Caribbean Motor Racing Championship


Photos compliments Ozzman Photography

Regional motor sport rivalry is nothing new – racing drivers and motorcyclists have fought for supremacy for 60 years or so, something which surprises many outside the Caribbean, who see cricket as the region’s major sport. Not so! Organised motor sport has existed since the 1950s, with travel between the territories common even in the early years . . . long before some marketeer coined the phrase ‘sports tourism’. There was a short-lived Caribbean Championship in the 1970s, when single-seater racing cars were still common, while the current series has been running for a little over two decades. As it is now titled, the Seaboard Marine Caribbean Motor Racing Championship (CMRC) is fought out over four rounds – each is hosted in a different country, Barbados (which joined the CMRC in 2008), Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago, which returned to the series in 2014, after an eight-year absence. The CMRC is administered by the Caribbean Motor Racing Association, comprising representatives of the host nations, with Seaboard Marine as title sponsor. While the support of Seaboard Marine, which trans-ships the competition machinery and parts around the region, is hugely important, there remain those competitors whose budgets prevent them contesting every round, or whose local race schedules clash. A dropped scores system means they can still achieve a worthwhile result – drivers will count their best nine results from the potential total of 12 races.

In 2016, for the first time, there will be no Overall Champion – there will be a CMRC Champion in each of the four car Groups and the Superstocks, with Country Championship titles up for grabs on both four and two wheels. There are four Groups for cars:

Group 4 – these are the elite CMRC racing saloon cars, divided from 2016 into 2wd and 4wd classes, with a year-end Champion in each; although retaining recognisable ‘stock’ appearance, nearly all are purpose-built race cars, with special chassis, unlimited modifications, a maximum capacity of 4500cc and running on full slick racing tyres

Group 3 – introduced in 2015, since when it has seen steady growth, this class has a maximum capacity of 3500cc and also accommodates rotary engines; regulations allow heavily-modified engines and gearboxes, spoilers and wings, the cars run on slick-tyre ‘DOT’ road legal tyres

Group 2 – dating back to 2010, this class has seen some of the fiercest competition of all right from the start. The regulations are similar to those in Group 3, but with a 2000cc capacity limit

Superstock – while the level of, and support for, bike racing differs significantly across the region, a concerted effort to create a sustainable CMRC competition on two wheels is bearing fruit; titled ‘Superstock’, these are 600cc machines, many of which double up as daily riders

Seaboard Marine CMRC 2016

Round 1 – May 21/22, Jamwest Speedway, Jamaica

Round 2 – July 23/24, Wallerfield Raceway, Trinidad & Tobago

Round 3 – September 3/4, Bushy Park, Barbados

Round 4 – November 12/13, South Dakota, Guyana

Winner’s Circle