CMRC: Mark Vieira, Truelove take pole position in Barbados
(Reporting and Photography by Akeem Greene in Barbados)
Team Guyana is sending a strong message that they mean business at the third round of the Caribbean Motor Racing Championships (CMRC) currently being staged at Bushy Park, Barbados, by taking pole position in two races, compliments of Mark Vieira and Matt Truelove.
At Saturday’s practice and qualifying sessions, the experienced Vieira was ice-cool amidst the high temperatures, but smoking hot on the track with clinical handling of his Mazda RX-8, which gave him pole position in Group Four.
He clocked a best time of 1:02.140, just pipping Bajan Orry Hunte, who clocked 1:02.232 and Doug Maloney (1.02.909). Veteran Andrew King and his ionic RX-7 looked well-oiled, despite him clocking 1.03.115. Throw the host’s superstar Mark Maloney and his RX-3 into the mix and Group Four promises great excitement on Sunday.
British professional rider, Truelove, who rides under the Team Mohamed’s Enterprise banner, once again distanced himself from the pack with seamless performance on the custom-built Yamaha.
Truelove’s best was 1:02.937 and there are talks of him possibly going after Bryce Prince’s lap record (1:01.910) achieved last year. His brother Harry Truelove, who was a late addition to the team, looked equally impressive and capable of doing serious damage on race day since many times in qualifying it was a bit of a cat and mouse battle with the duo in front; Harry’s best was 1.03.726.
2016 CMRC champion Matthew Vieira once again made the most of his machine and was third in qualifying with 1:05.218. Raveiro Tucker, on his maiden tour to Bushy Park, was seventh with 1:12.212.
Tucker had challenges getting used to the expansive track, which has numerous turns and found it difficult pushing for speed and still getting good breaking distance. However, he changed a sprocket after qualifying and is now confident he can challenge for a spot on the podium.
The other Guyanese contender is Group Two driver Rameez Mohamed, who had niggling mechanical issues throughout the day with his Honda Civic, but still managed to place third in Group Two with a time of 1:12.966. Trinidadians Marc Gill (1:10.106) and Justin Sanguinette (1:10.397) are the two ahead of Mohamed on the grid.
Action gets underway on Sunday with the Group Two action at 11:30h.