Cayman’s circuit racing team has one last shot at glory.
Team CaySpeed, representing the Cayman Islands, heads to the South Dakota Circuit in Timehri, Guyana on Sunday, 11 November, for the third and final stop of the Seaboard Marine Caribbean Motor Racing Championship.
Racer Andy Bodden states the side will be drawing inspiration from Cayman’s Olympians.
“We would like the time to adjust the cars to do as good as we would like to do,” Bodden said. “Like the Olympic athletes, no one expected Cayman to win gold but the fact that we sent five athletes we should feel good.
“We hope to see it through in this last race. Realistically, that’s a high hope. Guyana have the home field advantage.”
Bodden is representing Cayman along with Junior Hydes, team manager Ray Hydes and a crew that includes tuner Kenrick ‘Banks’ Baker, Jerry Holness and Courtney ‘Butch’ Myles. Both racers are competing in Mitsubishi Evolutions with Hydes running a yellow Evo III and Bodden racing a white Evo VIII.
Cayman currently ranks third with 26 points overall, behind Barbados (64pts) and Jamaica (113pts) and ahead of Guyana (21pts). Bodden sits in sixth in the individual rankings with 15 points while Hydes is ninth with 11 points.
Hydes states regardless of the expectations, the present rankings should make Cayman proud.
“We’re competing in the highest level of motor racing in the Caribbean as rookies,” Hydes said. “It’s a major accomplishment as a small team. For us to be in a position to be second or third, it is a major achievement; especially when you consider there is a maximum of six cars for any given team.”
Both racers will be looking for a return to form. At the first stop in Jamaica, the duo had Cayman in second place. On the second leg, Bodden and Hydes would struggle at Bushy Park race track, just 0.8 miles long, in St. Phillip, Barbados to drop to third.
Bodden states Bushy Park was deceptively tough.
“It’s a very unassuming track, it’s unpredictable. We would have liked to conquer the track but we had street cars racing against professional race cars. We were racing out of class, without a doubt.
“Everyone was impressed with the team spirit. We had to push on from the back of the pack on a consistent basis.”
The stiffest competition for Cayman has come from individual points leader David Summerbell Jr in his Evo VIII. The Jamaican has 50 points, ahead of countryman Peter Rae, 33 points, in his Mazda RX-7 and Bajan Roger Mayers, 30 points, in a Ford Focus.
Guyana’s biggest threats figure to be seventh-ranked Andrew King, whose Mazda RX-7 has earned 13 points and 10th-ranked Paul Vieira, whose Mazda RX-7 has earned eight points.
For the record, CaySpeed is a race team coordinated by Hydes and Sons, Tony’s Toys and Paul A Bodden Heavy Equipment Service. Other sponsors include Burger King, AMB Construction, A-1 Equipment Rentals, A.L. Thompson’s, Rainbow Realty, Walker’s Road Texaco and Amsoil.
CaySpeed is giving an avenue for Bodden and Hydes to race after the official closure of Breakers Speedway last year. The 1/8 mile track primarily offered drag racing but it had room to encompass circuit racing. Now, the only major avenue for local motorsports is autocross, which stages meets on a monthly basis, with its season-ending Al and Jay Bodden Memorial on 18 November.
Bodden and Hydes state they still have dreams of bringing the circuit championships to Cayman one day.
“We’re hopeful the day will come to host a leg of it with a track and Cayman can field six cars,” Bodden said. “Ultimately, that’s where we want to see Cayman. Hopefully, that’s not in the distant future.”
“It’s not our fault we’re without a track,” Hydes said. “With a track, we could bring in tourism, much like volleyball can with the Seven Mile Public Beach.
“It goes to show what we can do with us never having ran in Cayman. We’re always racing on foreign ground. Imagine if we had our own track to practice on.”