Bushy Park Barbados is the leading circuit racing facility in the English-speaking Caribbean, having hosted a number of regional events over the years. Originally constructed by a team of sugar cane plantation workers, Bushy Park Barbados was first opened in the early 1970s.
However, in August of 2013, a redevelopment of the venue project began. This project was aided by financial support from from various entities such as Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), the Government of Barbados, the Barbados Motoring Federation as well as a group of local investors. The new Bushy Park Venue now comprises of a 2.01 km international circuit, of FIA Grade 3 standard, a Rallycross track, a CIK Grade A Kart Circuit and 1/8th mile Drag Strip. The facilities have also been markedly improved with a new clubhouse and VIP facility, “The Hill”, all complete with new washrooms.
However, future redevelopment is also planned, with the contraction of a country club and museum on the agenda. There will also be various luxury Car Suites, one of which has already been completed. These suites will comprise of three units and a two-garage section with workbench, washroom and shower. They will also consist of a living space of over 6000 sq ft, complete with a special balcony and entertainment area all overlooking the circuit. The central unit of each suite will have a 400 ft floor with two bedrooms, a lounge and a bathroom. These suits are ideal for those car owners who desire to both keep their cars at the facility and stay at the site during any weeks or weekends when a meet is being held.
What has been pleasing about the redevelopment is the commitment to expand on an aspect of Barbados that has had proven benefits to our sports and tourism industries. With our racing events known to be some of the best in the Caribbean and the world, our main facility should reflect that same quality and now it does. Also, what is unique about the new venue is that it is more multi-purpose and hence able to host a wide variety of activities and events.
The first phase of redevelopment was completed in time for the Top Gear festival in May of 2014, but the entire project was completed for the Race of Champions event in December 2014. Race of Champions is a knockout motor sport event featuring the best of the best in car racing worldwide, battling for the titles “World’s Fastest Nation” and “Champion of Champions”, with each race consisting of head to head duels with drivers competing in identical cars. Race of Champions events are only heald at the world’s most prestigious venues, with London’s iconic football stadium, Wembley, being one of such locations.
The 2014 Race of Champions was the first of its kind not to be held inside a major sports stadium. However the hosting of this event at Bushy Park, showed how highly rated the new Venue is, as it was chosen through public fan votes via social media as well as votes from competitors and officials. The event surely did not disappoint as spectators were treated to two days of spectacular car racing and entertainment. Historically, Barbadian duo Rhett Watson and Dave Skeete won the inaugural ROC Caribbean to top off their semi final finish in the ROC Nations Cup, defeating Team Jamaica in the final. At the presentation, Watson had this to say: “One word to describe it all is incredible. To share the same space as some of these international drivers and beat a few of them was fantastic. The highlight was beating Kurt Busch in the first race, then securing ROC Caribbean for Barbados with Dane. Tomorrow it is all out!” The eventual champion of the overall Race of Champions Event was David Coultard, who defeated Pascal Whelein in the final.
Since this event in 2014, the circuit has played host to a number of major car racing meets.
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