New dry run way
Motorsport in Barbados will move to the next level when drivers in the Seaboard Marine Caribbean Motor Racing Championship (CMRC) of the Williams Digicel International Race Meet get first use of the track when Bushy Park opens for official qualifying tomorrow at 1 p.m.
The drivers will be allowed half-sessions rather than four laps, during which they can return to their pit and do some tweaking and then return to the track over a half-hour period and their best time would be used.
Barbados Auto Racing League (BARL) racing secretary Kurt Seabra told a press conference in the clubhouse at the well-known racing facility yesterday that this was the way it was done in Europe and was now being used in Jamaica.
It gave drivers a better opportunity to get a better time, he added.
“This form of qualifying gives the touring cars the best opportunity to see what the other fellow is doing, so he can go back into the pits, tweak something and return to the track and try to do a better time.
“We want to give the visitors the same opportunities that are given to us when we tour. Your best time is what counts from the sessions,” the racing secretary said.
And the drivers are all looking forward to a highly-competitive meet.
Barbados’ two-wheel drive lap-record holder Stuart Williams told the morning session that he believes that Barbados is ready for the opposition, even though some have come with unknown cars.
“Barbados is ready and prepared for this race meet . . . We welcome the overseas drivers and we are looking forward to a very competitive meet.
“We are prepared to put up a good fight, but I want to thank Williams Industries, Digicel and Seaboard Marine and I am hoping for clean competition in all the races,” Williams added.
Guyana’s Mark Vierra, who recently set a lap record in his homeland of 34.37 seconds, at the wheel of the Shell V-Power/Digicel Mazda RX8, said he was glad to be back and he was hoping to be “up there”.
Ireland’s Barry Rabbitt, who will be seeing Bushy Park for the second time, said he too, is looking forward to having a great weekend even though he was on a learning curve with the Ford Mondeo.
“I am delighted to be back, thanks for the invitation from BARL, but repair work on the Honda Civic was not completed in time for Barbados and so I had to change to the Mondeo.
“I am looking forward to a great time as I enjoyed myself last year,” he said.
Peter Rae, who was also part of the Jamaica team last year, said he was looking forward to the meet after having to overcome some problems with his Mazda RX7.
“I am back to the 13B engine in the car after some damage suffered to the bigger engine during last weekend’s race meet in Jamaica, but I am looking to the meet, along with the other members of the team,” Rae told the gathering.
During Sunday’s action, there will be a celebration to mark the 40th anniversary of the racing facility, which will include honouring the old stars of Bushy Park, as well as three Barbados Rally Club (BRC) Challenge races.
Among the former stars invited to the ceremony are Ralph “Bruggadung” Johnson, Lincoln Waterman, the Watkins brothers, Ralph “Bizzy” Williams and England’s Gordon Spice.
The third and final promotional Meet and Greet Lime will take place today at Bushy Park from 4 p.m.