Above Barbados
Above: Vaucluse Special Stage - Sol Rally Barbados
Photo: Above Barbados

Member Profiles

Clubs & Affiliates

There are seven motor sport organising Clubs affiliated to the Barbados Motoring Federation, the island's National Sporting Authority, with around 400 licenced competitors participating in nearly 50 BMF-sanctioned events annually. In addition, the eighth BMF affiliate, the Barbados Automobile Association, answers the FIA Mobility remit, working alongside Government and private sector organisations to further the aims of the world governing body, the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile.

Barbados Automobile Association

(BAA)

Founded in 1947, the Barbados Automobile Association flourished until the early 1970s, but was then largely dormant until 2008, when it was re-launched to coincide with the FIA Make Cars Green campaign.
 
Since then, it has been increasingly active in local road safety issues, and last year hosted the annual meeting for the FIA’s Region III, consisting of the United States, Canada, Mexico, Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad.
 
As part of its contribution to the worldwide Decade of Action on Road Safety, the BAA is an executive committee member of the Government’s Barbados Road Safety Council, created in 2012 and chaired by the Prime Minister. It is also a member of the FIA World Council for Mobility.

Barbados Association of Dragsters & Drifters

(BADD)

The Barbados Association of Dragsters & Drifters established itself quickly. In 2011, the club’s first full season, it championship was supported by more than 80 drivers and, while some existing race or rally drivers took part, more than 50 of those participants were newcomers to BMF-sanctioned events. The pattern remains the same, the majority of the BADD membership concentrating only on drag racing.

While events have occasionally been run on closed public roads, BADD has found a more permanent home at Bushy Park. Before the 2014 redevelopment, club volunteers had created a one-eighth-of-a-mile strip to allow side-by-side drag racing, something island fans had wanted for years. After the redevelopment, the new drag strip replicated the footprint of their work.

Drag racing is popular in other Caribbean territories, including Guyana and Trinidad & Tobago, plus those without a race circuit, such as Grenada and St Lucia. Members of BADD have participated abroad and assisted in running regional events.

Barbados Auto Racing League

(BARL)

The Barbados Auto Racing League was established in 1996 to bring some structure to the Sunday afternoon Bushy Park ‘race-offs’ between groups of grass roots ‘weekend warriors’ that had developed since the venue closed after the previous October’s final race meet.

BARL developed steadily in the following years; by the late 2000s, it claimed the largest ‘exclusive’ membership of any island club, as most purpose-built track racers are unsuited to other disciplines.

In recent years, the club has undergone a transformation, running a wide variety of disciplines, including events at the Vaucluse Raceway and popular ‘Wheels & Heels’ dexterity events in town centre car park locations.

The club returned to Bushy Park in 2017, initially with track days, before launching Time Attack events in 2019, a new form of motor sport for the island; with competitors ranging from beginners in bona-fide street cars to seasoned drivers in full race cars running in pairs in a pursuit format, individual lap times decide the winner. BARL was looking forward to a return to full race meet organisation in 2020, but the coronavirus pandemic delayed its plans.

Barbados Karting Association

(BKA)

Around the world, kart racing is a vital training ground. So, too, in the island, where many race and rally Champions cut their teeth with the Barbados Karting Association and current competitors continue to hone their skills.

Established in 1987, the BKA initially ran race meetings on makeshift circuits in various Plantation yards around the island, before finding a permanent home at Bushy Park in the late 1990s. Following the venue’s redevelopment, the introduction of a wider range of Easykarts created a clearer ladder of progress from Cadets to Seniors, with competitor numbers rising significantly.

As well as running up to 10 championship rounds a season, the BKA has shared race days with other clubs, promoting karting to a wider audience, and run a Handicap Race at each Barbados Festival of Speed. The club also supported the BMF in running the inaugural Caribbean Junior Karting Academy Trophy at Bushy Park in 2019.

Barbados Rally Club

(BRC)

Founded in 1957, the Barbados Rally Club was born out of the success of the June Rally, a navigational event which attracted 60 crews, many of whom attended a subsequent meeting to establish the Club. The BRC was behind the building of Bushy Park in the 1970s, and organiser there again in the early ‘90s, when the club became affiliated to the FIA, acting as the island’s National Sporting Authority until the creation of the BMF.

These days, the club’s main focus is on rallying and speed events, more than 150 drivers and co-drivers participating an annual Championship. The highlight is Sol Rally Barbados, the Caribbean’s biggest annual motor sport international, with more than 25,000 spectators on hand.

Beyond the mainstream, the BRC organises two other disciplines, both of which go back to the club’s early days, but are now attracting new blood to the sport:

The MudDogs Safari Championship comprises up to five off-road navigational events, the highlight being the June Safari. This traces its history directly to the June Rally of 1957, and is the oldest-established motor sport event in the region with a continuous history.

The Autocross Championship, launched in 2010, teaches low-speed car control, as participants manoeuvre through a course marked out by cones, against the clock. Now based at Bushy Park, the championship has seen exponential growth in recent years.

Bushy Park Motor Sports Inc

(BPMSI)

Bushy Park Motor Sports Inc is the youngest of the island’s organising clubs, becoming affiliated to the BMF in 2014. It was formed following the redevelopment of Bushy Park, the longest-standing permanent venue for the sport, situated in the south-east corner of the island.

It has run season-long championships since 2015 for both cars and motorcycles and was responsible for the co-ordination of the Suzuki Challenge Series, which ran from 2015 to 2018. Two parallel races series catered for the Suzuki-powered Radical SR3 sports-racer and the Suzuki Swift Sport.

BPMSI has also played its part in the staging of the Barbados Festival of Speed, which has welcomed World Champions Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button in 2016 and 2017, while the autumn International Race Meet, sponsored for many years by Williams Industries, is a staple of its calendar.

Motoring Club of Barbados Inc

(MCBI)

Founded in 1979, initially as the Barbados Motoring Club, the MCBI shares most of its competition membership with the Barbados Rally Club, tackling a similar number of stage rallies and speed events, which count towards its annual Championship.

In its earlier days, the MCBI was known particularly for its ‘Acceleration Tests’: with no drag strip where competitors could run side-by-side, these single car runs were staged under road closure orders on the island’s main Highway, attracting huge crowds.

In recent years, the Club has also run dexterity tests, another discipline very popular with island fans and a key element of grass roots motor sport.

The highlight of the MCBI’s calendar is the Rally of the Sun & Stars, a day-night closed-road tarmac event, which usually runs in September.

Vaucluse Raceway Motorsport Club

(VRMSC)

When the VRMSC joined the BMF in 2002, it was the sport’s first newcomer for 15 years. Initially, it ran RallySprint events at the purpose-built Vaucluse Raceway as part of the former Barbados Rally Carnival, which attracted both Regional and International competitors, and later staged the island’s first International Rallycross.

In 2010, the Club shifted its focus to historic rallying, now running the Barbados Historic Rally Carnival with International participation and has also organised single-venue rallies at VRW. More recently, it has been behind the introduction of the BimmaCup, a low-cost category based around the BMW 318ti Compact, which has included circuit racing, RallySprint, Rallycross and Hillclimb events; after initial seasons in Barbados, it has become a fixture of regional motor sport and also been adopted in the UK.