A native of the British Overseas Territory of Bermuda, Scott “Skitchy” Barnes knows that traveling from his home is no easy feat these days.
But when it comes to participating at the Xtream Rock Island Grand Prix, Barnes quickly admits he will do what it takes to race in one of the United States’ premier karting events.
“Bermuda is pretty strict about its borders,” said Barnes, who hails from Hamilton, the island’s capital and largest city, but also maintains an American residence in Merritt Island, Fla.
“You have to have a COVID test both to leave and to get back; when you get back there, you have to have three more tests for two weeks.
“It can be a pain in the butt,” he added, “but if I have to do it to keep racing, that’s what I’ll do.”
In addition to rigorous COVID-19 testing, Barnes had to take two flights to reach the Quad-Cities. Again, for him it is well worth it.
“I’ve been coming here every year since 2001, and since then I’ve only missed it once, in ’08 or ’09, not including last year,” said Barnes, referring to the cancellation of last year’s Grand Prix because of the pandemic.
“I love this event; it’s always on my calendar. Every year I pick six or seven races, the biggest ones, and obviously Rock Island is always on that list.”