Thursday, April 18, 2024

Time to step up


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With more than $10 million already spent and another four million to be pumped into Bushy Park by year end, it’s time for the Barbados Auto Racing League (BARL) to accept what is a reasonable offer to have its events held at the racing facility.

That’s the advice from one of its own, businessman and BARL honorary life member, Ralph “Bizzy” Williams.

Williams is one of the founding members of BARL, but believes the racing entity is creating unecessary and uncalled for controversy regarding the work of the Bushy Park Circuit Inc (BPCI).

Under BPCI, Bushy Park became the first regional race circuit to host the Top Gear Festival last May, and is now preparing to host the prestigious Race of Champions in December.

“Either pay a relatively small fee ($10 000) and share the revenue or $75 000 and take all the revenue. It’s a very simple and an extremely reasonable deal considering how much has been spent to upgrade the circuit,” Williams told the DAILY NATION yesterday.

 “It’s time for them to start elevating their thinking, and stop being so petty. It’s time to raise the standard of motor racing in Barbados, not bring it down,” an upset Williams added. “Join in. Help. Don’t just oppose for opposing sake.”

He said BPCI chairman Mark Maloney had done an exemplary job since teaming up with Government to make the St Philip facility what it is today.

“Mark Maloney has worked nothing short of miracles to transform Bushy Park into a national treasure for Barbados,” said Williams.

“More than ten million dollars was needed to get Bushy Park how it is today. And to host the Race of Champions . . .  more than four million more dollars will have to be spent,”  he revealed.

Williams said BARL could access Bushy Park just like all the other motoring clubs in Barbados, but they would have to comply with the “reasonable” conditions set down by the developer, whose agenda is to lift motor sport in Barbados on to the world stage.

The businessman’s comments come after chairman of BARL, Stefan Hinds revealed last week that they had sent off a new proposal for Government to endorse regarding access to Bushy Park.

Hinds also claimed it was BARL which had put in the work to develop the facility from a grass field to the racing circuit which existed before BPCI took over last year.

But Williams rejected that claim yesterday.

“Mr Hinds should not attempt to mislead the public. Bushy Park was my father’s property.

I sold the estate to Andrew Barstow of St Philip Land Limited for US$750 000 because Barbados needed foreign exchange urgently and I needed some to continue importing raw material for Williams Industries factories to keep them running,”  the businessman said in his clear-the-air statement.

“Tiny Harrison approached me with the idea of restarting racing at Bushy Park which was not a grass pasture but a paved motor racing circuit and I arranged for him to meet with representatives of St Philip Land Limited from which he agreed to rent the circuit.

“Tiny Harrison founded BARL and Wendy Williams set about to assist BARL to maintain the circuit with a team of men from the area headed by Renee Nurse.”  

“That was how BARL was started and how the club started back motor racing at Bushy Park. The present leaders of BARL never lifted a finger to cut any grass or maintain the circuit at Bushy Park,” Williams said.


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