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Championship battle heats up

Trevor Thorpe

Championship battle heats up

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The battle for championship and group honours will take on new proportions when drivers meet to settle the Barbados Rally Club’s (BRC) Summer Nights Tarmac Sprint on Saturday at 6 p.m.
The seventh round of the Virgin Atlantic Driver’s And Class Championships and also a qualifying round of the Motoring Club of Barbados Inc.’s (MCBI) Annual Championship, will be contested over the 3.37-kilometre course from Hangman’s Hill to Lion Castle, St Thomas, offering competitors their last chance to score points on tarmac in the 2013 Virgin Atlantic Championship.
Group N leader Geoff Noel, at the wheel of the Globe Finance/Kick Energy Drink/Sentry Insurance Brokers/Automotive Art/CIAC Air Conditioners/Mix 96.9FM/Dewalt Tools Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX,  no doubt has his eyes fixed on the top spot.
But with 102 points, Noel is lying third overall and is the highest placed four-wheel-drive entry but will have his work cut out as he has to overhaul joint leaders Rhett Watson and Conor Roach, who have  105 points each at the top of the their respective groups and the overall standings.
Watson leads SuperModified 12,  in the Oreo/Chips Ahoy!/Armstrong Agencies/Power King Batteries/Unknown Entity/Hankook Tyres/SpringBoard Marketing Platforms/In Support  of Little Pink Gift BMW M3, and has said  he and the car were ready for the rigours of the night event. But he will be under pressure to free himself from the youthful Conor Roach, who leads  the Clubman Class in the Chattel House Realty Peugeot 106.
And to heighten the level of the competition,  Josh Read, who leads SM10, in the Stihl/Gliptone/Hankook/SDRR/Weetabix/Royal Purple/EZone/Coffee Bean Toyota Starlet, and is  in fourth place overall with 96, is highly fancied  to hold on to his position and tighten his grip in the race for the two-wheel drive title. He is six points ahead of another hard-nosed competitor, Ian “WeeWee” Warren, while Roger “The Sheriff” Skeete leads  Roger “The Ninja” Hill by 19 points in the four-wheel drive championship.
With only two more events remaining, the double-header BRC Autumn Gravel Sprint (September 29) and the BRC Winter Gravel Rally (October 13), drivers and the technical specialists will be leaving nothing to chance on the long and demanding course.
SM11 driver Andrew Jones, in the Lucozade/AP Jones Pharmacy Ford Escort MkII, Skeete, in the Sol/Michelin/Simpson Motors/DaCosta Manning Auto Centre Subaru Impreza WRC S12 and SM10 driver, Warren, who will be driving the Simpson Motors/Automotive Art Suzuki Swift, are all tied  in fifth place, with 92 points.
Hill, in the Esso/Nassco/MotorMac Toyota Corolla WRC, with 88 points, Andrew Mallalieu, one point adrift on 87, in his Terra Caribbean Subaru Impreza N10, and Modified 7 leader, Edward Corbin, in the Valvoline/Automotive ArtProsales/Klarkodio/Corbins Garage Toyota Corolla RunX, who has 76 points, complete the top ten as competitors return to action after a seven-week layoff.
Drivers will be allowed one practice run and three official runs over the course. Entries are open and will close on?Friday at noon.