BUSHY PARK, Barbados -- More than 30 races are planned for next month's Digicel Williams International Race Meet (July 5/6), the first to be staged at the redeveloped Bushy Park Circuit in Barbados. Feature events of the two-day meet, organised by the new Bushy Park Motor Sports Inc (BPMSI), will be the opening rounds of the Seaboard Marine Caribbean Motor Racing Championship 2014/15.
Entries for local competitors opened Wednesday at Motorsport Services, Haggatt Hall, and will close next Thursday (June 19); in addition to the CMRC races for Group 4, Group 2 and Superbikes, there will be races for the BPMSI's domestic classes, Modified Production 1 & 2, Supersport 1 & 2 and SuperModified 1, and a Handicap Race, while the programme will also include the second round of the Barbados Karting Association's (BKA) 2014 Championship.
The detailed timetable is still a work in progress, dependent on entry numbers, but BPMSI secretary Kurt Seabra anticipates in excess of 30 races: "At present, we hope to run the CMRC categories independently of our local classes, which would mean eight groups with three races for each; add the traditional end-of-day Handicap and the kart programme, and we are looking at more than 30 races. The final running order will become clearer once we have an idea of entry numbers over the next few days."
While last month's Top Gear Festival Barbados launched the redeveloped Bushy Park Circuit to a worldwide audience, with coverage of the Red Bull Global Rallycross Championship already broadcast as far afield as Australia, Europe and North America, the Digicel Williams International Race Meet marks the first use of the facility for regional competition; while the full circuit will be used for the car races, the BKA will be using the 1.1kms kart track, emphasising the versatility of the venue.
BPMSI Chairman Sean Maloney said: "We are looking forward to organising our first race meet and the importance of the occasion is not lost on us. Our planning has been under way for some weeks and all the key members of our team have many years of experience behind them. We're planning a full weekend of competition on track and entertainment off track that we hope our competitors and patrons will enjoy."
The staging of the Digicel Williams International Race Meet also marks the re-launch of a revitalised Seaboard Marine CMRC, now managed by the Caribbean Motor Racing Association (CMRA). A non-profit organisation, the CMRA's governing body is comprised of representatives of the four countries that have hosted regional circuit racing in recent years: Barbados (Sean Maloney), Guyana (Ray Rahaman - CMRA Chairman), Jamaica (Silbourne Clarke) and Trinidad and Tobago (Robert Amar).
The new body aims to create a more professional framework for the organisation of inter-regional competition, the keystone of which will be a four-round CMRC: after next month's races at Bushy Park Circuit, Barbados, the second round is scheduled for August 24 in Trinidad, where work is under way to secure a venue, with South Dakota, Guyana (November 16) and Dover Raceway, Jamaica (Feb 22, 2015) completing the calendar.
Currently, the regulations for the CMRC remain largely the same as before, although the use of methanol is no longer permitted and Group 2, previously run as separate classes for 1.6-litre and 2-litre cars, will now run together as a single class.