Andy inspires budding racers

Andy Bodden represented the Cayman Islands with another strong performance on the track.

Team Cayspeed was recently in action at Dover Raceway in Jamaica for the Independence of Speed race meet. The team boasted two Mitsubishi Evolutions, piloted by Junior Hydes and Bodden.

Part of their crew included Daron McLean and George Manderson, who were selected by the team to be a part of their young driver programme. Team manager Ray Hydes states the young men represent the future of Cayman circuit racing.

“We as a team want to make sure that the next generation of Caymanian drivers benefit from what we are doing,” Hydes said.

In addition to being exposed to the ins and outs of a race team operation, the young men spent time with Jamaican driving instructor Chris “Teach” McFarlene.

Both young men have participated in the Time Attack autocross events held in Cayman, but have really shone with their performances on the local go-karting track. The team hopes to provide the young men with the opportunity to drive competitively next season once sponsorship can be secured.

McLean and Manderson figure to be inspired by the performances of Team Cayspeed. Both of their Evolutions were entered in the Modified Production Four and Thundersport Two classes. Though mechanical issues prevented Hydes from driving his yellow Evolution III, Bodden electrified the crowd with his performance in his white Evolution VIII. After making small improvements, Bodden was able to turn a new personal best in qualifying with a time of one minute, 24.5 seconds.

In spite of the car having some suspension setup issues, Bodden was able to slide his way around the circuit in both MP4 races to end with respectable finishes. In the first five-lap race, he battled nose to tail with the faster Heath Causwell, who eventually passed him.

The battle was intense while it lasted and the crowd definitely appreciated it. In the second seven-lap race, it was the Mitsubishi of Andre Anderson who Bodden would attempt to keep at bay. Though Anderson would get by, he would eventually retire and hand the position back.

In a show of good faith, Bodden let Hydes drive his vehicle in the twelve-lap Thundersport feature race. The team also took the opportunity to switch the tires, but was unable to turn competitive times on the new rubber. In spite of the difficulty with the handling, Hydes managed a third place finish.

With even some of the more accomplished and experienced teams at Dover, very few were able to turn every lap of every race they entered. Team Cayspeed has much to be proud of for achieving that feat.

Both cars will now be shipped off to Barbados to participate in the second round of the Caribbean Championships. Cayman currently sits second behind Jamaica and in front of Barbados and Guyana.

For more information, contact Ray Hydes on 916-2472

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