Sports are a way of bringing out national pride.
No matter what reputation a country may have, it can gain respect if it excels in a sporting discipline.
The small island of Barbados certainly deserves respect after its performance in Jamaican motorsports.
The country was represented at the opening round of the 2009 Caribbean Circuit Championship at Dover Raceway in St. Ann’s Bay, Jamaica May 23-25.
Waving the blue and yellow flag of their country were the Maloney family. Father Doug made the long trip to Dover along with sons Mark and Stuart.
Also travelling with the team was Brook Miller who competed on a stylish, high-powered motorbike in the motorcycle class.
The Maloney family came prepared with a trio of fast cars sporting legendary performance.
Doug brought a green Audi A4 Quattro with an 1800cc turbo engine. A long-time veteran on the Caribbean motorsports scene, Doug has run many times at Dover. One of his claims to fame at Dover is running a 01:23:6 lap time, good enough for the 14th fastest in track history.
Mark sported the Red Bull Mazda RX-3 with its rare naturally aspirated Rotary 20B engine. The car (which was produced back in the 1970s) is one of a handful in the world with that engine and it is completely redesigned for motorsports. Mark’s lap time of 01:22:4 is good enough for eight place in Dover’s history.
Stuart ran the Automotive Art Mitsubishi Evolution VI with its turbocharged engine.
The Evolution has been a contender in Caribbean racing the last five years. It has been arguably the second-fastest car in the Caribbean and even boasts the third fastest time at Dover with a 1:19:7 lap time.
As the days went on the team would have mixed results. Doug’s car would break down on his first run on the track and Brook Miller would do much of his work at the back of the pack. Wiping out on race day also didn’t help Miller’s run at Dover.
On the other hand the Bajans would have much to cheer about courtesy of Stuart and Mark. Both ran in the same class at Dover and went head-to-head with Jamaica’s best driver in David Summerbell Jr.
Much of the talk leading up to their races was on who would win. In the past Stuart had given Summerbell fits, beating him in a couple races. Mark attracted loads of hype due to the rareness and power of his car and his ability to consistently stay near the head of the pack.
Summerbell and his AMS Evolution VIII would silence the discussion in dramatic fashion by winning in the end; but not without a fight. Stuart’s Evo stayed on Summerbell’s tail the whole way and made things interesting in the final run.
The car consistently hit its apexes and showed incredible acceleration coming out of the corners.
Mark meanwhile stayed just a few spots down from his brother. The RX-3 was a loud and intimidating presence throughout with its fire-spewing exhaust and booming engine note.
His Mazda would suffer some engine problems on race day though he would still manage a respectable top five finish.
Off the track the Bajans would be a centre of attention as crowds flocked to their tented race bay to see the vehicles and observe the tuning that went into maintaining them.
One of the most notable things about the crew was their link to Cayman. At Dover they were right beside the Cayman race crew (which consisted of racers Gary Barrett, Andy Bodden, Junior Hydes and Kevin Johnson).
Interestingly enough the Bajans had taken on Cayman racers in the past. The Bajans did not go into detail about those days or state their feelings on Cayman’s racers. However members of the crew did say with much fervour they want to race other Cayman cars in the future and ‘settle a score.’