Reigning SR3 Cup Winter Champion Kristian Jeffrey will return to the Suzuki Challenge Series at Bushy Park Barbados next weekend (September 2/3) at the Williams Industries International Race Meet. The 28-year-old Guyanese driver is squeezing an 8,000-mile trans-Atlantic round trip in between rounds five and six of the UK Radical Challenge Championship, which he has been contesting to broaden his racing experience.
Winner of four races on his way to the Winter Cup title at the Radical Carnival in January, he has missed the first two rounds of the 2017 SCS while racing in Europe; SR3 Cup points-leader heading in to round three is Suleman Esuf, eight points ahead of Stuart Maloney. Next weekend’s race programme will also feature the Swift Cup, currently being led by Barry Gale, who has a slender four-point advantage over former Champion Ryan Peyrau of Trinidad & Tobago.
Last Saturday (August 26), Jeffrey was racing at the 2.9-mile Snetterton 300 circuit in the east of England, where the competitive grid of more than 20 cars also included Mark and Stuart Maloney; just one week after Bushy Park, he will return to contest the Championship’s penultimate round on the world-famous Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit on September 10.
Jeffrey clocked up three top 10 finishes at Snetterton, to add to six achieved earlier in the season at Donington Park, Silverstone and Rockingham, where second place in the day’s opening race remains his best result of the season so far; he has also raced on the famous Spa-Francorchamps circuit, where Lewis Hamilton won last Sunday’s Belgian GP. He has rarely qualified outside the top 10 and has frequently been listed in the top three fastest times through the speed traps, which are a feature of UK timing systems.
The double Caribbean Motor Racing Champion has been enjoying the experience: “I have experienced so many different tracks with so many different conditions that I think will have set me up well for Bushy Park. The Radical Series really does provide a track car that handles phenomenally and is reliable and cost-effective to run.”
Some of those “different conditions” were evident at Snetterton, where Qualifying was run in the wet. Mark Maloney said: “Stuart and I had a tough start as we didn’t have wets scrubbed in, so we struggled.” While Stuart spun in the opening race, Mark finish 11th, one place behind Jeffrey. In the second race, Jeffrey was the meat in a Maloney sandwich, as they finished eighth (Mark), ninth and 10th, while the day’s final race saw Jeffrey’s best result of the day – eighth, and fastest through the finish line speed trap – while Mark finished 10th and Stuart spun into retirement.
Of the six races run in this year’s SR3 Cup, Sol Esuf has won two, also claiming three second- and one third-place finishes, along with one pole position and four fastest laps. Stuart Maloney, who has won three times and finished second twice, claimed the other pole and two fastest laps, these two very much the class of the field so far this year, with Mark Maloney the only other winner.
Barry Gale, who leads the Swift Cup standings for the first time, was the big winner last time out in July, claiming his first Swift Cup pole position, then winning two of the day’s three races and finishing second in the other, clocking one fastest lap along the way. Peyrau won race two, his second victory of this year’s campaign, to join Gale in leap-frogging past early series-leader Josh Read, who was the big loser of the day, in terms of results. After qualifying second to Gale, he followed him home in race one, but was pushed wide in race two, finishing last, before a chain-reaction incident in the third race resulted in a dnf, dropping him down the standings.
This weekend’s Williams Industries International, organised by Bushy Park Motor Sports Inc (BPMSI), features round three of the 2017 Seaboard Marine Caribbean Motor Racing Championship (CMRC), with three races each for the five CMRC categories. In addition to the Suzuki Challenge Series, the 25-race programme will also include two Rally Car Challenge events and round four of BPMSI’s Club Championship.
Suzuki Challenge Series
SR3 Cup, round 3
Saturday, September 2: 1.00pm – Practice; 3.50pm – Qualifying
Sunday, September 3: 9.20am – Race 1 (10 laps); 11.40am – Race 2 (10 laps); 2.40pm – Race 3 (10 laps)
Swift Cup, round 3
Saturday, September 2: 1.20pm – Practice; 4.10pm – Qualifying;
Sunday, September 3: 9.40am – Race 1 (8 laps); 12.00pm – Race 2 (8 laps); 3.00pm – Race 3 (8 laps)