Lucky No. 13
THE?NUMBER “13” in not an evil number, but rather it is the number of wins now attached to the name of Roger “The Sheriff” Skeete in the Barbados Rally Club’s (BRC) international event – Sol Rally Barbados.
And in the company of co-driver Louis Venezia and driving the Sol/LIME/Simpson Motors/ Michelin/ Williams Trading Inc Subaru Impreza WRC S12, he earned himself another entry in local motorsport history books when he returned a total elapsed time of one hour, 12 minutes, 24.12 seconds in the gruelling event which attracted competitors from the United Kingdom, Europe, the Caribbean and host country Barbados.
Speaking after the presentation, ‘The Sheriff’, as he is affectionately called in motoring circles, said he owed everything to trust, a cool head, planning and executing the plans and grabbing hold of any mistakes made by others.
“It was a strong field, but as always, caution always should be foremost in your mind, but it was a good rally for us and I will put it down to planning, backed by a versatile ‘works’ team and my sponsors, whose assistance made it all possible,” Skeete acknowledged.
Their good performance also helped them to take the honours at stake for WRC-1 and to keep England’s Rob Swann and his Welsh co-driver Darren Garrod in the Waves Hotel and Spa Barbados/Terra Caribbean/Cygnet Plant Ltd Subaru Impreza WRC S11 at bay with a time of 1hr, 12 mins, 59.10 seconds.
Early leader Paul Bird and Aled Davies in the Rubis/Cockspur Ford Focus WRC08 crashed out of the rally during Special Stage No.11 at Sailor Gully.
Then an intense battle ensued between Skeete and Venezia and Swann and Garrod, who were keeping the pressure on, but Skeete kept a cool head. He had been picking good lines through the event and was able to hold on to the top spot and finish the important event.
John ‘Penti’ Powell and Hugh Hutchinson, in the Intercontinental Shipping/Trinidad Mooring & Launch Services Ford Focus WRC08, had to be content with third place with a time of 1hr, 13 mins, 23.08 seconds and ahead of another fancied pair, Paul ‘The Surfer’ Bourne and Scottish co-driver Stuart Loudon in the Chefette/Banks/MQI/Flow Ford Focus WRC07 who finished with a time of 1hr, 13mins, 34.seconds.
A hard-nosed performance by the English pair of Roger Duckworth and Mark Broomfield in the Intrinsys Subaru Impreza WRC S6 helped them to take the title at stake in WRC-2 with a time of 1hr, 14mins, 23.33 seconds, and finish fifth overall, while Jamaicans Jeff “Fudgie” Panton and Michael Fennell (Jr) in the KIG/Rubis/Blue Orchids Hotel Ford Focus WRC06 were sixth fastest with a time of 1hr, 14min, 36.74 seconds.
Thirty-five of the 80 cars that started finished the three-day event.