Caterham Champions and Jokers spice up Bushy Park

Caterham Champions and Jokers spice up Bushy Park

Eight past or present Caterham Motorsport title-winners, led by the marque’s 2023 British Champion Lewis Thompson, head the entry list for this weekend’s Caterham Caribbean Cup (CCC23) at Bushy Park Barbados. With 11 championships won between them in the past four years and more than 40 race wins in this year alone, these seasoned campaigners promise a weekend of high-octane action at the St Philip facility.

  The 2.01-kilometre International Circuit is new to all of the 40 visiting drivers, who will campaign 26 cars drawn from the Caterham Seven 420R, 310R and 270R categories in a packed programme of 16 races. Friday (November 24) will be given over to a day of open pit-lane testing, with Qualifying on Saturday morning. There will be eight races each day, six 20-minute Sprints, followed by two one-hour Enduros in which around half of the cars will be shared by two drivers.
  These lightweight and nimble sports cars have been providing slipstreaming, sideways wheel-to-wheel action in the UK for nearly 40 years, but extra spice has been added for their Caribbean debut. There will be a mandatory Joker Lap in the Sprint Races – this takes each driver over the Rallycross Bridge once, creating a longer lap time – and two in the Enduros, one for each driver. Hardened Bushy Park fans will remember how these Joker Laps shook up the field in the Suzuki Challenge Series Swift Cup as drivers weighed up the strategy of going early or late.
  There is even more scope for strategy in the Enduros, which also include a mandatory four-minute pit stop. Not all cars are being shared, so the time bracket is set to even things out, with the pit stop window opening 10 minutes after the race starts and closing 10 minutes before the finish. Saturday’s Enduros will run under Bushy Park’s all-arena lighting, the first time a field of Caterhams have raced under floodlights.
  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 biggest-ever single shipment of racing cars from the UK to Barbados which arrived on the Geest Line in five specially-adapted containers is scheduled to arrive at Bushy Park today (Tuesday) from the Bridgetown Port.
  Having already won the 2021 Caterham 310R title, Lewis Thompson won the Avon Tyres Caterham Seven Championship UK this year, the company’s sole National-level title, beating Stephen Lyall, who will also race in Barbados this weekend. They won 13 of the 21 races between them and were separated by only 17 points at year-end.
  A late entry has added this year’s Caterham 270R Champion Freddie Chiddicks to the list, allowing him to renew his rivalry with runner-up Charlie Lower; with 18 race wins between them, they dominated the 270R standings this year, but may also have to look out for fellow race-winners Marc Jones and Rrutuj Patki, also David Rooke, all of whom finished in the top six in this year’s Championship.
  More than 1300 drivers have started their racing careers through the Caterham Academy, with six former Champions in action this weekend. Lower and Patki were titlists before moving through the categories, while Tom Cockerill (2020), Nick Highton (2023), Tom McEwing (2022) and Taylor O’Flanagan (2020) have also been Academy Champions. O’Flanagan is a classic example of climbing the Caterham ladder, having then won the Roadsport Championship in 2021 and the 270R title in 2022, narrowly missing out on the 310R Championship this year, losing to Jack Sales by just 17 points, despite being one of only three drivers in the top 10 to score points in every round.
  The three Radical Barbados Trophy races planned to run this weekend have been abandoned, as a number of the key competitors are unable to race.

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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