FIA Formula 3 Vice Champion Zane Maloney won twice and set new Qualifying and Race Lap Records when he joined the 2022 Radical Caribbean Cup (RCC) as a non-scoring guest driver for its third round in Trinidad & Tobago on Sunday (October 9). As the other race winner, Kristian Boodoosingh gave his home crowd and principal sponsors at the Frankie Boodram Wallerfield International Raceway much to celebrate, collecting maximum championship points to assume the lead of the regional series.
Early-season leader, Guyana’s Kristian Jeffrey, now trails by 15 points, with all to play for in the final round on his home track South Dakota (November 12/13). RCC Champion in 2018, Stuart Maloney of Barbados, climbed from seventh to third in the standings yesterday, after missing the previous round, but is too far behind to challenge for the title. Boodoosingh’s performance also propelled T&T to the head of the Nations Cup, eight points ahead of former leader Guyana, with Barbados third and Jamaica fourth.
Weather played a major role in the Fast Parts Caribbean Circuit Racing Invitational, as officials of the T&T Automobile Sports Association (TTASA) juggled the timetable to fit the maximum possible track time around the frequent, often heavy, showers. It was especially bad early Sunday morning, which combined with a Yellow Alert announced by the T&T Met Office to keep spectator attendance well below normal levels.
Maloney, Jeffrey and ‘Boodoostig’ were the pace-setters whatever the conditions, Maloney’s 37.449s lap in Free Practice late on Saturday the fastest ever by a Suzuki-powered Radical SR3 RS on the 1.4-kilometre circuit. When Qualifying eventually got under way Sunday afternoon, Maloney and Boodosingh swapped provisional pole position times, until Maloney prevailed close to the end of the 15-minute session. His time of 40.196s bettered the previous Qualifying Record set by his uncle Mark in June 2018, with Boodoosingh, Jeffrey and Stuart Maloney all within 1sec. Making his debut in the RCC, T&T’s Zachary Boodram was within 4/1000s of Stuart Maloney’s time, but his best lap was disallowed as his car was underweight, dropping him to eighth.
As the record grid of 13 cars surged forward, Boodoosingh made a stunning start to beat pole-sitter Maloney to turn one, heading the F3 racer across the line at the end of the opening lap. Maloney was soon past, however, and eased away to win by just over 7secs, the highest margin of the day. Boodoosingh was second and Stuart Maloney third having come off best in a three-way battle with his brother Mark and Jeffrey.
Despite scoring just one point for 10th place, Jamaica’s Senna Summerbell was still clinging on to third in the standings; his day had started badly, when he slid off into the barriers at the hairpin in a wet practice session, the bodywork repairs resulting in him missing Qualifying and starting at the back. Two sixth-place finishes in the later races proved to be valuable damage limitation, as he only slipped to fifth in the points by the end of the day.
Sean Maloney, who had been the highest-placed Barbadian ahead of round three, replaced son Zane on pole position in the reversed grid second race – only the top six are switched – hoping to make up for a mid-race spin that dropped him to ninth in the first outing. It was not to be, however, as a first-lap lead turned in to a retirement, with an electrical problem which could not be diagnosed in time for the third race.
Boodoosingh assumed a lead he was not to lose, despite a string of fastest laps bringing Zane Maloney to within 2.3secs at the flag, while title rival Jeffrey suffered his worst result of the season, eighth, after an early tangle with Suleman Esuf left him with damaged steering and Esuf out of the race. Mark Maloney finished third, ahead of son Justin and brother Stuart, 3secs spread across the trio at the flag.
Based on points allocated for the first two races, Zane Maloney was on pole for the final race although his points would be ignored for the championship standings. Boodoosingh, Stuart and Mark Maloney were next, with Jeffrey fifth, eager for a decent score, having now slipped from the series lead. Despite another stirring start from Boodoosingh, the pole-sitter took the lead, although the local driver kept with him, just 2.072secs adrift at the flag. A great battle raged behind, Jeffrey shaking off Justin and Mark Maloney, but finding Stuart Maloney more of a problem. The pair ran in close formation lap after lap, Jeffrey getting ahead briefly on lap five, then again two laps from home, but on lap 14 they came upon a back-marker at the end of the main straight, who inadvertently settled the battle in Maloney’s favour.