Matthew Vieira looking to build on CMRC momentum
By Avenash Ramzan
At the tender age of 19, Guyanese Matthew Vieira stunned the competition in the second leg of the Seaboard Marine’s Caribbean Motor Racing Championship (CMRC) in Trinidad and Tobago, copping three wins from three starts. The Superbike rider is now looking to build on the momentum ahead of the final two legs in Barbados and Guyana.
Competing at the championship for the second year, young Matthew chalked up valuable points, leaving the twin-island republic with a clean slate. Notably, race favourite Stephen “Valentino Rossi” Vieira of Guyana had to settle for second spot on each occasion.
It was a major achievement for Matthew, who said that while he had expectations of doing well, he never envisaged winning all three races.
“Honestly, no I didn’t. No, because Stephen is a really great rider and a really hard guy to beat. He’s really fast all the time- all the races and all the tracks we’re ridden on, he’s the fastest, so it was really hard to beat him,” Matthew pointed out.
He continued, “It was an awesome feeling because I wasn’t expecting that [to win all three races]. Of course, I went there confident to win or try to win, but I wasn’t expecting that. That track took a lot out of me to ride, because it was really exhausting- 12 laps were a lot, so when I looked back and saw him [Stephen] at the back there; it was the best feeling ever.”
Matthew was competing on the Wallerfield track for the first time, and he did admit that it provided a real challenge for him, as the course is vastly different from South Dakota in Guyana.
“The Trinidad and Tobago track is a very complicated track. From the map it looks normal, but when you actually get there, the corners actually invite you to get in fast and when you get in fast you actually miss them. It’s a really high-speed track,” Matthew related.
He added, “Our track is basically a box, but it has a combination of corners that actually improve the riders’ skills. Over there [Trinidad] it was really hard, because in Guyana we just do 10 laps and the track is small, so it doesn’t take much out of you, but that track [in Trinidad] was very exhausting.”
Matthew, who is the son of experienced Group Four race car driver Mark Vieira, is now second on the overall points standing in the Superbike category. He is on 105 points, 17 behind Stephen Vieira in first spot.
“Well basically I’m 17 points behind Stephen Vieira because he won in Jamaica and I actually fell down a race, so that’s like 20 points down. Right now, I’m just trying to recover as much points as possible and hope to go to Barbados and compete for the [overall] victory,” Matthew explained.
Meanwhile, Guyana is in third spot on the leaderboard on 276 points, behind leaders Trinidad and Tobago on 799 and Jamaica on 465. Barbados, who will host the next leg on September 4 in Bushy Park, is fourth on 202 points.
On the individual side, Jamaican Doug Gore leads the Group Four 4-wheel drive with 136 points, followed by Kyle Greg on 43 points and Kristian Boodoosingh of Trinidad and Tobago on 30 points, while in the Group Four 2-wheel drive, Barbadian Mark Maloney (118) has a 10-point lead over Jamaican Peter Rae (108). Franklin Boodram of Trinidad and Tobago is third on 102 points.
Paul Vieira of Trinidad and Tobago leads the Group Three race with 125 points, followed by Guyanese Danny Persaud on 66, while in the Group Two, Trinidadian Luke Bhola (93) is in the lead, 18 points ahead of countryman, Mark Williams (75). Sebastian Rae of Jamaica is third on 55 points.
The final leg is set for November in Guyana.
Cover photo caption: Matthew Vieira with the chequered flag (Gerrard Wilson Photography)