Gibbs reigns in Autocross
INTERMITTENT showers and a slippery course were not enough to prevent Tristan Gibbs from making off with top honours in the Barbados Rally Club’s Autocross at Andrews Factory last Sunday.
Driving a well prepared Toyota Corolla SR, he showed his intentions from early and never looked back, cocking the fastest time of 1 minute, 07. 56 seconds.
Last year’s champion Omar Boodhoo took second place after he posted a time of 1 minute, 10.43 seconds at the wheel of Suzuki Swift 1300 GTi.
In the opening run, Gibbs was second fastest with a time of 1 minute, 17 seconds, behind Daniel Small, who posted 1 minute, 14.09 seconds in a Suzuki Ignis Sport 1500 he was sharing with Nicholas Harrison and Fabien Clarke. Boodhoo recorded a time of 1 minute, 18.06 seconds.
But after that run, it was all Gibbs. He grabbed the overall lead with a time of 1.07.56 as the weather changed and the showers transformed the course from dry to slippery.
In Run No.3, Gibbs continued his winning form with some precision driving and excellent car control to lead the run with a time of 1 minute, 10.12 seconds. Boodhoo followed with a time of 1 minute, 10.43 seconds after battling with handbrake issues.
Richard Hinkson, in the Suzuki Ignis Sport, slipped in to collect third place on this run with a time of 1 minute, 11.81 seconds. Philip Carter, in a specially-prepared Toyota Starlet Turbo, logged his best time of the day (1 minute, 14.59 seconds) to continue to make his presence felt.
Four drivers opted not to compete in the fourth run, and Gibbs showed that his earlier performances were no fluke as he posted the fastest time of 1 minute, 09.06 seconds
It was an impressive performance from Gibbs, who was returning to action in Barbados after a long layoff studying overseas.
Fans were also treated to a demonstration from reigning Jamaican dexterity champion Christopher “Teach” McFarlane, in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 10.
BRC Autocross co–ordinator Geoff Goddard said that the Andrews Factory location proved to be good for such events and he thanked the competitors for their support.
“I think that we have a new group of competitors and with more in the pipeline and along with the regular seasoned Auto X competitors we should have some good competition next year,” he said.
He also thanked Jason Downey, Kevin Manning and Dominic Serrao for providing marshalling duties and Daniel Small for transporting the traffic cones.
McFarlane said that the course layout was very good with the right mix of tight sections and faster flowing areas. He added that the morning showers added some spice to the event.