castrol BMW M3) and Justin Campbell (Republic Bank / Five Star Fast Track / Hilton Barbados / Dream Solutions / Campbell Racing Team BMW M3) locked out the podium places for Team Barbados across the three races. This helped Maloney extend his advantage in the Group 4 (2wd) standings, as Jamaican Peter Rae was absent and Trinidad & Tobago's Franklyn Boodram (Flow Trinidad / Team Speedway Renault Megane Trophy) finished sixth, fourth and fifth. Maloney now has 179 points, Boodram moving into second ahead of Rae with 130.

Things did not go quite to plan in CMRC Group 3, in which T&T's Paul Vieira (Redline Racing / D's Car Boutique Mazda RX-7) claimed a hat-trick of wins, the reigning champion looking ever more on target for back-to-back titles. Steve King (Starlet), who had claimed his first CMRC win at the Frankie Boodram Wallerfield International Raceway in T&T in July, finished third in race one, but differential failure left him on the sidelines, while Kurt Thompson's (Glassesco / NKM Clothing / Bio-Beauty / Digicel 4G / Beacon Insurance / RA Mapp / Versatile Construction / Slam 101.1FM / Y103.3FM Honda CRX) second place in race two was the best result for the home team.

Double champion Mark Thompson (Stag Beer / Automotive Art / Rock Hard Cement / Glassesco / NKM Clothing / Bio-Beauty / Versatile Construction / Slam 101.1FM / Y103.3FM Honda Civic) came out on top of CMRC Group 2, second in race one and victorious in the others. Race one winner and reigning champion, T&T's Marc Gill (Liqui Moly / Marine Safety Equipment Civic), followed Thompson home, while Kenrick Husbands (Williams Equipment/MP/Big Gas/Hilti Toyota Starlet) picked up a hat-trick of third places. Leading by 18 points coming in to round three, T&T's Luke Bhola (Torco Racing Fuels / Richtune Performance Honda Civic), finished fifth, seventh and fourth, so now finds Gill just 12 points behind.

The grid for the first CMRC Superstock 600 Championship race promised an action-packed opening race, after the bikers had suffered the worst weather in a mixed day of Qualifying, leaving a number of potential front-runners down the back, including multiple champion and current points leader Stephen Vieira of Guyana on his Sunburst Orange Juice/Palm Court/Pure Racing Kawasaki ZX-6R. He had climbed from 16th to sixth by the end of the opening lap and passed his cousin Elliot Vieira (Mohamed's Enterprise / Ramchand Auto Body Kawasaki ZX-6R) to take the lead at half-distance . . . but it came to nought, as he was disqualified for overtaking under yellow flags. Elliot inherited victory, with Matthew Vieira (Truck Masters/Game Express/Habit/Cyril's Garage/Rio Inn Yamaha R6) second and Canada's Kevin Graham, riding for Barbados, third on his Sunburst Orange Juice/Pirelli/Harvey Mushman Racing Yamaha R6.

Stephen Vieira retired from sixth place after two laps of the second race, in which Elliott and Matthew repeated their results from race one, with Terrance Ollivierre (Percy King Auto Parts/Kermitt's Bar/Demario's Cycle World Suzuki GSX-R600) replacing Graham for the second Team Barbados podium of the day . . . and the outcome might have been even better. Having started sixth on the grid, Bushy Park lap record holder Brook Miller (Evolite/Turbo/Biz Needz/ProSales Barbados/KORE Fitness/Kari Brook Live/Bridgestone/Pure Action/Chicken Hawk/Mancini Suzuki GSX-R600), the only local rider to score points before last weekend, had caught race leader Elliot Vieira to challenge for the lead, when he took a serious tumble on lap six of eight after being caught out by a wet patch at the W's. Protected by his safety equipment, he was lucky not to suffer more serious injury, but he took no further part in the day's racing.

With Elliot Vieira side-lined before the start, Matthew Vieira claimed victory in the day's final race, Ollivierre and Kris Brathwaite (Evolite/Execsec Corporate Services Yamaha R6) filling the podium places on a day which confirmed the significant progress that has been made in bike racing in the island since the redevelopment of Bushy Park.

Williams Digicel International Race Meet
Results - Seaboard Marine Caribbean Motor Racing Championship

Seaboard Marine CMRC Group 4 (2wd) - Race 1: 1st Barry Mayers - BAR (Chefette/Digicel/Sol/DHL/Hankook/Illusion Graphics Suzuki SX4); 2nd Mark Maloney - BAR (Digicel/RBC/Maloney Racing Team Mazda RX-3); 3rd Steve King - BAR (Automotive Art/Valvoline/Percy King Auto Parts Toyota Starlet); 4th Justin Campbell - BAR (Republic Bank/Five Star Fast Track/Hilton Barbados/Dream Solutions/Campbell Racing Team BMW M3); 5th Nazim Gafoor - GUY (Universal Communication/Gran Sports Automotive Sales and Service Mazda Miata); 6th Franklyn Boodram - T&T (Flow Trinidad/Team Speedway Renault Megane Trophy) Race 2: 1st Mayers; 2nd M Maloney; 3rd Sammy Cumberbatch - BAR (Williams Industries/Hilti/Castrol BMW M3); 4th Boodram; 5th Gafoor; 6th Campbell Race 3: 1st M Maloney; 2nd Mayers; 3rd Campbell; 4th Ronald Wortman - T&T (Shell Helix/Peak Performance/Rev Tech/Mileage Mack/Peake Marine Services/Carbline Coating Honda Civic); 5th Boodram; no other finishers

Driver's Championship - Group 4 (2wd): 1st M Maloney 179 points; 2nd Boodram 130pts; 3rd Peter Rae - JAM (Mazda RX-7) 108pts; 4th Mayers 68pts; 5th Mohan Rangasammy - GUY (Mazda RX-7), 51pts; 6th Campbell 35pts; etc

Seaboard Marine CMRC Group 3 - Race 1: 1st Paul Vieira - T&T (Redline Racing/D's Car Boutique Mazda RX-7); 2nd Ronald Wortman - T&T (Shell Helix/Peak Performance/Rev Tech/Mileage Mack/Peake Marine Services/Carbline Coating Honda Civic); 3rd Steve King - BAR (Automotive Art/Valvoline/Percy King Auto Parts Toyota Starlet); 4th Kurt Thompson - BAR (Glassesco/NKM Clothing/Bio-Beauty/Digicel 4G/Beacon Insurance/RA Mapp/Versatile Construction/Slam 101.1FM/Y103.3FM Honda CRX); 5th Shan Seejattan - GUY (Special Auto/Top Power Racing/Full Works/Blue Spring Water Honda Civic); 6th Nazim Gafoor - GUY (Universal Communication/Gran Sports Automotive Sales and Service Mazda Miata); etc Race 2: 1st P Vieira; 2nd K Thompson; 3rd Gafoor; 4th Wortman; 5th Shawn Eversley - BAR (L&N Workshop/SE Performance Suzuki Swift); no other finishers Race 3: 1st P Vieira; 2nd Wortman; 3rd Ravi Singh - T&T (Racetech/Tim Kha Equipment Rentals Mazda RX-7); 4th Eversley; 5th Gafoor; no other finishers

Driver's Championship - Group 3: 1st P Vieira 200 points; 2nd Gafoor 73pts; equal 3rd Danny Persaud - GUY (Mazda Miata) & Wortman 66pts; 5th King 65pts; 6th Alan Chen - JAM (Toyota Starlet) 63pts; etc