Action from the Dockyard Grand Prix. *Photo by Nicola Muirhead
Action from the Dockyard Grand Prix. *Photo by Nicola Muirhead

Bermuda Karting Club will hold talks in the new year with the Corporation of Hamilton over the return of a city race day.

It’s the latest push from the club to capitalize on an excellent year that saw them return to a street track with the inaugural Dockyard Grand Prix.

The event last month, which now looks set to become an annual race day, drew thousands of spectators, while driver numbers are also up at the regular Championship and Trophy race days at Southside.

Scott ‘Skitchy’ Barnes, club president, told the Bermuda Sun: “We are meeting with the corporation in January to talk about getting back in Hamilton. 

“The initial emails seem positive but we have to sit down and talk to them and see how we can get it organized and see if they can pave some of the streets to make it race ready.”

The club would like the Hamilton race day to take place in April or May at the end of their regular season — and the success of the Dockyard event now looks to have given the club extra leverage. He said: “Dockyard have written back and said it went great so it looks like they want us back next year. All the drivers loved it and the fact it was a two-day event, so it’s definitely the aim to make it an annual race.”

Currently a third of the way through a season that features 10 Championship Series race days and five Trophy race-days, the last meeting at Southside drew the biggest crowd of the season off the back of the grand prix in the west end.

“The atmosphere down the track is up and everyone is happy,” added Barnes. “The recent race day was the first time back since Dockyard and it was the most spectators we have had this year. 

“I think Dockyard definitely helped get the word out there.

“I know some people went up the Dockyard race and didn’t really know what karting was about – they came up and loved it. The track was ideal because it was small and allowed people to see how fast we go.”

The plan now is to improve further. The TAG and Shifter classes had 12 drivers each at the start line last race day with more to return as they repair karts from the bumpy dash around the Dockyard Clocktower. 

 Junior numbers are currently around six, so that is something Barnes and the club would like to build on.

He said: “So far this season it’s been a huge success – our first street race for years and our first race at Dockyard. We also had a float in the Christmas Parade.

“Motor sport on the island is pretty hard with the economy like it is, it’s an expensive hobby so to be growing in any way is good. We are one of the only motorsports on the island that is growing. The atmosphere is good and we’re like one big family — the committee the last couple of years has done a good job.”

Of the current Championship standings, Branes added: “In the TAG we have David Barbosa followed by myself and then Stephen Corrado in third. And then in the Shifter we have Corrado followed by myself.

“Brandon Franks  is now back racing after four/five years out and he won three races at the last race day so I’m sure he will be up there at the end of the year. 

“The TAG class is super competitive now and the Shifters is getting more and more so.”

The next race day at Southside is on the weekend of January 5/6. Junior rental karts are available at $50 per race day. Details at  www.bermudakartingclub.com