Abbott, Catwell, Husbands join Suzuki Challenge Series winners

James Abbott, son of the co-founder of Radical Sportscars, and local racers Kyle Catwell and Kenrick ‘Snappa’ Husbands all entered winners row for the first time in the Suzuki Challenge Series on Sunday (May 8), when the action was fought out in front of a huge crowd at the inaugural Barbados Festival of Speed at Bushy Park.

During a programme of entertainment ranging from Micro Bangers to Monster Trucks, three-time Formula 1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton did demonstration runs in a Petronas AMG Mercedes F1 W04 in both dry and alarmingly-wet conditions; on a day fans will remember for a long time, he spent an hour signing autographs and gave four lucky prize-winners the ride of a lifetime in the passenger seat of a Radical SR3.

Suleman Esuf claimed his second SR3 Cup pole position in a hard-fought Qualifying session on Saturday. Stuart Maloney, three times a winner at Easter Monday's first round, was Q2, with brothers Sean and Mark behind, all covered by just under six-tenths of a second. Trinidad & Tobago's David Coelho claimed his highest grid position, fifth, with English teenager Jack Manchester sixth. (Photos by Kevin Wood)

Suleman Esuf claimed his second SR3 Cup pole position in a hard-fought Qualifying session on Saturday. Stuart Maloney, three times a winner at Easter Monday’s first round, was Q2, with brothers Sean and Mark behind, all covered by just under six-tenths of a second. Trinidad & Tobago’s David Coelho claimed his highest grid position, fifth, with English teenager Jack Manchester sixth. (Photos by Kevin Wood)

Abbott, whose father Phil was on hand to share in his success, started the first race at the back of the southern grid and quickly became embroiled in a battle with SR3 Cup newcomer Kristian Jeffrey of Guyana, Jeffrey’s fellow-countryman Calvin Ming, who had some ‘new-car’ issues, and David Simpson.

This group swapped places back and forth, the best battle of the race, Simpson eventually finishing seventh, ahead of Ming, Abbott and Jeffrey. At the sharp end of the field, Esuf led from lights to flag, although under constant pressure, while the top six remained in qualifying order.

With the grid for race two based on the reverse of qualifying, Abbott started on pole, and made the best of it, on a track drying out after a rain shower. He led from lights to flag, keeping ahead of an intense battle between Jeffrey and Mark Maloney, in which the Guyanese eventually prevailed, after losing second place for the middle portion of the race. Having started at the back of the grid after switching to his older-spec SR3, Calvin Ming fought through to split the battling duo for third place on the last lap, but was later disqualified for overtaking under yellows.

That promoted Mark Maloney to third, with Esuf fourth – moving him up to second in the points table – ahead of Stuart Maloney and Coelho. Jack Manchester was on course for a career-best fourth, but his race ended in a gravel trap after contact with Ming.

Having missed the first two rounds of the Swift Cup at Easter, Jamaica’s David Summerbell Jnr (Team Simpson Finance) was on good form, claiming pole position by just one-tenth from points leader Ryan Wood (Team Digicel), with Husbands (Team Williams Industries) and Josh Read (Team Massy United Insurance) on row two. In the closest qualifying session yet, all 12 cars were covered by just 1.1secs.

Husbands made a good start, to tuck in behind Summerbell, chased by ‘Woody’, Read, Jason Parkinson (Team Infra Rentals/Sol) and Arron Parris (Team RBC). On the fourth lap out of eight, however, the Jamaican missed a gear, the slight loss of momentum sufficient for Husbands to rocket past and on to his first Swift Cup win. Summerbell held on for second, with Wood, Read and ‘Parky’ completing the top six.

For the reverse grid second race, based on Qualifying, Carlos Edwards (Team Rock Hard Cement) and Martinique’s Pascal Calvel (Team Suzuki) sat on the front row, ahead of Daryl Clarke (Team Digicel), who had missed the Easter weekend, and Catwell (Team ICBL). On a wet track, following a heavy shower, Catwell shot off the southern grid in determined mood, grasping a lead he would never lose by the end of the opening lap. Edwards initially held second place, but was demoted in turn by Wood and Clarke, as the Digicel team-mates claimed the other podium places, leaving Edwards, Parkinson and Barry Gale (Team Gale’s Agro Products) completing the top six.

Suzuki Challenge Series, Swift Cup round 3 (May 8)

Race 1: 1st Kenrick Husbands (Team Williams Industries); 2nd David Summerbell Jr – JAM (Team Simpson Finance); 3rd Ryan Wood (Team Digicel); 4th Josh Read (Team Massy United Insurance); 5th Jason Parkinson (Team Infra Rentals/Sol); 6th Arron Parris (Team RBC); 7th Daryl Clarke (Team Digicel); 8th Barry Gale (Team Gale’s Agro Products); 9th Pascal Calvel – MTQ (Team Suzuki); 10th Kyle Catwell (Team ICBL); 11th Kristian Jeffrey – GUY (Team Suzuki); 12th Carlos Edwards (Team Rock Hard Cement)

Race 2: 1st Catwell; 2nd Clarke; 3rd Wood; 4th C Edwards; 5th Parkinson; 6th B Gale; 7th Read; 8th Husbands; 9th Calvel; 10th Parris; 11th Summerbell; 12th Jeffrey

Points after round 3: 1st Wood 143 points; 2nd Parkinson 118pts; 3rd Read 105pts; 4th Dane Skeete (Team Simpson Finance) 77pts; 5th Husbands 69pts; 6th Ryan Peyrau – T&T (Team Suzuki) 63pts; 7th Catwell 55pts; 8th Parris 48pts; 9th C Edwards 38pts; 10th Clarke 24pts; 11th Summerbell 18pts; 12th Calvel 18pts; 13th Derek Edwards (Team Digicel) 15pts; 14th B Gale 12pts; 15th Freddie Gale (Team Gale’s Agro Products) 4pts

Suzuki Challenge Series, SR3 Cup round 2 (May 8)

Race 1: 1st Suleman Esuf; 2nd Stuart Maloney; 3rd Sean Maloney; 4th Mark Maloney; 5th David Coelho – T&T; 6th Jack Manchester – ENG; 7th David Simpson; 8th Calvin Ming – GUY; 9th James Abbott – ENG; 10th Kristian Jeffrey – GUY

Race 2: 1st Abbott; 2nd Jeffrey; 3rd M Maloney; 4th Esuf; 5th Stuart Maloney; 6th Coelho; dnf Simpson, Manchester, Sean Maloney; dq Ming
Points after round 2: 1st Stuart Maloney 103 points; 2nd Esuf 76pts; 3rd M Maloney 75pts; 4th Sean Maloney 61pts; 5th Simpson 38pts; 6th Abbott 27pts; 7th Jeffrey 19pts; 8th Coelho 18pts; 9th Manchester 8pts; 10th Ming 4pts

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