T&T Team Tigers head to Guyana for final round of SeaBoard Marine CMRC 2014

T&T Team Tigers head to Guyana for final round of SeaBoard Marine CMRC 2014

Trinidad & Tobago Team Tigers arrive in Guyana this week for the final round of the 2014 Seaboard Marine Caribbean Motor Racing Championship (CMRC) with a real chance of driving off with the coveted Country Championship title . . . if our team does pull it off, it will be a tremendous achievement in the T&T’s first season back in the CMRC for many years.

After the opening round at the redeveloped Bushy Park in Barbados in July, where the Tigers started to pick up valuable points, it was the Trinidad & Tobago Automobile Sports Association’s (TTASA) Return to Wallerfield in August which propelled the team into the lead. Just 12 points covers the top three in the Country Championship – T & T 308, Guyana 297 and Barbados 296 – and that means it really is Game On! this weekend.

These days, points scored by the ‘Big Guns’ in Group 4 are combined with those from Group 2 to arrive at the Country Championship total, and there will be strong competition in both classes, with three races each on Sunday . . . and there will definitely be more than one nervous team manager, calculator in hand, pacing up and down pit lane as each race is run!

In Group 4, where it will be important to rack up the points, T & T is fielding four cars: Guyana’s Paul Vieira of Guyana will again race for T & T, driving his former Carib RX-7, now owned by the Deen family, in the colours of D’s Car Boutique / Redline Oil, with Ravi Singh, a multiple Group Champion in Guyana, adding rotary support in his Presidential sponsored RX-7.

A pair of Mitsubishi Lancer Evos complete the team – Kristian Boodoosingh and the experienced Gerard Carrington, both of whom will be looking for reliability to boost their challenge. While young ‘BoodooStig’ raced at South Dakota for the first time last year in the Total Lubricants / Carl Suchit Wrecking Evo 6.5, Carrington is returning to regional racing after an absence; the former ‘hatchback’ Evo/Colt has now been replaced by an Innovative Security Technologies sponsored Evo VIII, which had a stunning change of livery in readiness for this weekend. Franklyn Boodram unfortunately will not be competing, though he did use the practice day at Wallerfield to gain some much need seat time in his much talked about Renault Megane Trophy citing both lack of seat time and incorrect suspension as the reason die missing the 2014 Guyana event. He said he will be competing at all the CRMC events in 2015.

The Team Tigers task will not be easy, but a steady haul of Country Championship points is vital. The Guyana Motor Racing & Sports Club (GMR&SC) is fielding a strong ‘home team’, led by current CMRC points leader Kristian Jeffery and his father Kevin in their famous Evo IXs – ‘Bush Calf’ as beget by ‘Bush Cow’ – with regional legend Mark Vieira (RX-8) and Danny Persaud adding strength in depth, Persaud having already proved the worth of his unusual Toyota-powered Mazda Miata at Bushy Park and Wallerfield this year.

Two other entries in Group 4 give cause for thought, however, as two former CMRC Champions return – Jamaica’s David Summerbell Jnr is appearing for the first time in CMRC 2014 in his multi-title-winning Evo VIII, while 2008 Champion Stuart Maloney of Barbados will drive his father Doug’s Audi A4 quattro . . . fasten your seat belts, it could be a bumpy ride!

In Group 2, T & T faces a rather more uphill task, but there are still points to be had toward that all-important Country Championship. With four wins from six races, Mark Thompson of Barbados looks set to win the Seaboard Marine CMRC Group 2 title for the second time in three years, his cause helped by the absence of his closest challenger, Jamaica’s Kyle Gregg, also third-placed Yazid Ali . . . and that leaves Marc Gill and Shairaz Mohamed as the only drivers capable of surpassing Thompson’s total.

This is not to suggest that the Group 2 Championship is lacking in competition, however. In the six races so far run, no fewer than eight different drivers have finished in podium positions, with at least one from each of the participating nations.

After the ‘usual suspects’ dominated the opening races at Bushy Park, when the Group 2 gird reassembled at Wallerfield in August, it looked very different; there was no Kyle Gregg, fellow Jamaican Vivian Mitchell’s Civic was delayed on a wharf in Miami, only Thompson and Quincy Jones came from Barbados, while Guyana was represented by Shairaz Roshandin and Andre Dhanraj . . . all of which opened the field up for a strong showing from Trinidad’s finest! And they delivered . . . while a clean sweep for Thompson moved him ahead of the absent Gregg in the Driver’s Championship – his performance also a major contribution to his homeland’s points tally, T & T’s Yazid Ali (Civic) added three top four finishes to his results from round one to climb to third in the standings.

Another impressive home town performance came from Marc Gill (Marine Safety Equipment Civic), three podium finishes bringing him into the table in fourth place, as Roshandin (Civic) slipped to fifth, only scoring points for second place in the opening race.

T & T’s Group 2 challenge will be boosted this weekend by the Speedway team of Frankie Boodram, driving the Honda Civic in which son Franklyn has been competing of late, now replaced by a Ford Fiesta out of the UK that is still being re-worked. Haresh Nanan (HN Racing / AM Hardware Nissan Sentra) will help with the Country Championship points-scoring, so just anything could happen!

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