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Barbados plans $multi-million motor-racing complex

Posted By: Duane 3NE 2NR25/06/102 Comments;
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This article was sent to us by user Edmund Fernandes and was taken from the Barbados Today newspaper
http://www.barbadostoday.bb/

By Roy R. Morris

Barbados is getting ready to unveil a multi-million dollar motor racing venture that could change the face of sports tourism here and in the Eastern Caribbean.

In a venture that apparently has the backing in principle of the sports international governing body, Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), a number of local interests, under the umbrella of the Barbados Motoring Federation, are completing plans for an international standard track and related facilities that would accommodate Formula 3 racing at Bushy Park in St. Philip.

Speaking with Barbados TODAY from Brazil this morning, Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy confirmed that he met this week with international track design consultant Clyde Bowen, who is working with the local fraternity to complete the proposal.

“We are extremely enthusiastic about this venture,” Sealy said. “This is a project with massive potential. When we talk about international sports in Barbados, cricket and golf come to mind, but when the world talks about international sport motor racing is at the top of the list – it is at the head of the pack.

“Anyone who has been to Homestead, Florida when Nascar racing is on, or in Miami when there is a Grand Prix on, knows that it is impossible to find a hotel room. If we are able to pull this off we will take sports tourism in Barbados to a whole new level.”

He noted that Government had seen the potential of the project and a number of key players, including Minister of Sports Stephen Lashley and Minister of Housing and Lands Michael Lashley, were already involved in ensuring that the necessary supports were in place.

According to Barbados TODAY investigations, the popularity of motor racing in Barbados and the tremendous public support for the sport have contributed in no small measure to the project’s success so far. One source explained that an international racing official, who attended a local event a few years ago was so overwhelmed by what he saw that he suggested to FIA that Barbados was the perfect place for the its next major move.

FIA, Barbados TODAY was told, committed $800,000 to a study, on the condition that the local fraternity throw in $200,000, which it did. As recently as a month ago, six consultants were in Barbados putting the finishing touches on a number of alternative proposals.

“Right now though, it looks like we will be going with an international standard Grade Three circuit that can accommodate up to Formula 3 racing, along with a drag strip and a host of other facilities. There will be nothing like it in this part of the world!

“We are designing a facility that will be targeted at bringing international racing to Barbados and that will enhance tourism in a big way. We are talking about something that will establish Barbados as an international centre for motor sports. This is a project that will earn major foreign exchange for Barbados,” a source connected to the project said.

While declining to give the possible cost of the project on the grounds that that would depend on the final proposal adopted, the source said it would be a multi-million dollar investment.

Barbados TODAY has also learnt that the tourism component of the project would involve the construction of specialty villas/apartment that would allow international drivers and owners to bring in their racing cars and house them in top class conditions with all necessary facilities at their finger tips.

There is also mention of the planned renovation on www.apexcircuitdesign.co.uk
Thanks to Peter Morris for contributing this link

Bushy Park, Barbados

Bushy-Park

Location: Barbados

Circuit type: FIA Grade 3

Length: 2.5 km

Clive Bowen was invited in 2005 by Ralph ‘Bizzy’ Williams to oversee the season finale of the Bajan saloon car championship at Bushy Park, an event which attracted 15,000 spectators. He was brought in to the country to review the circuit’s options to upgrade the 1971 built track to a minimum FIA Category 3 status. The land for the site is currently under control by receivers and the opportunity to develop the facility for future motorsport is in question. One thing is certain; there is no doubt about public support for motorsport in Barbados or the willingness of those in the sport to see the circuit upgraded. Ongoing discussions between Clive Bowen and Bajan authorities maintain hope for the future of the circuit even as recently as May 2008.

21 Responses to “Barbados plans $multi-million motor-racing complex”

  1. User avatar

    Lucian-2nr

    Jun 25th, 2010

    :shock: :shock:

    *packs bags*

  2. User avatar

    eliteauto

    Jun 25th, 2010

    if they are successful, I say congrats to them on having major foresight

  3. User avatar

    Mr Gear

    Jun 25th, 2010

    evolucian wrote:
    :shock: :shock:

    *packs bags*

    Yo!! Back down and join the line… it starts behind me.

    Seriously, I can see myself having a second home in Barbados because of their serious motor sport culture. Hopefully the track would be sufficiently challenging to be mentioned in the realm of nurburgring so that it would encourage manufacturers to send engineers and prototypes for testing at their track.

    Great move Barbados! Congrats !

    Oh by the way. BOO TTASA BOO !!

  4. User avatar

    UML

    Jun 25th, 2010

    someone please forward this to our Minister of Sports..nice to keep him informed

  5. User avatar

    SR

    Jun 26th, 2010

    its called thinking outside the box

    TOURISM

  6. User avatar

    lostboys crew

    Jun 26th, 2010

    Well at least Barbados smart…..big benefits in having a world class racing track in your backyard. Imagine having a 24hrs of The Caribbean :D :D :D

  7. User avatar

    Sheik

    Jun 27th, 2010

    Well done Mr sealy!

  8. User avatar

    civicman

    Jun 27th, 2010

    did anil roberts not say the samething for triniadad
    as part of his plan for sport tourism

  9. User avatar

    Mr Gear

    Jun 27th, 2010

    Say vs Do.

    Calculate the difference.

  10. User avatar

    wagonrunner

    Jun 27th, 2010

    Mr Gear wrote:
    Oh by the way. BOO TTASA BOO !!

    nah man.
    I say Congrats.
    After starting before Barbados. and being THE authority for over four decades.
    Congrats, should be in order on the splendid job they’ve done so far. And the willingness to perform the same in the future, as seen by their refusal to step aside, could only mean four plus more decades of same, once THEY continue.
    They only change they voted for, would be the gate revenue in the car trunk which is to be tallied eventually.

  11. User avatar

    rallyman

    Jun 30th, 2010

    Doesn’t look like they are planning any major change to the overall layout of Bush Park as it currently exists. The circuit will still be extremely short. see:

    http://www.apexcircuitdesign.co.uk/projects/motorsport-projects/

    Trinidad still has an opportunity to develop a great circuit at Wallerfield along the lines of mixed use circuits in several parts of Europe.

  12. User avatar

    Conrad

    Jun 30th, 2010

    Embarassed to be a Trini. Bajans would never let Trinis live this down if it pulls through.

  13. User avatar

    Duane 3NE 2NR

    Jun 30th, 2010

    ^ Hey Peter (rallyman)

    unfortunately it seems that Wallerfield isn’t really available to motorsport though.

    The Minister of Trade and Industry stated it made sense to continue the tech park being done at Wallerfield/Tamana Park.

    The contracts tied up in there are also a hindrance to racing returning there. The circuit track has a road with drains and pavement over it and Alutrint Building just adjacent to the "Frankie Boodram corner" hairpin

    —————————————

    The new circuit at Bushy Park will be almost twice as long!

    the current Bushy park is this 1.3km long (thanks to Robin Bradford for the info)
    Image

    and the proposed one is 2.5km long
    Image

  14. User avatar

    RoTaRyBoYz

    Jun 30th, 2010

    ^ If that’s the case, then what’s next in terms of location etc?

    Looks like the Campaign talk got a hard dose of reality once Anil took office and saw the whole picture.

  15. User avatar

    rallyman

    Jun 30th, 2010

    I don’t see the two activities at Wallerfield being unable to work together. I raced many times on Belgian tracks constructed on similar estates – and look what they do at Monaco. It just needs to be designed in a suitable way with removable armco etc.

    In any case, the land area at Wallerfield (around 850 acres) is far too large for eTeck to be able to develop all of it in less than 50 years – Motorsports just needs a reasonable area of around 75 acres allocated for its use for a reasonable period – say 20 year lease.

    Once that can be done the funds required for development can be obtained if the project is professionally managed. Years ago when we last tried to do something I was able without too much trouble to raise almost TT$6 million for track development – but this cannot be done without some tenure on the land.

    With the current downturn in construction activity due to the change of Government, this is an ideal time to progress a project of this nature – once there is a will to proceed on the part of those in charge.

  16. User avatar

    ryansouthman

    Jun 30th, 2010

    I’m moving!

  17. User avatar

    Duane 3NE 2NR

    Jun 30th, 2010

    @rallyman, you would know the potential of Wallerfield alot better than I would.

    any chance of us seeing what was proposed by yourself and other AutoSport partners back then?
    I got a glimpse of it some years ago but I would like to see it again if ever possible.
    even if its just to mull over.

    WRT to Bushy Park, I edited my reply earlier:
    The new circuit at Bushy Park will be almost twice as long. The cirrent track is 1.3km and the proposed layout will be 2.5km long.

    @RoTaRyBoYz right now the minister is open to suggestions for a new location!

  18. User avatar

    Damien

    Jun 30th, 2010

    why camden was taken away?

  19. User avatar

    rallyman

    Jun 30th, 2010

    The design previously proposed would be too intrusive into areas now being used for buildings, but there is so much land it would be fairly simple to allocate other areas that can easily be developed for motorsport.

    If there is any real will to have a proper motorsport facility then the Government can take action at little or no cost and the benefits to everyone could be great. Right now I am not seeing anything happening and this is a shame.

  20. User avatar

    Duane 3NE 2NR

    Jun 30th, 2010

    ^ there is also talk that there are payments still pending to the contractors at Wallerfield and this would further complicate matters, especially if the contractors were to go to court.

    perhaps Camden is a viable alternative?
    It was taken away due to conflicts between motor racing activity and Briko, as Camden is still an active airfield. I am not sure if it can be made available again.

    Then there is also Waterloo but it will cost the most to develop because there is currently nothing there but land.

    be sure to take a look at the video clips from the meeting last night regarding moving forward with a new facility
    http://www.trinituner.com/v3/forums/viewtopic.php?p=4617999&f=4#p4617999

  21. User avatar

    W2J

    Sep 6th, 2010

    remember this statement

    “The FIA is looking to bring A1 Auto Racing to this region and if we do not act quickly countries such as Barbados would steal this opportunity from us.

    “Barbados has made motor racing their number one priority to attract tourism and their “Barbados Rally Carnival” attracts thousands of people from the Caribbean and from Europe,” said Ali.

    http://www.newsday.co.tt/sport/0,60702.html

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