By Trevor Thorpe | Sun, May 06, 2012 - 12:03 AM
A brace of two-wheel drive competitors and a new co-driver for top seed Paul “The Surfer” Bourne are but a small taste of the ingredients in today’s Barbados Rally Club (BRC) Valvoline Shakedown Stages Rally scheduled to start in Pool Plantation yard, St John at 9 a.m.
Awesome Neil Armstrong and Barry Ward in the Chefette/Lubriguard/Hankook/Nassco/Redline Fuels/ARMAG Rentals Toyota Starlet and the Warren brothers, Ian and Robert, in the Automotive Art/Simpson Motors/Degree Suzuki Swift, competing in SM 10, and Stuart Maloney and Trevor Perkins, entered in SM11 in the Automotive Art/Sign Station/Valvoline Peugeot 306 Maxi, and Roger “His Hotness” Mayers and his brother Barry, competing in SM9 in the Chefette/Digicel/Automotive Art/Illusion Graphics Toyota Starlet, are enough to provide major headaches for the 4X4 teams entered among the 46 cars down to face the starter.
Both former winners of the Caribbean Motor Racing Championship (CMRC) – Maloney, as co-driver to Bourne – won Rally Barbados in 2007, while Mayers showed his prowess two years earlier winning the prestigious event in a self-prepared Ford Focus WRC.
Armstrong and Warren have prevented clean sweeps of the top places by the four-wheel drive cars and have been the fastest two-wheel drive competitors.
But the aforementioned pairs will also have their work cut out, as several other two-wheel drive pairs, such as the Watson brothers, Logan and Rhett, and the Cumberbatch brothers, Owen and Sammy, driving BMW M3s, are expected to raise the level of competition.
They have all finished in the top 10 in the Shakedown Stages in the last five years.
Bourne, the most successful driver in recent Shakedown Stages Rally history, with three wins in the past five years, have Megan Bryant as co-driver in the Chefette/LIME/Banks/Slam 101/MQI/Castrol Ford Focus WRC07.
Last year’s Sol Rally Barbados winners Roger “The Sheriff” Skeete and Louis Venezia, in the Sol/Michelin/Da Costa Mannings Auto Centre/Simpson Motors Subaru Impreza WRC S12 are seeded No. 2. They are followed by the pair of Sean Gill and Michael “Zippy” Cummins in the Simpson Motors/Automotive Art/Monster Energy/Shell V-Power Suzuki SX4 WRC and Roger “The Ninja” Hill and Graham Gittens in the Esso/Nassco/MotorMac Toyota Corolla WRC.
Trinidad and Tobago’s John Powell and Nicholas Telfer in the Intercontinental Shipping/Trinidad Mooring & Launch Services/FT Farfan/Shell Subaru Impreza WRC S14 and Dean Serrao and Clint Gregory in the Sugar Ultra Lounge/Rush Restaurant Subaru Impreza WRC S9, are also among the top-class entries.
Completing the 4x4 entries are Avinash Chatrani and Martin Goddard, in the Electric Avenue/Hankook/Solder Seal Gunk/Lubriguard/Sign Station Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI; Mark Hamilton and Clive Howell in the CIBC-FCIB/Simpson Motors/MAXI Malta/PowerMaster/Boston Seasoning/Automotive Art Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX; Andrew Mallalieu and Jeremy Foster in the Terra Caribbean Subaru Impreza N10 and the pair of Geoff Noel and Kreigg Yearwood driving the Globe Finance/Sentry Insurance Brokers/Cargo Solutions International Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX.
Keen competition is also expected in the Modified classes as front-runners Daryl Clarke and Russell Brancker, in the Ellco Rentals/Mom's Pasta Products/MQI/Roberts Manufacturing Honda Civic and Neil Corbin and Ryan Corbin, in M6 in the Nassco/Jason Jones/Auto Solutions/Castrol Toyota Starlet, are entered.
They will be up against the Motoring Club Barbados Inc’s (MCBI) champion driver Jamal Brathwaite and Dario Hoyte in a Valvoline/Mackeson/Kumho/Ellesmere Quarries/Codgi’s Customs Brokers/Chicken Pen Racing/AutoPlus Motors Mitsubishi Mirage RS.
Added to the mix are the father and son combination of Kyle Catwell and Norman Catwell, in the Chicken Pen Racing/Kumho/Valvoline/Mackeson/Ellesmere Quarries Volkswagen Golf GTI and the Barbados Auto Racing League’s (BARL) double champion Eddie Corbin and Rodney Clarke, in the ex-Freddie Gale Valvoline/Automotive Art Toyota Corolla RunX. Along with Jeremy Sisnett in a Ford Fiesta, they all have the equipment to cause an upset.
Twelve stages will be decided beginning with three runs each from Blackmans to Malvern (2.90kms) and from Society to Pool (4.20kms). After lunch and a 1 p.m. restart, the stages will be reversed and run Malvern to Blackmans followed by Pool to Society.
Pool Plantation will also serve as the venue for service/lunch break and the finish and the planned post-event social.
Today’s event is round three of the BRC Virgin Atlantic Driver’s and Class Championships and will be followed by the Shell V-Power King of the Hill on June 3.
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