BUSHY PARK, Barbados -- Fans in Barbados will be treated to a two-day feast of motor sport next weekend (July 5/6) when the Digicel Williams International Race Meet serves up nearly 18 hours of track action at the redeveloped Bushy Park Circuit.
For the first time, the opening races for each category will follow practice and qualifying on Saturday afternoon, ending with the first round of the Seaboard Marine Caribbean Motor Racing Championship 2014/15.
In addition to three races each for CMRC Group 4, Group 2 and Superbikes over the weekend, the organising club, Bushy Park Motor Sports Inc (BPMSI), will be launching its new classes, while the Barbados Rally Club Track Challenge and round two of the Barbados Karting Association's 2014 Championship make for a total of nearly 30 races and just two laps shy of 200 laps of wheel-to-wheel action.
In another innovation, there will be two Hilti-sponsored Handicap Races, one for karts immediately preceding that for cars at the end of Sunday's programme.
Interspersed with the race action, the BPMSI's timetable also includes demonstrations by bikes (at lunchtime each day) and Radical Cars (twice each day), as the organising club and the promoters, Bushy Park Circuit Inc, present a non-stop weekend of domestic and regional motor sport.
The race meet itself will follow one-and-a-half days of testing from lunchtime on Thursday, as all competitors entered for the meet are afforded the opportunity to learn the new 2.0-kilometre circuit layout; for local drivers, it will provide the chance for some vital basic testing of race cars that have not seen action since the redevelopment of Bushy Park Circuit started last August, while the regional competitors will be keen to investigate set-up options for a venue that differs significantly in layout to Guyana's South Dakota and Jamaica's Dover Raceway.
In terms of layout, Guyana's host venue is the simplest, at just 1.2kms (0.75 miles), with three fast and wide straights and six corners; the picturesque but tight Dover Raceway has 13 corners in its 2.6kms (1.6 miles), while work is currently under way to prepare a suitable configuration at the fourth venue, Wallerfield Raceway in Trinidad, which has been closed for racing since the end of 2009.
Radical changes for island motor sport
One of the highlights of the Digicel Williams International Race Meet will be demonstration runs of the exciting Radical SR3 RS, which was displayed for the first time at Sky Mall on Friday evening. Two examples of these Suzuki-powered open-topped sports cars emerged from the Bridgetown Port this week, the first of many if current plans come to fruition.
In terms of numbers, the Radical SR3 RS is the world’s most successful sports-racer, with more than 900 satisfied customers. First launched in 2002, the SR3 RS is powered by an engine developed from Suzuki's GSX-R motorcycle engine; it uses a six-speed sequential transmission and, with four-pot callipers and vented discs on each corner, the SR3 RS has awesome stopping power. The SR3 RS is also very kind to its tyres, keeping running costs down.
A comfortable twin-seat cockpit makes the SR3 RS an ideal track-day car and endurance racer, with in-built LIFE engine management and datalogging, and an advanced AiM LCD dash/multifunction display... but it is more than just a track-day machine. Successful one-make championships, such as the UK's Radical SR3 Challenge, have been running for more than a decade, while the cars also compete in many other multi-marque championships around the world, too.
Plans are in hand to introduce a one-marque series in Barbados, with three 15-lap races per event; it is hoped to launch the series next season and discussions with prospective customers are getting under way this week. Radical will manage the series, both from a technical and administrative perspective, with local support scaled up to develop the necessary infrastructure.