by Robin Bradford
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, April 30, 2007 – Paul Bourne and Mark Hamilton are the joint leaders of the Barbados Rally Club (BRC) Driver’s Championship after two of the eight rounds … while an increase of more than 20 per cent in the number of entries over the same period last year is further evidence of motor sport’s growing popularity.
Bourne has a perfect score in Modified 8-WRC in his Subaru Impreza WRC, thanks to outright victories in the Championship’s first two rounds, the March Gravel Stages and last weekend’s (April 22) Carnival Warm-Up Tarmac Rally; he also claimed the bonus points as Group leader on both routes of those events, giving him a total of 34 so far.
SuperModified 10 leader Hamilton has an identical record in the Consolidated Finance/McEnearney Quality Inc Ford Escort MkII, although it was certainly not a foregone conclusion on the tarmac event; for the first four stages of the day, Hamilton trailed in third place behind Sean Gill and Cliff Roett.
Driving the Simpson Motors/Shell V-Power/VISA Suzuki Swift, Gill was consistently Group fastest, until an engine problem forced him out, Roett then Group fastest on stage five. That the engine of the Thorogood Shoes/Nassco/Michelin/Lucky Horseshoe/Sunpower/Castrol/Roetts Garage Toyota Starlet let go was poor reward for Roett, who had finished a last-minute rebuild at 4.00am.
With Gill and Roett gone, Hamilton secured the Group victory, although he, too, suffered with some fuel issues during the morning, then a gearbox oil leak in the afternoon, which required regular topping-up between stages.
There is also a tie for third overall, between Neil Barnard and Josh Read, each with 32 points. Production 2 leader Barnard (Simpson Motors/Shell V-Power/VISA Suzuki Ignis Sport) failed to collect both route bonus points on either event, losing out to Ian Warren once on the loose when P2 was merged with M6, then once to Ryan Corbin last weekend on the tarmac. Barnard and Corbin (Peugeot 106) had a great battle, alternating Group fastest times over the morning’s five stages, Corbin ahead by just over two seconds at lunch. Barnard fought back on the afternoon stages, however, to claim the Group by 11 seconds.
SM9 leader Read, in the Automotive Art Toyota Starlet, has also failed to collect maximum route bonus points, finishing behind James Betts (Opel Corsa) once in March, then second to Jeremy Gonzalves once last Sunday.
Currently fifth, another three points behind Barnard and Read, is Jonathan Still, who leads SM11 in the Hitachi Power Tools/Philips Lighting/Crane & Equipment BMW M3; when SM10 & 11 were merged for the loose event, Still was beaten by Hamilton so, despite a perfect score in the tarmac event, Still’s total is 29.
SM11 was another closely-fought Group last weekend: Still claimed seven of nine Group fastest times, but was chased hard by St Elmo Cumberbatch (Michelin/F Taylor/Carib Supply BMW E36) and Nick Gill in the Castrol Syntec/Hennessy/Vita Malt/Lysol/Listerine/McEnearney Quality Inc/Mazda Genuine Parts Mazda 3; each claimed one Group fastest time, and were consistently in the top three. Sammy Cumberbatch (Williams Equipment/F Taylor/Michelin BMW M3) is also a growing threat, while Calvin Briggs should be up there, too, once he can persuade his Ford Escort MkII to run on more than four of its six cylinders.
M6 leader Ian Warren (MQI Collision Repair Centre/Subzero Services Ltd/Details Car Valet Inc Peugeot 206) is next up, two points behind Still, while Stuart White is seventh, having claimed second in SM9 on the debut of his recently-completed Crane & Equipment/Budex Couriers Toyota Starlet last weekend.
Production 4 leader Neil Armstrong (Shell Helix/Hankook Tires/Soldier Seal Gunk Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI) is eighth in the overall standings, on 23 points, with yet another tie completing the top 10 – second in M6 Josh Delmas (Toyota Corolla GTi) and M7 leader Freddie Gale both have 22 points.
Gale (Gale’s Hatcheries/NASSCO/Nitrous Formula Octane Booster/Nishikoi Fish Foods Toyota Corolla RunX) was the only driver to deprive reigning Champion Adrian Linton (Ravensden/Crane & Equipment/Garbage Gobbler/West Coast Garden Centre/Edwin Clarke Furniture Vauxhall Astra GSi) of an M7 fastest time last weekend, finishing the day second; the Group included former Champion Edward Corbin for the first time since 2005, finishing third in his immaculate new Corbin’s Garage Ltd/Rezults Auto/Klark-Odio Ltd Daihatsu Charmant.
The next three rounds of the BRC Driver’s Championship are the Red Bull International RallySprint on May 19 and Rally Barbados 2007 (May 26/27).
Carnival Warm-Up Tarmac Rally, April 22
BRC Driver’s Championship – round 2
Modified 8-WRC 1st Paul Bourne/Stuart Maloney (Subaru Impreza WRC); 2nd John Powell – JAM/Michael March – JAM (Intercontinental Shipping/Trinidad Mooring and Launch Services/Toyota Trinidad Toyota Corolla WRC) M8-A and Production 4 merged 1st Roger Hill/Graham Gittens (Mobil 1/Nassco/Motormac Toyota Celica GT4); 2nd Geoffrey Noel/Kriegg Yearwood (Ezone/Globe Finance/Café Blue/Sunbeach/Essco/Automotive Art Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX)
SuperModified 11 1st Jonathan Still/Heath Hazell (Hitachi Power Tools/Philips Lighting/Crane & Equipment BMW M3); 2nd St Elmo Cumberbatch/Owen Cumberbatch (Michelin/F Taylor/Carib Supply BMW E36); 3rd Nicholas Gill/Sue Rogers (Castrol Syntec/Hennessy/Vita Malt/Lysol/Listerine/McEnearney Quality Inc/Mazda Genuine Parts Mazda 3); etc
SM10 1st Mark Hamilton/Clive Howell (Consolidated Finance/McEnearney Quality Inc Ford Escort MkII); 2nd Julian Goddard/Martin Goddard (Lubriguard/Gunk/Caribtrans/Odyssey/ Batteries Ford Escort MkI); 3rd Rohan Hall/Pedro Thomas (RDH Group/AC Delco Ford Escort MkII)
SM9 1st Josh Read/Mark Jordan (Automotive Art Toyota Starlet); 2nd Stuart White/Brandon McKenzie (Crane & Equipment/Budex Couriers Toyota Starlet); 3rd Jeremy Gonzalves/Natasha Farnum (Suzuki Forsa GTi); etc
M7 1st Adrian Linton/Jackie Linton (Ravensden/Crane & Equipment/Garbage Gobbler/West Coast Garden Centre/Edwin Clarke Furniture Vauxhall Astra GSi); 2nd Freddie Gale/Kyle Proverbs (Gale’s Hatcheries/NASSCO/Nitrous Formula Octane Booster/Nishikoi Fish Foods Toyota Corolla RunX); 3rd Edward Corbin/Mark Perkins (Corbin’s Garage Ltd/Rezults Auto/Klark-Odio Ltd Daihatsu Charmant); etc
M6 1st Ian Warren/Matthew Staffner (MQI Collision Repair Centre/Subzero Services Ltd/Details Car Valet Inc Peugeot 206); 2nd Josh Delmas/Lisa Roett (Toyota Corolla GTi); 3rd Shareef Walcott/Barry Hill (Corbin’s Garage/Klark-Odio/Motoring News Toyota Corolla); etc P2 & P1 merged 1st Neil Barnard/Megan Blades (Simpson Motors/Shell V-Power/VISA Suzuki Ignis Sport); 2nd Ryan Corbin/Christian Sampson (Peugeot 106)
BRC Driver’s Championship
Positions after round 2
Modified 8-WRC 1st Paul Bourne (Subaru Impreza WRC), 34 points; equal 2nd Trevor Manning (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VIII) & John Powell – JAM (Toyota Corolla WRC), 12pts; etc
M8-A 1st Roger Hill (Toyota Celica GT4), 17pts; 2nd Kirk Watkins (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo V), 16pts Production 4 1st Neil Armstrong (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI), 23pts; 2nd Geoffrey Noel (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX), 12pts SuperModified 11 1st Jonathan Still (BMW M3), 29pts; 2nd Nicholas Gill (Mazda 3), 19pts; 3rd Calvin Briggs (Ford Escort MkII), 15pts; etc
SM10 1st Mark Hamilton (Ford Escort MkII), 34pts; 2nd Julian Goddard (Ford Escort MkI), 12pts; 3rd Rohan Hall (Ford Escort MkII), 10pts
SM9 1st Josh Read (Toyota Starlet), 32pts; 2nd Stuart White (Toyota Starlet), 24pts; equal 3rd James Betts (Opel Corsa) & Jeremy Gonzalves (Suzuki Forsa GTi), 11pts; etc
M7 1st Freddie Gale (Toyota Corolla RunX), 22pts; 2nd Adrian Linton (Vauxhall Astra GSi), 17pts; 3rd Edward Corbin (Daihatsu Charmant), 10pts; etc
M6 1st Ian Warren (Peugeot 206), 27pts; 2nd Josh Delmas (Toyota Corolla GTi), 22pts; 3rd Daryl Clarke (Mitsubishi Mirage), 16pts; etc
P2 1st Neil Barnard (Suzuki Ignis Sport), 32pts; 2nd Ryan Corbin (Peugeot 106), 13pts