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Panton gets in Sprint mode

Trevor Thorpe

Panton gets in Sprint mode

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Seat-time will be foremost in the mind of Jeff “Fudgie” Panton when he goes to the start line today for the Barbados Rally Club’s (BRC) Winter Tarmac Sprint double-header.

The Jamaican, with co-driver Mike Fennell (Jr), is fresh from winning the Motoring Club Barbados Inc.’s (MCBI) Williams Industries Rally Of The Sun And Stars three weeks ago and is looking forward to the event.

   “Seat-time is what this exercise would have been for us, although [the] event would be different and on a different surface. But there is never too much seat-time, after which the car would be shipped back to Jamaica in preparation for Rally Jamaica, which will be contested from November 22 to 24,” Fennell told SUN SPORTS from Jamaica.

Fennell has to attend to a family matter and will not be taking his customary position in the car. As a result, Panton will be looking for a Barbadian co-driver for the day’s action in the KIG/ Rubis/Blue Orchids Hotel Ford Focus WRC06.

    Panton will have to pay attention to hometown hero Roger “The Sheriff” Skeete in the Sol/LIME/Simpson Motors/

Michelin/Williams Trading Inc. Subaru Impreza S12 and the remainder of the WRC1 group.

The event will be run as a “double header” event with one practice run and three official runs in the first direction. After the lunch break the stage will be run in the reverse direction with one practice run and three official runs.

Each direction will count as a round in the 2014 BRC Championship. Times will not be cumulative and the competitors’ fastest run in each direction will be used to determine their class and overall position.

After scrutineering at the MTW Chance Hall Depot in St Lucy at 8:30 a.m., the event is slated to start at 10 a.m. for Round 7 of the BRC Championship. This will run from Josey Hill to Lamberts, with the direction being reversed for Round 8. The lunch break will be at around noon, with the finish expected to be at about 3 p.m.

  Neil Corbin, the BRC’s competition secretary, said the stage was short, but has a few challenging areas that will test both high-speed and low-speed manoeuvrability, especially in the area of the hairpin between the cut rock.

Offering up to a total of 30 points for two class wins, the event is expected to be keenly contested, especially among front-runners for the drivers’ championship Daryl Clarke, Rhett Watson and Stuart White.

Clarke and Watson are tied on 116 points, while White is trailing on 113. However, when the drop score rule – each driver must drop the season’s lowest score – is applied, Watson would have 103 points, White 102 and Clarke 101.