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Gill, Cummins take BRC event

Trevor Thorpe

Gill, Cummins take BRC event

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The pair of Sean Gill and Michael Cummins got the better of homeboy Trevor Manning and Derek Edwards in the BRC Winter Gravel Rally, the final round of the Barbados Rally Club’s (BRC) Virgin Atlantic Driver’s and Class Championships, at Black Bess, St Peter, on Sunday.
And a happy Gill said it was a hard fight to the end, with his vehicle working extremely well on the day.
“I had to pull out all the stops and more but it was the last run which made the difference and that run, for me, was the high point of the entire day’s action,” he told the NATIONSPORT yesterday.
Manning and Edwards went to lunch with a 2.9-second advantage after being fastest on the opening stage with a time of one minute 53.22 seconds, compared with one minute 55.30 seconds for Gill and Cummins.
After lunch, three more stage wins for Gill and growing tyre degradation for Manning combined to slowly erode the latter’s lead, as Gill and Cummins won the final stage of the day to seal their victory.
Gill and Cummins, in the Simpson Motors/Shell V-Power/Automotive Art/Chefette Suzuki SX4 WRC, returned a total elapsed time of 14 minutes 59.72 seconds, compared to 15 minutes 01.26 seconds for Manning and Edwards, who contested the rally in the FG Wilson/AutoLink/Garbage Master/Paints Plus/Hankook Ford Escort WRC.
Gill and Cummins, who also used the event to get in additional seat-time in the run-up to Rally Jamaica in December, said the Suzuki would be cleaned up and shipped to Jamaica next week for the annual year-end gravel event in Orange Groves.
He said he and his co-driver were looking forward to the Jamaica event and were looking to stay in shape for the rigours of the gruelling Rally Jamaica.
He admitted that Rally Jamaica was always tough but he would be better prepared since he had the SX4 for nearly a year and he and Cummins should be more comfortable with the conditions.
Defending champion Gary Gregg and Hugh Hutchinson, in the BD Gregg & Brother Ford Focus, and John Powell and Michael March, driving a Subaru S14, will be the Barbadian pair’s greatest challenges to date, but Gill said all comers in the WRC group would only make the competition a keener one.
Apart from the battles between the frontrunners, there was a lively Group N tussle between the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IXs of Geoff Noel and Mark Hamilton, and Andrew Mallalieu in his Subaru Impreza N10.
After Hamilton set the fastest class time on Stage 1, he and Noel swapped stage wins back and forth with Hamilton leading by nearly two seconds at lunch. Noel fought back with the first stage win of the afternoon, but again they shared the stage wins as Hamilton increased his advantage to just under five seconds by the end of the day.
Good performances were also recorded in the two-wheel-drive classes by Neil Corbin in a Toyota Starlet and Jamal Brathwaite in a Mitsubishi Mirage, each of whom claimed the fastest two-wheel-drive times. Neil Corbin won Modified 6 and Jeremy Sisnett won Modified 7, outfoxing John Corbin in the Corbin’s Garage/Klark-Odio Toyota Corolla to win the class.
Nigel Reece looked good until gearbox problems sidelined him after the sixth stage.

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