Nov 16, 2022 Sports
– Jeffrey becomes first Guyanese to win Radical Caribbean Cup
Kaieteur News – Guyana’s Kristian Jeffrey became the first Guyanese to win the Radical Caribbean Cup title after clinching the title on Sunday by a margin of just five points, with what he later described as a “do or die effort”, winning the final race of the season on the South Dakota Circuit.
And there was a double celebration for the ecstatic home crowd, as Guyana won the inaugural Nations Cup, despite Barbadian brothers Stuart and Mark Maloney closing the gap to a single point with victories in the day’s first two races.
Heading into the final round, Jeffrey was 15 points behind his year-long rival Kristian Boodoosingh of Trinidad & Tobago, who had wrested the lead from the Guyanese’s grasp last month on his home turf at Wallerfield International Raceway.
Jeffrey, who was the last Guyanese to be crowned Caribbean Champion in Group 4, had won four of the nine races earlier in the season, with two further podiums, while Boodoosingh had never been off the podium, scoring maximum points three times in October.
A battle of the Titans was in prospect with the added spice of the extended layout at South Dakota up from 0.78 to 1.6 miles, being raced on for the first time.
The weather played its part at the South Dakota Circuit, but the Radical drivers brought the heat, much to the delight of the patrons that flooded the upgraded racing facility.
In the first of three Radical races, Barbados’ Stuart Maloney took the chequered flag in the eight-lap race in 11 minutes, 21.641 seconds (11:21.641), with Jeffery (11:35.837) finishing 14.196s adrift in fourth place.
Second place went to Suleman Esuf (11:22.189), also of Barbados; Boodoosingh was third (11:28.454).
In the second Radical race, Jeffery had an improved performance, but his third-place finish (14:03.873) saw him coming behind Esuf (14:03.311) and Mark Maloney (14:00.658).
With the bonus point for the fastest lap – a time of one minute 16.413s (1:16.413), which now stands as the Radical Caribbean Cup Race Lap Record for the new circuit – Boodoosingh extended his advantage to 19 points, with 50 still on the table.
The Radicals were the most-talked-about event, and Jeffery ensured that he gave the fans a show in the final race of the series.
While some drivers elected not to run as daylight was fading, the two Kristians were pumped and ready, with all to play for in the season’s final eight laps.
Spurred on by his home crowd, Jeffrey charged straight into the lead, knowing victory would secure the title, whatever happened to Boodoosingh, who ran in third place throughout.
Jamaica’s Senna Summerbell (12:24.309) had rocketed up to second by the end of the first lap and drove a brilliant race to finish less than a second behind Jeffrey (12:23.382).
Summerbell was disqualified for missing the weigh station after the race, as was Vieira, who had finished third.
So 18 points for second place left Boodoosingh (12:24.671) a tantalising five points shy of Jeffrey at year-end. At the same time, Justin Maloney finished his impressive season with third place, not quite enough to prevent Guyana from winning the Nations Cup by just a single point.
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