President ready for another awesome Dockyard experience
Bermuda Karting Club is ready to put pedal to the metal as it prepares for the second Keen Ltd Dockyard Grand Prix Street Race next weekend.
After the breakthrough of the inaugural event in late 2013 and success of the Hamilton Grand Prix — the first for 12 years — last year, president Scott “Skitchy” Barnes cannot wait to join the other drivers on the starting grid.
The upcoming race days on March 14 and 15 will feature action from the TAG, Shifter, and Junior classes as well as a new addition for 2015: a Bermuda Motorcycle Racing Club category featuring 90cc bikes.
There will be viewing areas all around the track, which circuits the Clocktower Mall, and spectators can expect to see the Shifters hit 60mph down the straight.
“I love putting on these events as president and as a racer for the public,” Barnes said. “To me, it's all about the public No 1, giving them a show and showing them what karting is all about in Bermuda.
“Drivers get excited because normally we have 50 spectators on any given Sunday at Southside, but we're talking about a couple of thousand that come out to these events to help showcase our sport, which is awesome.”
The compact nature of the Dockyard circuit adds to the entertainment value, Barnes said.
“Dockyard is a small track. It's really tight so spectator wise it's awesome because there are always karts coming around — there is always something to watch,” he said. “For the drivers, you have to be on your game because there is no room for error. You make one little mistake and you're bending something. You have to be on your A-game for sure as a driver.”
Converting sceptical sections of the public to the merits of kart racing is another aspect of the event the president relishes — and he believes a lot of people are taken aback at the speed and skill required.
“You talk to a lot of people that don't know about karting and they think of little fun karts, but I had a lot feedback after the first Dockyard race of people saying they didn't know how fast and how technical and just how different karting really is.
“Sunday last year was a great turnout. We estimated upwards of two to three thousand people that showed up. Hopefully, this year we can get more.
“In Hamilton, after not being back for 12 years. we went back and it rained for two hours on the Sunday and still the spectators stayed around to watch through all that. It was amazing to see, so hopefully Dockyard will be jam-packed.
“It's a family sport. We will have food vendors all around the track and we'll have fun castles again for the kids. We're also trying to get Chewstick to come up and do some live music so it's definitely going to be a family day.”
The Bermuda Karting Club would like to thank title sponsor Keen Ltd and Wedco for enabling the event to go ahead. The club also thanks sponsors Bermuda Island Shipping Limited, Pepsi, Rubis, Bonefish Bar & Grill and Joe Vieira Trucking Ltd.