Mark Maloney broke the Outright Lap Record for Bushy Park Barbados on Sunday (September 3) during round three of the Suzuki Challenge Series at the Williams Industries International Race Meet, just one day after Guyana’s Kristian Jeffrey had set a new Qualifying Record. Both records were previously held by ‘Sol’ Esuf, who nevertheless extended his lead in the SR3 Cup standings with two wins.
In the Swift Cup, points-leader Barry Gale and his closest challenger, Trinidad & Tobago’s Ryan Peyrau, each scored 48 points, so Gale’s four-point lead remained intact, while Justin Campbell claimed two race wins to stand on top of the podium at the end of the day for the first time and climb to third place in the championship.
In Saturday Qualifying, former Caribbean Motor Racing Champion Jeffrey’s pole time of 58.318s lowered Esuf’s previous record by just under one-tenth as he started ahead of Mark and Stuart Maloney, who also clocked their best-ever qualifying times. Sean Maloney was fourth, ahead of Esuf and Ryan Gonsalves of St Vincent & The Grenadines.
Jeffrey made the best of his pole start in race one, leading from lights to flag, although Mark Maloney kept him honest, rarely more than a half-second behind; the Guyanese driver crossed the line three-tenths ahead, with Stuart Maloney third, reducing fifth-placed Esuf’s advantage from eight to three points. Maloney’s record lap came mid-way through race one, the new mark of 58.113s chopping 14/100ths off the previous time.
For race two, the grid, based on the reverse of qualifying, placed Esuf on the front row alongside pole-sitter Gonsalves. The championship leader made the best of the start, opening up a respectable gap by the end of the first lap, which he steadily extended to 5.3s at the chequered flag. Stuart Maloney was second and Jeffrey third.
With points scored earlier deciding the order for the race three grid, Jeffrey was again on pole, with the championship protagonists, Esuf now 10 points ahead of Stuart Maloney, starting second and third. Soon after the race had started, news came from Race Control that everyone except Stuart Maloney had incurred 10-second jump-start penalties; this looked good for Maloney, who was running third on the road behind Esuf, but crucially less than 10s behind race leader Jeffrey, so a ‘win’ was likely . . . at least until the penultimate lap.
A rather optimistic passing manoeuvre by Mark Maloney resulted in his and Stuart’s cars spinning, both rejoining, but with Stuart now fourth and no longer within 10s of the race-winner on the road, Jeffrey. Post-event, however, the result changed again, as Esuf and Jeffrey both appealed the penalty, Esuf successfully; he therefore claimed the win, with Stuart Maloney now third, opening the gap between them to 20 points.
In Swift Cup qualifying, former Barbados Rally Club Champion Driver Rhett Watson was the surprise pole-sitter, standing in for Martinique’s Pascal Calvel at Team Suzuki. He was joined on the front row by Ryan Peyrau (Team Simpson Finance), with Ryan Wood (Team BFoS) and points-leader Barry Gale (Team Bushy Park Experiences) on row two.
Although he admitted later to a few mistakes on the opening lap, having been a bit nervous starting from pole, Watson held it together for his first Swift Cup win, leading Peyrau home by a margin of 1.4secs, with Gale third, which meant that his championship lead was reduced to just one point. The reverse grid for race two saw newcomer Justin Maloney (Team Bushy Park Kidz Experiences) on pole, with Justin Campbell (Team Rock Hard Cement) alongside, ahead of Gale and Wood.
As the lights went out, Campbell launched himself into a lead he would not lose, crossing the line 2.1secs up on Gale, with Watson third and Peyrau fourth, after the T&T driver had run wide on to the grass at the exit of the MQI Bullet; this swung the pendulum back in Gale’s favour, his points lead now up to seven.
With the final grid based on points scored earlier, Watson found himself back on pole, with Campbell alongside and title-contenders Gale and Peyrau on row two. Watson got the better of the start and led until taking his Joker on the penultimate lap, when Campbell assumed the lead, with Peyrau and Gale third and fourth. Watson had clouted the barrier leading on to the Joker bridge, however, incurring a 15s penalty, which dropped him to last, promoting Peyrau and Gale, now once again separated by four points.
Suzuki Challenge Series, SR3 Cup round 3 (September 2/3)
Race 1: 1st Kristian Jeffrey – GUY; 2nd Mark Maloney; 3rd Stuart Maloney; 4th Sean Maloney; 5th Suleman Esuf; 6th Ryan Gonsalves – SVG Race 2: 1st Esuf; 2nd Stuart Maloney; 3rd Jeffrey; 4th Sean Maloney; 5th Gonsalves; dnf M Maloney Race 3: 1st Esuf; 2nd Jeffrey; 3rd Stuart Maloney; 4th Sean Maloney; 5th Gonsalves; 6th M Maloney
Points after round 3: 1st Esuf 179 points; 2nd Stuart Maloney 159pts; 3rd M Maloney 106pts; 4th Sean Maloney 102pts; 5th Gonsalves 95pts; 6th Jeffrey 58pts; 7th David Simpson 23pts
Suzuki Challenge Series, Swift Cup round 3 (September 2/3)
Race 1: 1st Rhett Watson (Team Suzuki); 2nd Ryan Peyrau – T&T (Team Simpson Finance); 3rd Barry Gale (Team Bushy Park Experiences); 4th Ryan Wood (Team Barbados Festival of Speed); 5th Justin Campbell (Team Rock Hard Cement); 6th Josh Read (Team Massy United Insurance); 7th Kenrick Husbands (Team Williams Industries); 8th Justin Maloney (Team Bushy Park Kidz Experiences) Race 2: 1st Campbell; 2nd Gale; 3rd Watson; 4th Peyrau; 5th Read; 6th Wood; 7th Husbands; 8th Maloney Race 3: 1st Campbell; 2nd Peyrau; 3rd Gale; 4th Wood; 5th Read; 6th Husbands; 7th Maloney; 8th Watson
Points after round 3: 1st Gale 158 points; 2nd Peyrau 144pts; 3rd Campbell 128pts; 4th Read 110pts; 5th Wood 97pts; 6th Husbands 70pts; 7th Pascal Calvel – MTQ (Team Suzuki) 59pts; 8th Watson 44pts; 9th Maloney 14pts