Watson takes two-wheel title
RHETT?WATSON is the new two-wheel drive champion.
Driving the Power King Batteries/Carter’s Pitstop/ Gliptone/Stihl/Packaging Centre/The Unknown Entity/In support of Little Pink Gift BMW M3 Watson, in the company of co-driver James Hutchinson, survived the rigours of last weekend’s Sol Rally Barbados to return a time of 1 hour, 18 minutes, 90.20 seconds. He also won SM12 and finished eighth overall.
“It means a lot to have my name in the history books next to drivers such as Sean Gill, Neil Armstrong and Ian Warren,” Watson said at the end of the gruelling event.
Apart from the top-class group, all eyes were on the impressive two-wheel drive competitors such as Josh Read, in the Stihl/Gliptone/Hankook/Cell Hut/Royal Purple/ Weetabix/ Chutney’s/Ezone Toyota Starlet), Roger Mayers in the SM10 Chefette/Digicel/Pennzoil/Illusion Graphics/Hankook WR Starlet and Dane Skeete at the wheel of the SM11 Rubis/Williams Trading Inc/LIME/Michelin Peugeot 306 Maxi.
But the promised battle for supremacy among the two-wheel-drive stars did not materialise. Read missed the fourth stage on Saturday to correct a brake problem which pushed him out of the running for overall position, while Skeete, the son of the event’s winner, Roger “The Sheriff” Skeete was plagued with suspension. Mayers also had problems with the gearbox in the Starlet.
The demise of the fancied drivers in the category left Watson in charge, a position which he held to the end to gain his best Sol Rally Barbados result overall as a driver. It was also a family hat-trick of class wins.
An impressive drive from Andrew Jones in the AP Jones Pharmacy/Southern Surf Beach Apartments/Lucozade/Panadol/
Precision Racing Ford Escort MkII, helped him to grab second place among the two-wheel drive stars and ninth overall with a time of 1 hour, 19 minutes, 23.71 seconds.
It was his second two-wheel drive and class win for the second straight year, up 21 places overall compared with last year. His co-driver, England’s Lindsey Pilkington, collected the trophy as highest-placed female co-driver.
Irishman Frank Kelly and his Trinidadian co-driver Robert Cadiz, in the Bathshack.com/Kumho Tyres/ Campbell Contract/DMS Ireland/Charlie McEnery Motors/Panta Fuel Ford Escort MkII placed third with a time of 1 hour, 21 minutes 32.25 seconds. They finished ahead of M7 stars Daryl Clarke and Russell Brancker in the Roberts Manufacturing/
P & N Hardware/Valvoline/Amir’s Chicken/MQI Quality/Mum’s Pasta Honda Civic, who returned a time of 1 hour, 22 minutes, 03.54 seconds.
Tom Horton of the Turks and Caicos Islands and Barbadian co-driver Kristian Yearwood finished fifth with a time of 1 hour, 22minutes, 24.81 seconds. The English pair of Nigel Worswick and Rebecca Kirschin, at the wheel of the Worswick Engineering/Rallytech Composites/Motordrive Seats Ford Escort MkII, rounded out the top six with a time of 1 hour, 22 minutes, 55.91 seconds.