Local drivers chasing points in the Barbados Rally Club (BRC) 2019 Driver’s and Class Championships are heading in to the most important two weekends of the year.
As Flow King of the Hill (May 26) and Sol Rally Barbados (May 31 – June 2) draw ever nearer, on-line ‘countdowns’ are fraying the nerves of mechanics across the island, while drivers are gearing themselves up to face with the largest local entry in recent years.
At Flow KotH, the speed event points scale gives 15 for a class win, while Sol RB19 represents two Championship rounds – Friday and Saturday’s 13 stages are round three, Sunday’s stages round four – with 20 points each for a class win; that gives a maximum possible score of 55 points over the two weekends, which is a little over 40 per cent of the year’s total. With only seven qualifying rounds and no dropped score, dealing with the pressure cooker atmosphere of these upcoming weekends is key to success.
More than that, the BRC’s Championship Regulations have been modified for 2019, with the end of the ‘two-thirds’ rule. This had previously allowed local crews that were not overall finishers to earn class points, provided they had completed two-thirds of the number of stages run. This may well result in increased consumption of ‘midnight oil’ on the Saturday of Sol RB19 weekend, as competitors who have missed stages work to ready themselves for a second crack at scoring points on the Sunday.
The Provisional Entry List published last Wednesday (May 9) included 56 local crews, an encouraging improvement on recent years; since 61 local crews started Sol SRB13, the number had been in the 40s until Sol RB18, when 50 started. Adding in the overseas competitors registered for the BRC Championship – six are already in the points – those eligible to score are likely to number around 60. Overseas competitors who are not registered for the BRC Championship are ignored as far as points are concerned, although local crews will still revel in the chance to gauge their competitiveness against the once-a-year visitors.
Thanks to a very strong entry in last month’s opening round, the BRC Shakedown Stages (April 7), approaching 30 drivers have already scored points, eight of whom jointly lead the Champion Driver title chase, with maximum scores from fully-subscribed classes: Mark Thompson (Modified 4), Roger Mayers (SuperModified 2), Neil Corbin (SM1), Logan Watson (M3), Paul Horton (M2), Edward Corbin (M1), Ian Warren (Clubman 2) and Andrew Jones (Group B). Dane Skeete (WRC) and Mayers also respectively lead the 4wd and 2wd Championships.
Sol Rally Barbados (June 1-3) and Flow King of the Hill (May 27) are organised and promoted by the Barbados Rally Club, which celebrated its 60th Anniversary in 2017.
Title sponsors: The Sol Group and Flow. Major partners: Automotive Art, Banks, Chefette, Simpson Motors, Toyo Tires. Partners: Accra Beach Hotel & Spa, Barbados Hotel & Tourism Association, Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc, Geest Line, Tourism Development Corporation. Associate sponsor: Stoute’s Car Rental
BRC Class Championship
Positions after round 1:
WRC: 1st Dane Skeete (Sol/CO Williams Sand & Lime/Automotive Art Subaru Impreza WRC S12B), 17pts; 2nd Rob Swann – ENG (Elegant Hotels/Blue Sky Luxury/RA Swann Ltd Subaru Impreza WRC S12B), 15pts
FIA R5: 1st David Coelho – T&T (Subway Ford Fiesta R5), 15pts
Modified 4: 1st Mark Thompson (Glassesco/NKM Clothing/Bio Beauty/Automotive Art/SLAM 101.1FM Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX), 20pts; 2nd Roger Hill (Esso/Nassco/Pennzoil/MaxMeyer Paints/MotorMac Toyota Corolla WRC), 17pts; 3rd George Sherman – USA (Subway/Zanzibar/Kaizan Sushi Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX), 15pts
SuperModified 2: 1st Roger Mayers (Chefette/Rubis/Hankook/Sign Depot Toyota WR Starlet), 20pts; 2nd Barry Mayers (Chefette/Rubis/Hankook/Sign Depot Ford Fiesta), 17pts; 3rd Kurt Thompson (Glassesco/NKM Clothing/Bio-Beauty/King Ocean Shipping/Slam 101.1FM Honda Civic), 15pts; etc
SM1: 1st Neil Corbin (Nassco/Jason Jones/Valvoline/Sun General Insurance/Auto Solutions/Emtage Electric Toyota Starlet), 20pts; 2nd Jeremy Gonsalves (Sign Depot/Guava Tech/Valvoline/Makita/In Gear Auto/John Hardman Engineering Opel Corsa), 17pts
Modified 3: 1st Logan Watson (Leafy Organics/Cargo BGI/Luxe Caribbean Properties/Stihl/It’s Barbados/Sign Depot/Bajan Pure Water BMW M3), 20pts; 2nd Stan Hartling – CDN (Bambarra Rum Citroen C2 R2 MAX), 17pts
Modified 2: 1st Paul Horton – TCI (Java Island/Sky Motorsports/H Racing/Arbikie Highland Estate Citroen DS 3 R3 MAX), 20pts; 2nd Jamal Brathwaite (Valvoline/Automotive Art/Consumers Guarantee Insurance/Caribbean Auto Glass/TEC Barbados/Stylz Auto Spa/Chicken Pen Racing/JSB Motorsport Honda Civic Type-R), 17pts
M1: 1st Edward Corbin (Valvoline/Hilti/Cargo BGI Daihatsu Charmant), 20pts; 2nd Pierre Beswick – TCI (Grace Bay Car Rentals/Hartling Luxury Resorts/Sky Motorsports Citroen C2 R2 MAX), 17pts; 3rd Kevin Wiggins (Johnson’s Auto/Zak Auto Parts/Dynamic Auto Imports/Therapy Partners Toyota Starlet), 15pts
Historic 2: 1st John Corbin (Valvoline/Hilti Toyota Corolla), 15pts
Clubman 2: 1st Ian Warren (West Lake/Benthams Farm & Garden/Guava Tech BimmaCup), 20pts; 2nd Greg Cozier (Perkins & Sons Rum BimmaCup), 17pts; 3rd Allan Kinch (Bajan All the Way! BimmaCup), 15pts
C1: 1st Jason Tull (Jay-T’s/CA Autobody Repairs/Devon Star/Dominus PHD/CST Tyres/Computech Solutions Peugeot 106 Rallye S2), 15pts
GpB: 1st Andrew Jones (Lucozade/AP Jones Pharmacy/Southern Surf Beach Apartments Ford Escort MkII), 20pts; 2nd Mark Huggins (Mark’s Auto Spares/General Distributors Daihatsu Charmant), 17pts
BRC 4wd Championship: 1st D Skeete, 20pts; 2nd Swann, 17pts; 3rd M Thompson, 15pts; 4th Hill, 14pts; 5th Coelho, 13pts; 6th Sherman, 12pts
BRC 2wd Championship: 1st R Mayers, 20pts; 2nd B Mayers, 17pts; 3rd N Corbin, 15pts; 4th L Watson, 14pts; 5th K Thompson, 13pts; 6th Horton, 12pts; 7th E Corbin, 11pts; 8th Brathwaite, 10pts; 9th Gonsalves, 9pts; 10th Warren, 8pts; etc