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Strongest field ever for Hill event

Trevor Thorpe

Strongest field ever for Hill event

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Four former event winners and ten ex-works World Rally Cars are the main ingredients for the fiercest ever Scotiabank King Of The Hill from Hangman’s Hill to Lion Castle, St Thomas, today, starting at 10 a.m.
Paul “The Surfer” Bourne (2008 and 2010), Roger Skeete (2009 and 2011), head the list of former winners followed by England’s Paul Bird, the winner in 2012, before Neil Armstrong added his name to the honour roll last year when the venue was Luke Hill, St Peter.
Organised by the Barbados Rally Club, the event has also attracted the largest number of ex-works WRC cars ever assembled in the region.
Fans will be able to trace the history of the Subaru Impreza WRC from the S6 of former British champion Roger Duckworth to the S12 of Roger Skeete,  12-time winner of the island’s premier event, and then compare the subtle changes in the Focus WRCs from the WRC06 of Jamaican Jeff Panton through Paul Bourne’s WRC07 to the WRC08s of Paul Bird and Trinidad’s John Powell.
But they will all have to consider the potential of Armstrong in the Monster/Sol/Chefette/Digicel/Virgin Atlantic/Gunk/Hankook Tyres/Redline Fuels/Simpson Finance/Simpson Motors Suzuki SX4 WRC, winner of the event last year.
It’s a formidable mix of mechanical technology, coupled with the skill, guile and expertise of some of the best drivers and co-drivers to be found anywhere on the planet.
And the competition among the two-wheel-drive competitors is equally as fierce, with the in-form Josh Read at the top of the list facing the starter.
King Of The Hill history shows that the highest placed two-wheel-drive car for the first three years was the Simpson Motors Suzuki Swift, with Sean Gill sixth in his last season in the car (2008), then Ian Warren ninth and fifth, the highest placed overall finish for the two-wheel drive.
Armstrong was the top two-wheel drive in 2011 and 2012, ninth and eighth overall, before Roger Mayers did it last year when he placed sixth.
The action is set to start with a practice run at 10:15 a.m., followed by three official runs, the fastest of which will decide competitors’ finishing positions.
Cars will run in reverse seeding order, from Clubman up to WRC-1, and the top ten after the first official run will be held back and reseeded in reverse order to run at the end of the field.
The results of the Scotiabank King Of The Hill are used to seed the cars for next weekend’s Sol Rally Barbados and cars which do not compete will be seeded behind the last car in their class, unless safety considerations dictate otherwise.