Team Barbados "makes its Mark" at CMRC 2016 Guyana finale

Team Barbados "makes its Mark" at CMRC 2016 Guyana finale

 Team Barbados returned home from the fourth and final round of the 2016 Seaboard Marine Caribbean Motor Racing Championship (CMRC) at South Dakota in Guyana last weekend (November 12/13) with Bushy Park Motor Sports Inc (BPMSI) members having won two of the five individual titles. Mark Maloney is the Group 4 (2wd) Champion, and Mark Thompson the Group 2 Champion - he wins the title for the third time - while Barbados finished second to Trinidad & Tobago in the Country Championship for Cars.

  On a day when the Guyana Motor Racing & Sports Club was challenged by inclement weather and a number of incidents, Maloney (Digicel/RBC/Maloney Racing Team Mazda RX-3) and Thompson (Stag Beer/Automotive Art/Rock Hard Cement/Glassesco/NKM Clothing/Bio-Beauty/Versatile Construction/Slam 101.1FM/Y103.3FM Civic) each ended his 2016 campaign with a clean sweep of three race wins.

  Representing T&T's Soca Racers, Guyana's Paul Vieira also claimed a hat-trick on his way to back-to-back Group 3 titles, while Jamaica's Doug Gore won Group 4 (4wd) and Guyana's Matthew Vieira replaced cousin Stephen as Superstock Champion, the Host Nation also winning the Country Championship for Bikes.

  Barbados Motoring Federation (BMF) President Andrew Mallalieu was among the first to offer congratulations: "Finally winning a CMRC title is just reward for Mark Maloney, whose unstinting support of regional circuit racing started even before Barbados became a full partner in the CMRC in 2008. Mark Thompson's record of success in the region since the Group 2 category was introduced in 2010 is quite remarkable and his third Championship win is well-deserved.

  "Well done to everyone who contributed to Barbados finishing second in the Country Championship and thanks to all those who travelled the region this year. As well as the other competitors, Shawn Eversley, Tremaine Forde-Catwell, 'Snappa' Husbands, Steve King, Brook Miller and Kurt Thompson, there are many more engineers, mechanics and supporters, who have all played their part in achieving this result."

  Since touring to the Dover Raceway in Jamaica for the opening CMRC round in 2008, where he won the final race of the day, Maloney has missed only three of 28 CMRC race meets, a record no-one can match. While his raucous rotary-engined Mazda RX-3 has often proved fragile, it has developed a huge fan base around the region.

  Maloney has claimed 12 CMRC Group victories, eight of them this season on his way to the Group 4 (2wd) title; he is unique in the CMRC in having won on all six track layouts used since 2008, this year adding Wallerfield in T&T and South Dakota to Dover and JamWest in Jamaica and Bushy Park Barbados, both before and after redevelopment. His record also shows a further 16 podium finishes - second nine times and third seven times - in more than 70 races. T&T's Franklyn Boodram (Renault Megane Trophy) and Jamaica's Peter Rae (Mazda RX-7) finished second and third in Group 4 (2wd).

  Thompson has an even more impressive record in his six years contesting CMRC Group 2, in which he has won the title three times, in 2012, '14 & 16, finishing second in 2013 (to brother Kurt) and 2015 (to T&T's Marc Gill). In a total of 57 races, he has won 23 times and finished second or third four times each. He has also achieved a clean sweep of three race wins in a day four times, something no-one else in Group 2 can claim, once each at Dover (2012) and Wallerfield in (2014), twice at South Dakota (2012 & '16).

  Another former Group 2 Champion, Kenrick 'Snappa' Husbands (Williams Equipment/MP/Big Gas/Hilti Toyota Starlet) scored points in all three races at South Dakota, ending the season seventh in the Group. Outgoing Champion Marc Gill and newcomer Luke Bhola, both driving Civics from T&T, finished second and third.

  Last weekend's Guyana finale proved more challenging for the other members of Team Barbados, who raced in Group 3: Steve King blew the engine of his Automotive Art/Valvoline/Percy King Auto Parts Starlet, but still finished fifth at year-end; Kurt Thompson (Glassesco/NKM Clothing/Bio-Beauty/Digicel 4G/Beacon Insurance/RA Mapp/Versatile Construction/Slam 101.1FM/Y103.3FM Honda CRX) enjoyed three points-scoring finishes to consolidate eighth, while Shawn Eversley's L&N Workshop/SE Performance Suzuki Swift dropped a valve. Tremaine-Forde Catwell endured a host of teething problems with the CCT Paints/Cheese Auto Glass Finishes/Hilti/Mark's Auto Spares Datsun 1200 Turbo, but still scored points in two races.

Image courtesy: Nicholas Bhajan Photography/Caribbean Action Images