British sports car manufacturer Caterham Cars will round off its 50th Anniversary year in 2023 with a unique race meeting at Bushy Park Barbados. The Caterham Caribbean Cup, supported by Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc (BTMI) ran from Friday to Sunday, November 24 to 26, bringing its special brand of wheel-to-wheel racing to the region for the first time.
This non-championship event, falling two months after Caterham Motorsport’s season has ended, will be a fitting climax to a spectacular season. The race schedule will already have included events at Zandvoort in Holland and Portimao in Portugal, while Caterhams will race on the supporting programme of the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship for the first time, in front of huge spectator numbers and with live television coverage, as the Caterham Seven Championship UK (CSCUK) finishes at Silverstone in late September.
After that, teams will start making preparations for their first trip to the Caribbean, where a packed weekend of action is planned. Friday will be given over to a full day of open pit-lane testing to allow the visitors to get a handle on the 2.01-kilometres of Bushy Park’s International Circuit. Then the next two days will feature two 20-minute qualifying sessions, four 20-minute Sprint Races and two one-hour Endurance Races, one of which will be run under floodlights.
The event, dubbed ‘CC23‘, is open to 270R, 310R and 420R (or CSCUK) spec vehicles to maintain a level playing field. Spaces are limited to just 24 cars, with priority entry given to competitors already racing in Caterham’s championships, but there is also a two-driver option to make the event as accessible as possible and encourage wide participation.
It is now 65 years since a lively little two-seater sports car called the Lotus Seven was built by Colin Chapman, whose Lotus Formula 1 team would later win seven Formula 1 Constructors’ titles and six Drivers’ Championships. Chapman’s desire to enable owners to experience the joy and pride of building their own car and then take it on track was based on the mantra “Simplify, then add lightness”. Caterham, which acquired the rights to build and develop the Seven from Chapman in 1973, still adheres to that original philosophy. With a line-up of models that range in power from 125bhp to 310bhp, with each car weighing just over 500kg, Caterham’s range of eight Seven variants features something for every taste and every level of driving experience.
In terms of motor sport, Caterham has become the UK’s largest family of factory championships. There are five factory series from the Academy for novices to the CSCUK for experts, boasting some of the closest and most exciting races imaginable on the finest circuits, to which they will now add Bushy Park.