MOTORSPORT


motorsportThe strong pres­ence of motor­sport cul­ture in Bar­ba­dos sur­passes just about everyone’€™s expec­ta­tions. Mod­i­fied cars, bikes and SUV’€™s break up the monot­o­nous sounds of traf­fic that you expect to hear on our lit­tle roads and highways.

There are organ­ised events for ral­ly­ing, kart­ing, cir­cuit rac­ing, four-​wheel-​drive safaris. These include chal­lenges of drift­ing and drag­ging, speed and dex­ter­ity exhibitions.

Believe it or not, motor­sports actu­ally sur­passes cricket for the most pop­u­lar spec­ta­tor sport, draw­ing thou­sands of peo­ple to the dif­fer­ent tracks, courses and stages to take in the action of fast cars and skilled drivers.

Drag­ging and Drifting

Admit­tedly, each of these dif­fer­ent types of motor­sport are the most excit­ing for the spec­ta­tors. That being said, drag­ging and drift­ing is on a com­pletely dif­fer­ent level!

It i€™s about speed, con­trol, quick respon­sive­ness, and of course, putting on a show for the thou­sands of spec­ta­tors. It i€™s only recently that an offi­cial club was formed to rep­re­sent these dri­vers, who before would have no choice but to play with the law by ille­gally drag rac­ing at night.

Drag­ging is a speed event, where two dri­vers go head to head on a long strip fight­ing to reach the fin­ish line first. Engines roar, gears push, excite­ment builds and adren­a­lin races!

Drift­ing is a newer phe­nom­e­non that com­bines flaw­less skill and con­trol. The dri­ver inten­tion­ally over steers to lose trac­tion in the rear wheels through turns, all the while in total con­trol, with a high exit speed. Not sure what to pic­ture? Think: Fast and Furious!

RALLY

Sol Rally BarbadosIt is the motor­sport that put Bar­ba­dos on the map as a force to be reck­oned with. Rally is infa­mous with Bajans, and every year at the end of May, pub­lic roads are closed to make way for the roar­ing machines rac­ing through the island.

Spec­ta­tors posi­tion them­selves on cor­ners stretch­ing all along the island-​wide stage. From as early as 6:00 a.m., per­sons pack their cool­ers and secure the per­fect spots at speed stretches, dan­ger­ous cor­ners and excit­ing jumps and dips.

Rally Bar­ba­dos has grown to be the biggest annual motor­sport event in the Caribbean and now attracts inter­na­tional atten­tion with entrants com­ing from the wider Caribbean and beyond.

KART­ING

Kart­ing is thought of as the ‘€˜nurs­ery school’€™ of motor­sport and is com­monly per­ceived as the step­ping stone to the higher ranks of cir­cuit rac­ing. How­ever, it is still given its due respect as another pop­u­lar spec­ta­tor sport: part of the tra­di­tion of rac­ing in Barbados.

Karts, go-​karts, or gearbox/​shifter karts (the name depends on the design) are small, open, four-​wheeled vehi­cles that are usu­ally raced on scaled-​down circuits.

Race Days for kart­ing, like the oth­ers, are great fam­ily out­ings and the dri­vers can be younger than the road legal age of 16. It i€™s espe­cially excit­ing for the lit­tle ones who like cars and motorsport!

4 X 4 NAV­I­GA­TIONAL AND SAFARIS

Mud Dog Rally-GrannyMud­fests, as they are offi­cially referred to, are all about that — MUD! Four-​wheel drive off-​road vehi­cles manœu­vre through mud and rugged ter­rain in chal­lenges that are all about con­trol. Dri­vers must suc­ceed in doing dif­fi­cult tasks like climb­ing steep, slip­pery mud mounds. For the event, the wet­ter the con­di­tion, the greater of a strug­gle for the dri­ver and the bet­ter the show is for spectators.

In the 4X4 arena, the focus is not on speed. Dri­vers and nav­i­ga­tors are required to first inter­pret the pre-​set route, and suc­cess­fully nav­i­gate their way, all with the rugged ter­rain work­ing against them.

Any­one with a four-​wheel drive jeep or pick-​up can com­pete, but it takes tremen­dous skills to make a mark. The mon­ster trucks and mod­i­fied jeeps are a sight to see, espe­cially if you have never seen one before.

Like all the other motor­sport activ­i­ties, 4×4 nav­i­ga­tional safaris and mud­fest chal­lenges are thrilling spec­ta­tor sports that fall on the cal­en­dar through­out the year. They are def­i­nitely top picks to include in your trip!

RELATED ARTI­CLES
Sports In Bar­ba­dos
Mud Dog Rally
Bar­ba­dos Polo
2013 Turf Club Cal­en­dar Of Events
Cricket
Horse Rac­ing
Cur­rent Edi­tion of Caribbean Dreams Magazine


Arti­cle © Caribbean Dreams Mag­a­zine
Photo #1 © Caribbean Dreams Mag­a­zine
Photo #2 orig­i­nally from Bar­ba­dos Tourism Author­ity — UK
Photo #3 orig­i­nally from adren​a​li​ne​sun​.com

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