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Rubis deal gives karting club a boost

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New deal: the sign which will placed at the entrance to the newly sponsored Rubis Southside Raceway

Bermuda Karting Club kicks off its season on Sunday brimming with optimism thanks to a new sponsor and more drivers ready to tear up the St David’s track.

The first race day will be preceded by the official ribbon-cutting of the new Rubis Southside Raceway, a $25,000 two-year deal that is set to bolster the sport further.

“It’s a big deal for us,” Scott “Skitchy” Barnes, the club president, said. “It’s the first time the track has had a major sponsor and the first time the club has had a major sponsor.”

The ceremony will add a little extra pizazz to a full day’s racing across six classes, including the new LO206 Senior Class 40+ (local option). The action — the first of 15 scheduled race days — also features two heats with the motorbikes from the Bermuda Motorcycle Club.

The club’s junior programme continues to be in rude health, with the Junior Cadet Class (7-12 years) promising to be one of the most fiercely contested.

“It looks like that will be one of our biggest class,” Barnes said. “We have three or four new drivers.

“Jamie Newton is defending his title and we expect to get a steady 12 karts each race day.”

He added: “Other drivers to watch include Ashley Horseman, one of two girls in the class alongside Jorja Thomas, who was coming on fast towards the end of last season and had a number of top threes.

“Nile Bean is getting faster as well and my nephew Jacob Hines is doing the same.”

Ryan Burgess steps up to the TAG Junior Class (12-15 years) to contest a title that is up for grabs after last year’s winner Blake Horseman and his nearest rival Ryan Lopes graduated to the TAG Senior Class.

Barnes said: “Blake and Ryan will be going up against the adults for the first time so that will be fun to watch.

“I’ll be coming back into that class after year off, so it will be interesting to see if I can shake the rust off.”

The TAG Senior will not be for the faint-hearted, with Jason “Skuzzie” North also in the mix defending his title and David Barbosa back on the grid full time.

“It should be really competitive,” added Barnes.

North will also defend his title in the Stock Shifter Class, while Shannon Caisey is the reigning champion in the Modified Shifter Class.

Add in the new LO206 line-up and the track is set to be significantly busier than last season.

“In the new 206 class there is a few fathers of the junior drivers competing so there’ll be a number of father-son combinations, which will be fun. It’ll be good to watch that class grow.

“Overall, we expect an average of 40 karts each race day which is up on last year where we averaged between 28-32, with our biggest being 35.

“The club continues to grow in numbers, which is great.”

The ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place at noon on Sunday, with racing set to start from approximately 12.15pm.

For more information e-mail bermudakartingclub@yahoo.com or go to the club’s Facebook page.

Back in action: North in action in the US over the summer. The driver returns to his home Southside track this weekend for the season-opener