Drivers: Vaucluse too hard on tyres
Remove the Vaucluse Raceway. That’s the call from a number of local, regional and international drivers at the end of Sol Rally Barbados 2018 after complaining it is too hard on tyres.
One of the drivers voicing concern was four-time champion of the Barbados Rally Club’s (BRC) blue riband event, Jamaica’s Jeff Panton, who said he was happy with the outcome of the rally, but more night stages should have been included in the make-up of the rally as well as lengthening some of the stages.
Acknowledging he would not know what challenges or complications there might have been for the club in so doing, Panton said it was a good rally for him and co-driver Mike Fennell Jr.
“The stages are good, but the Vaucluse Raceway should be pulled from the Hangman’s Hill stage as the venue could hold its own without the inclusion of the raceway,” Panton noted.
The Jamaican felt it was very hard on tyres and affected the cost of participation by destroying tyres quickly.
“One run through Vaucluse destroys a set of brand new tyres and quite a few drivers have complained during the Friday night start about how rough the raceway is on tyres, and that it should be removed and the VIP and other branded tents placed outside of the raceway as was done in the past,” he added.
Admitting it might be a good spectacle for the club and its sponsors and fans, Panton said that since the Vaucluse Raceway does not count, it should be used at the end of the rally and notat the start.
Britain’s Rob Swann and Raymond Clough were also critical about the Vaucluse Raceway and suggested the removal of the Raceway from the event, as they weren’t sure why it was included in the first place.
But club chairman Mark Hamilton said the BRC had not received any official complaints from any drivers, but noted they are also mindful of any concerns raised by competitors.
“We always listen and take everyone’s opinion into consideration but I am not aware of any complaints from any drivers, up to now, about the rally or the use of the Vaucluse Raceway,” he said. (TT)