Campbell joins Barbados Champions for CMRC action in T&T
Motor sport all-rounder Justin Campbell will make his Team Barbados debut in round two of the 2018 Seaboard Marine Caribbean Motor Racing Championship (CMRC) at the Frankie Boodram Wallerfield International Raceway in Trinidad & Tobago (June 23/24). He will join reigning Group Champions Mark Maloney and Mark Thompson, along with Superstock rider Shirley Scantlebury, whose race cars and bike shipped from the Bridgetown Port on Wednesday (June 13).
A winner on both race track and rally stage, Campbell will campaign the Republic Bank/Automotive Art/Five Star Fast Track/Dream Solutions/Hilti/CRT/#RAY BMW M3 in which he finished ninth overall in Sol Rally Barbados 2017, winning the SuperModified 3 class for the second year in a row. Although the ‘Blue Machine’ has rarely been seen racing, Campbell quickly settled back into track action last year, when he won three of his 11 races in the Suzuki Challenge Series Swift Cup, claiming a podium in three more, along with one pole position and three fastest laps.
Campbell is looking forward to his trip: “It will be the first time for both the team and I to participate in an event outside of Barbados and we are really excited and thankful for this opportunity. Our aim is to bring home some points for Barbados and, who knows, we may just take part in the remaining CMRC events.”
Having first raced at Old Bushy Park in 2007 in an earlier M3, he was claiming class wins by 2010, finishing runner-up in Class 3/II at year-end in 2012, with seven wins to his credit over three seasons. In 2013, he returned to rallying, which he describes as “a lot more challenging”, but is eager to compete in as many events as possible this year, having made a late start to the season: “We made some changes to the Blue Machine in the off-season, so the team's plan is to use all these events as testing.”
The two Marks, Maloney and Thompson, are respectively back-to-back Group 4 (2wd) and Gp2 Champions. Maloney’s first title came in 2016, his first after more than a decade contesting the CMRC, missing only a handful of race meets, while Thompson has an even more impressive record in his seven years contesting Gp2, winning the title four times (2012, ’14, ’16 & ‘17) and finishing second (to brother Kurt) in 2013.
Maloney returns to the track to race his Rock Hard Cement/Sign Station/CA Autobody Repairs Mazda RX-3 for the first time since it was engulfed in flames at Bushy Park in March, causing significant damage; he gave it a shakedown at last Sunday’s (June 10) Barbados Auto Racing League (BARL) track day at the St Philip facility.
Thompson heads south with his Glassesco Hardware/Bio Beauty Day Spa Honda Civic, aiming to maintain his strong record at Wallerfield, where he has finished 10 of 12 Gp2 races since the venue returned to the CMRC in 2014. He won all three Gp2 races that year on the way to his second title, with three more victories chalked up since then, including two last year.
Although he only made his competition debut less than four years ago, following the redevelopment of Bushy Park, Scantlebury has played a key role in the efforts being made to revive bike racing in Barbados. He finished runner-up in Bushy Park Motorsports Inc’s (BPMSI) Bike standings last year and has scored points for Team Barbados in its home round of the CMRC since 2015. His trip to Wallerfield aboard his Suzuki GSX-R600, however, will be his first to rep for his home country at an overseas event.
Maloney was the only Team Barbados member to compete in this year’s opening round of the CMRC at Jamwest in Jamaica in May. He claimed pole position for the first-ever race in the CMRC’s new ‘open-class’ Gp5 in his Radical SR3 RSX, then finished second to Jamaica’s Kyle Gregg in all three races, with fellow-Jamaican David Summerbell Jnr third. As no official entry lists have yet been issued by the Trinidad & Tobago Automobile Sports Association (TTASA), the organiser at Wallerfield, it is not clear what competition he might have, but Maloney’s Gp5 Radical is also there ready to race.
Barbados is currently fifth of the seven territories that have so far scored points in the Country standings, with a very strong chance of moving up the order before round three of the CMRC is staged at Bushy Park (September 1/2).