Local racers rev for Bushy Park

After a surprising start to a regional motorsports event, two Cayman racers are eager for more props.

Junior Hydes and Andy Bodden currently have the Cayman Islands in second place for the Seaboard Marine Caribbean Motor Racing Championship. The first leg was held at Dover Raceway in Jamaica last month, with the next meet slated for 1-2 September at Bushy Park race track in St. Phillip, Barbados.

Hydes states the pressure is on to maintain the high ranking.

“To come out number two, we were ecstatic,” Hydes said. “Each country is allowed to bring something like six cars with three reserves and we could only bring two cars.

“To be honest, I’m worried about keeping our standing. We’re competing against better prepared cars who have home-field advantage throughout. We hope to finish our races and get points. To accomplish more would be a dream come true.”

Cayman walked away from Dover with 24 points. Jamaica are the current leaders with 74 points, Guyana are third with nine points while Barbados are last with one point. David Summerbell Jr, Peter Rae, Andre Anderson, George Bayley, Peter Thompson and Doug Gore are the Jamaican team with Andrew King as the lone Guyananese point getter and Stuart Williams as the chief Bajan.

Summerbell Jr is the points leader with 30 points behind the wheel of his Mitsubishi Evolution VIII. Rae, 24 points, is behind him in a Mazda RX-7. Hydes, 11 points, drives a yellow Evo III and Bodden, 13 points, races a white Evo VIII, both are under a race team coordinated by Hydes and Sons, Tony’s Toys and Paul Bodden Heavy Equipment. Ray Hydes is the team manager.

Bodden, an established veteran of regional circuit racing, states Cayman are facing many odds.

“We are the underdogs in the Caribbean Championship,” Bodden said. “Our cars are nice but most of our opponents are full-out race cars. Hopefully reliability carries us through. It got us to this point.

“To be able to compete and showcase Cayman over there in Jamaica, I’m grateful to race every time. I’m privileged to have the opportunity over the years. I’ve had so many opportunities with Tony Williams and Tony’s Toys, it’s been captivating, just like this collaboration (between the three companies).”

Bushy Park is a 0.8 mile track originally built by sugar cane plantation workers. It is the second of three stops for the Caribbean Championship, with the finale taking place on the South Dakota Circuit in Timheri, Guyana on 11 November.

Before that, Jamaica will brace for a circuit race at Dover titled Summer Heat on 28 July. That meet is not part of the Caribbean Championship, serving as the third round of the Jamaica Race Drivers Club’s national circuit racing championships.

Hydes states Cayman will storm Dover next month as a warm-up.

“Presently, the cars are in Kingston getting tuned and dyno’d by Kenrick ‘Banks’ Baker, who lives there now due to the rollover. We’re gearing up in August for the next stage of the Caribbean Championship in Barbados. We will use the Jamaica race next month as a prep race, since it is part of the Jamaican circuit championships.”