Sensor problems hamper Bajans
A faulty sensor may have robbed Sean Gill and Michael “Zippy” Cummins of outright victory in last weekend’s Rally Trinidad, but they won the SuperSpecial for the Mayor’s Cup at Saith Park.
The pair driving the Simpson Motors/Shell-V-Power/Automotive Art Suzuki SX4 WRC gave notice of their intentions by winning the two opening stages and had opened up a six-second lead by the start of the second day in the event which had also attracted competitors from Jamaica and the host country.
But then problems befell the lone Barbadian pair at the Trinidad outing which pushed them down the field during the second day.
“We had some issues with a sensor which caused us to slow down a bit . . . [and] lose time on some stages and on one stage we had to drive in what is called ‘road mode’ with no boost and that cost us over a minute, but after the problem was corrected the car was fantastic on the stages on Sunday,” Gill said.
Gill and Cummins, in their first rally in Trinidad in the Suzuki SX4 WRC, then set about overhauling the deficit and after dropping down to fourth place in the running order, clawed their way back up to grab second place overall with a total elapsed time of one hour, 34 minutes, 30.79 seconds.
“We took back 23 seconds in two stages on Sunday, taking out John Powell and Jason Costelloe in the process, but our showing in Trinidad was good . . . Michael Cummins called good notes and was fantastic . . . but I think we did well under the circumstances and we are looking forward to what’s up ahead,” Gill said.
Gill said the rally was well organized and had high praise for his technical team, which he said had done a fantastic job after he and Cummins had been thinking about giving up as a result of the problems created by the faulty sensor, and his sponsors, without whom, he said, their participation would not have been possible.
However, he is hoping that the Suzuki SX4 would be back in Barbados in time for him to face the starter in the AutoCross from Wilson Hill-Malvern, St John next Sunday, where he can expect to be severely tested by the likes of the Motoring Club Barbados Inc.’s champion driver Roger “The Sheriff” Skeete in a Subaru Impreza, S12 WRC and former Barbados Rally Club champion driver Roger “The Ninja” Hill in the ExxonMobil/Nassco Ltd/Motormac Toyota Corolla WRC in the top class group.
Jamaica’s Jeff Panton and Mike Fennell in a Ford Focus WRC won the gruelling rally with a time of one hour, 33 minutes, 30.62 seconds, while Trinidad-based Jamaican Powell and Costelloe in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X had to be content with third place with a time of one hour, 34 minutes, 51.64 seconds.
Trinidadians David Coelho and James T. Harris, regulars at Sol Rally Barbados, finished fourth with a time of one hour, 41 minutes, 33.67 seconds.