Barnes steps down to focus on racing
Scott “Skitchy” Barnes has stepped down as the Bermuda Karting Club president after five years at the helm, insisting: “It’s time to focus on my racing.”
Barnes, who has been replaced by Bilal Binns, a Tag Senior driver, said he is proud of his accomplishments during his presidency — but believes it is time to hand over the reins.
“Just to see the club grow and the new members coming in every year — that’s been the highlight for me,” Barnes said.
“That and the four Grands Prix, three in Dockyard and going back to Hamilton, really stick out for me.”
Barnes, 33, won two of his three classes this past season — the Shifters and the L206 — and is looking forward to focusing solely on driving, although he will remain on the race committee.
“It’s hard to race three classes and be president,” said Barnes, who succeeded Jason “Skuzzie” North as president in 2013.
“I do it because I love the club; that’s why I’ve always done it. But it’s time for me to step back and get three championships rather than two.
“I need a year off to concentrate on my racing and to see if I can do better next season. These young kids are getting faster so I need to concentrate on my karts.”
Binns, who has been racing for three years, is the ideal replacement, according to Barnes.
“It’s hard to find a replacement because nobody really wants it, but I managed to talk Bilal into it!” Barnes said. “I think he’s going to be a good president and he’s got a lot of support behind him.”
Binns, 39, said he is excited about the challenge and is determined to build on the solid foundation laid by his predecessor.
“I consider myself a leader and from the minute I got involved with the club I knew one day I’d be president,” Binns said.
“I’m very excited about the challenge, but I know it won’t be an easy job. I’ll do the job to the best of my ability.”
Binns added: “I’ll be looking to grow the club, increase the L206 class and we’re hopefully starting an ‘arrive and drive’ programme with the rentals. I’m excited to see where the club can go in the coming year. I’ll still be driving, although I’ll have multiple roles this year. I’ll have my hands full!”
The BKC held their end-of-season awards at Ocean View Golf Course on Saturday night, with Nile Bean winning the Cadet class title ahead of second-place Nathan DeCosta and Jacob Hines in third.
“I’d like to thank everyone I raced against this season,” Bean said. “It wouldn’t feel this good if I hadn’t raced against them.”
In the Tag Seniors, Blake Horseman took first, with North coming second and Barnes third.
Jeff Sousa finished first in the L206 Masters to claim his second successive title, with Travis Lewis second and Bobby DaCosta third.
In the L206 Seniors, Barnes took top spot, beating off challenges from Simos Charalambous in second and Michael Fontanetta in third.
Two female drivers finished on the podium in the Tag Juniors, with Jorja Thomas taking second and Ashley Horseman placing third. Ryan Burgess, who also picked up the top junior award, was the runaway winner of the class.
Barnes claimed his second class title in the Shifters, with Ryan Rebello coming second and Ryan Lopes third.
“It’s been awesome racing against all of the Shifter drivers this year,” Barnes added. “The up-and-coming drivers are not making it easy for me and I’m looking forward to next year.”
Other awards went to Blake Horseman for winning the highest number of points in a class, while Richard Walker-Talbot picked up the Good Sportsmanship award.
Burgess was named the Most Dominant Junior Driver, Thomas was deemed the Most Improved Driver, and Jayden Malpas claimed the Rookie of the Year award.
Barnes and North were also recognised for winning ten or more class titles during their BKC careers.
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