Longest track in series history for Red Bull GRC Barbados
Red Bull Global Rallycross returns to Bushy Park Barbados next week (October 3/4) with a brand new course layout, the longest and fastest in series history. At 1.1208 miles long, it is the first track to run for more than a mile; with the addition of two new passing zones via track design and a ‘camelback‘ jump – cars will fly over two jumps in succession – the new course should only serve to improve upon a venue that produced some of the best racing in last year’s Red Bull GRC season.
Drivers will once again launch from the drag racing start pad onto the Clubhouse Straight, where they will reach speeds in excess of 130mph before approaching the slight left-hand turn one and a pair of right-hand corners; these three corners are known locally as the Kink, Digicel Hammer and Shak-Shak and are all elements of the original 1970s Bushy Park layout, which were retained in the recent redevelopment.
Turn four – Ready Mix Paddock – will see the pack head into the expanded back section of the course in front of the Automotive Art Pits Complex, where drivers will look to make passes in turns six and seven, using the southern kart link on to the eastbound centre straight.
The loose surface section of the course begins in turn eight – the Courtesy Dipper – where drivers will once again encounter coquina, or crushed coral. The right-hand turn nine will lead them into the unique camelback jump, which will see drivers fly over coquina and paved jumps back-to-back, before ducking into turn 10. Turns 11 and 12 – the Sesash Hairpin and Cockspur Cyclone – will see drivers rejoin the standard Bushy Park road course, as they make their way back to the finish line.
On the Kobalt Tools Joker Lap, drivers will bypass turns nine and 10 for an alternate, paved layout through the Banks Esses, before rejoining the course in turn 11. As was the case in Los Angeles, the Kobalt Tools Joker Lap will be closed for the first lap of every heat, semi-final, last chance qualifier and main event.
Last year’s first visit of Red Bull Global Rallycross was hosted as part of Top Gear Festival Barbados, with just Supercar action spread across two days, running alongside TGF’s other attractions. This year, there will be a full programme of Red Bull GRC action, as the event is not only a double-header, with Saturday and Sunday separate rounds of the Championship, but the addition of feeder category GRC Lites increases the on-track action almost two-fold. A programme of approaching 30 races includes heats and semi-finals, last chance qualifiers and main events, with practice and qualifying adding up to 15 hours of on-track action over the weekend, with Driver Introductions, Medal Ceremonies, post-Final interviews and autograph sessions all helping connect with fans.
With only the 12th and final round to follow – at Las Vegas on November 4 – and the points so close at the sharp end of both Supercar and GRC Lites, the Bushy Park double-header might prove to be a championship-deciding weekend.