Junior Hydes and Andy Bodden are preparing for a major race.
The duo are representing the Cayman Islands in the Seaboard Marine Caribbean Motor Racing Championship. The next leg of the competition is slated for next weekend, 1-2 September, at Bushy Park race track in St. Phillip, Barbados.
Hydes states the goal is to show Cayman is serious about circuit racing.
“My expectations are not much, I want more race experience, to be competitive and show Cayman is on the map to stay,” Hydes said. “The pride we have, we want to show the other islands and their guys we can do something. We can take it to the limit, it’s almost David versus Goliath.”
Hydes and Bodden currently have Cayman in second place after the first leg at Dover Raceway in Jamaica. Both men are competing in Mitsubishi Evolutions with Hydes running a yellow Evo III and Bodden racing a white Evo VIII. Their stiffest competition has come from individual points leader David Summerbell Jr in his Evo VIII and Peter Rae in his Mazda RX-7.
The Cayman racers recently competed in a circuit race at Dover that was part of the Jamaica Race Drivers Club’s national circuit racing championships.
Bodden, a veteran circuit racer in the Caribbean, states he is happy with his current form.
“It’s a privilege to continue to do this and show the rest of the Caribbean Cayman is competitive,” Bodden said. “Hopefully we’ll win this championship one of these days.”
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.
Both of the Cayman cars are making over 400 horsepower and are highly modified. Hydes states more modifications have been done in recent weeks.
“On 27 pounds of boost it dyno’d at 636hp. On the track it’s at 450hp. I’m happy with the power and we’ve had to be conservative on power because of cooling. We switched to high octane gas and there are other mods like suspension (we checked the cambers), the cooling system and engine.
“We painted on the coat of arms, on both cars, to promote the country. My Evo has bigger and wider tires but otherwise it’s not much. It was just about improving the cooling. Every car on the (Jamaica) circuit encounters the same problem: overheating. With elevation and so on you have to do more mods to the cooling. Barbados should be less hectic as it is flat.”
Hydes and Bodden are part of Team CaySpeed, a race squad coordinated by Hydes and Sons, Tony’s Toys and Paul Bodden Heavy Equipment. Ray Hydes is the team manager.
The team took Daron McLean and George Manderson to the recent Jamaica race as part of their young driver programme. Junior, who is in his late 40s, states the idea is to groom future racers.
“We can’t race forever and eventually we have to hang up the mantle and pass it on. Hopefully, there will be younger and better racers at it.
“We’re all trying to get our islands on the map internationally in racing. We want to start something that can take off.”