Endurance race winners head for Bushy Park debut

Endurance race winners head for Bushy Park debut

The Williams Motorsport team of Toby Ballard, Rrutuj Patki and Henry Williams are heading to race at Bushy Park Barbados for the first time buoyed by victory in last weekend’s (November 10-12) annual Race of Remembrance at the Anglesey Circuit in north Wales in a Caterham 270R. The British trio beat the similar DBR Racing Caterham to the chequered flag by just 50 seconds after 12 hours of racing.
  Life will be less stressful for the trio at next weekend’s (November 25/26) Caterham Caribbean Cup, dubbed ‘CCC23’; although the race programme at the St Philip facility does include Enduros, they are only of a one-hour duration. This non-championship event, supported by Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc (BTMI) and organised by Bushy Park Motorsports Inc (BPMSI) augmented by a team from Caterham Motorsport, completes the British sports car manufacturer’s 50th Anniversary year.
  The five specially-adapated containers which shipped to the island by the Geest Line, the biggest-ever single shipment of racing cars from the UK to Barbados, are scheduled to arrive at Bushy Park today (Friday) from the Bridgetown Port. Fourteen of the 26 cars, drawn from the Caterham Seven 420R, 310R and 270R categories, will be shared in the weekend’s races, bringing 40 experienced Caterham racers, their families and support crews to the island.
  This year was the eighth running of the Race of Remembrance, which is a major fund-raiser for armed forces charities, led by Mission Motorsport. The unique event is spilt into three parts, starting on Saturday and running for seven hours until midnight; the remaining five hours are run in two parts on Sunday, either side of a pitlane Service of Remembrance, allowing the motor sport and service families a chance to reflect on the sacrifice of friends and colleagues in recent conflicts and those that have gone before.
  As Patki explains, there was unfinished business at Anglesey: “Williams Motorsport turned up last year for the first time, led the race for more than nine hours but the engine gave way and we had to retire. This year, another Caterham entered, driven by Darren Burke, Rob Kennerly and Ben Timmons. Darren is a well-known Caterham driver coach and often races against Calum Lockie, who was our other driver. It was a super competitive team and DBR vs Williams was set to be a close match up!”
  Each team had a different setup and strategy: Williams had a bigger fuel tank and better car for the dry, DBR a smaller fuel tank and a faster car in the wet. It was dry for Saturday’s seven-hour stint, then wet for the five hours on Sunday, so pit-stop strategies and luck with the Safety Car all came into play on the 2.1-mile circuit.
  Patki continues: “There were heroic drives from everyone, but it came down to the final stints from our man Calum and Darren, who had a car under him that was three to four seconds a lap faster than ours. He had a gap of three laps to close, so we thought we had done enough . . . when disaster struck! Just before the final driver change, Toby overtook three cars under a yellow in poor visibility, so we earned a massive 60secs stop-go penalty which Calum had to serve almost immediately he got in the car. With an hour to go, just 1m 40s separated us and them, Darren driving the socks of the DBR car and Calum doing his best to defend the gap. It was a nail-biting finish with only 50 odd seconds between us as we crossed the finish line.”
  Of the forthcoming trip to the Caribbean, Patki said: “I’ve not visited Barbados before, my wife Radhika is joining me for the trip, along with the whole Williams Motorsport crew, a group of 11 in all, and we’re really looking forward to a brilliant end to Caterham’s 50th Anniversary year.”

Caribbean Caterham Cup, Saturday/Sunday, November 25/26
Gates Open 8.00am. Gates 2 to 4 will be in operation. Vehicles welcome in Cyclone and Hammer zones.
General Spectator Admission (ticket booth at Gate 3) - $20 each day; Weekend Ticket $30. Clubhouse - $30 each day; Weekend Ticket $50. Children 12 and under – Free.

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