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BMF hails Kyffin Simpson for FRA Championship win

The Barbados Motoring Federation (BMF) has hailed 17-year-old Barbadian driver Kyffin Simpson’s success in winning the 2021 Formula Regional Americas Championship powered by Honda, as “beyond our expectations”. In a dominant campaign which concluded on Saturday (November 6) at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, home of the United States Grand Prix, Simpson won seven of the 18 races and finished on the podium in a further six, helping renowned IndyCar engineer Tim Neff’s new TJ Speed Motorsports outfit to victory in the Teams’ Championship in its first season.

Although he has now moved to the Cayman Islands with his family, Simpson took his first steps on the motor sport ladder with the Barbados Karting Association (BKA) at Bushy Park, where he won back-to-back Cadet Championship titles in 2015 & ’16 and both Barbados Festival of Speed BKA Handicap Races (2015 & ’17), before heading off to race abroad. In 2019, he won the Sunshine State Karting Challenge and US Pro Kart Series and was a regular front-runner in the SKUSA Pro Tour, before his car racing debut in the 2020 FIA F4 US Championship then FR Americas, where he first worked with Neff.

Alongside his FR Americas campaign with TJ Speed this year, Simpson also joined the Road To Indy with a part-season in Indy Pro 2000 presented by Cooper Tires with reigning Champions Juncos Hollinger Racing, claiming podium finishes at Indianapolis, Road America and Mid-Ohio. It was confirmed last week that his partnership with Neff and TJ Speed Motorsports will continue in to 2022 as he graduates to Indy Lights, the final step before his ultimate aim of racing in IndyCar.

BMF President Andrew Mallalieu said: “On behalf of all the members of the BMF I would like to express congratulations to Kyffin and indeed his whole family on this remarkable achievement. Formula Regional Americas is a high-level championship contested by the best drivers in our hemisphere. To think that Barbados could produce a champion at such a young age is beyond our expectations. The vision of the BMF was to use Bushy Park as a springboard for the sport and to be the training ground to identify future champions. Kyffin as Americas Champion joins Zane Maloney who was a Champion in Europe in 2019 and proves that our strategy has worked and is working.

“We look forward to next year with great anticipation, with Kyffin in Indy Lights and Zane in the F3 World Championship. Our aim was to have one Barbadian in an international Championship but next year our goal will be surpassed, with a Barbadian competing on each side of the Atlantic, both on his final steps towards a seat in a Formula 1 car. We now throw our full support behind these two athletes and indeed the others in our development programmes as we reach for our goal of having a Barbadian World Champion.”

Simpson had signalled his intent at the opening weekend of the FR Americas season in March at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta in Georgia, which he describes as one of his favourite circuits. After claiming pole position, he didn’t put a foot wrong all weekend, claiming a hat-trick of race wins and three fastest laps, scoring a maximum haul of 75 points and setting the tone for a dominant campaign. Two further wins came at Road America in May and, although he failed to win again until last weekend’s COTA finale, he never lost the championship lead he established in March. His closest challenger from mid-season was the 2019 US F4 Champion, Australia’s Joshua Car, who won at Mid-Ohio, then twice at Brainerd, but Simpson was consistent – he failed to score only twice in the 18-race season – winning the title by a margin of nearly 100 points.

Simpson and TJ Speed Motorsports are already well ahead with their preparations for next year: with more than 2,000 miles completed in the team’s first 450hp Dallara IL-15 since August, they finished second in the official Chris Griffis Memorial Open Test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (October 30/31), only 0.0231 seconds slower than the more experienced Benjamin Pedersen, who finished fourth in Indy Lights this year.

Editor’s note: affiliated to the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), which rules the sport worldwide, the Barbados Motoring Federation (BMF) is the island’s governing body for motor sport; it also represents the interests of its Member Clubs in discussions with Government departments which facilitate the sport in the island, in particular the Ministry of Transport, Works & Maintenance, which permits road closures for an agreed number of events each year. Away from motor sport, the BMF affiliate which answers the FIA Mobility remit is the Barbados Automobile Association (BAA), an executive committee member of the Government’s Barbados Road Safety Council.

For media information only. No regulatory value.

For further information, please contact BMF President Andrew Mallalieu: