Class field battles for the places in an action-packed day

While a class field of drivers squabbled over the places behind him, Dane Skeete won both directions of Sunday’s (September 29) double-header Barbados Rally Club (BRC) Winter Sprint. Settled over a 3.95-kilometre course between Lamberts and Pickerings, rounds five and six of the BRC Driver’s and Class Championships brought island fans out in their numbers, along with a huge contingent from the Turks & Caicos Islands, who flew in to support BMW M3 driver Stan Hartling, who was competing on his birthday.
 Delighted with the day’s events, Rally Club PRO Neil Barnard said: “From an organiser’s perspective, the event ran to schedule, despite a number of incidents. The level of commitment shown by all of the drivers as they attacked the course was awesome and the large crowd on hand was still buzzing long after the event had ended.”
 Driving the Sol/CO Williams Sand & Lime/Automotive Art Subaru Impreza WRC S12B in which he won Sol Rally Barbados 2019, Skeete was the lone WRC entry. Continuing his learning curve in the car formerly campaigned by his father, he was happy with the day’s work: “It was a good event, aside from the launch issues, but we solved them and the day went smoothly. We also used the day to try some different settings.”
 A launch-induced stall left Skeete ninth after the first run, but his times would never be beaten for the rest of the day. Mark Thompson (Glassesco/Automotive Art /NKM Clothing/Bio Beauty Day Spa/SLAM 101.1FM Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX) topped the day’s opener in 2m 20.42s, with Modified 4 rival Roger Hill (Esso/Nassco/Pennzoil/MaxMeyer Paints/MotorMac Toyota Corolla WRC), next on 2:24.06. Top two-wheel-drive runner Andrew Jones (back in SuperModified 2 from Group B in his Lucozade/Herr’s Chips/AP Jones Pharmacy Ford Escort MkII) was next up on 2:24.70, with Trinidad & Tobago’s David Coelho (Subway Ford Fiesta R5) fourth on 2:25.88.
 Those four would scrap over the places over all eight runs, Hill beating Thompson to second overall (and in M4) by just 11 hundredths of a second in the first direction, with Coelho and Jones completing the top five. After the break, heading in the opposite direction, it was Coelho closest to Skeete, with Hill again winning M4 (this time by three-tenths), finishing third, with Jones splitting him from Thompson. Coehlo, the first regional driver to commit to the FIA R5 class, which is now growing steadily, said: “Today was nice, dry and hot, but the car worked well. I'm getting better with it, as I get more comfortable, so today was definitely a good day. I enjoyed it.”
 Brothers Rhett and Logan Watson finished sixth and seventh respectively in their BMW M3s, Rhett second to Jones in SM2 in both directions, with Logan the winner of Modified 3. Rhett was happy: “I knocked off some rust having only done limited events this year. We've put some upgraded axles to help solve the failure from Rally Barbados and they have taken all of the abuse we put at them today. We had a small gearbox issue at the end of the day, but we should be ready for the rally at the end of the year.”
 In the first run, the top 10 was completed by the returning Josh Read (Toyota Starlet), Turks & Caicos rep Stan Hartling (M3) and M2 winner Jamal Brathwaite (Honda Civic Type-R). Second time round, Read now sidelined with steering problems, Roger Skeete (Peugeot 306 Maxi) slotted in to eighth, ahead of Brathwaite and David St Hill (M3).
 BRC Champion Driver title-chasers Edward Corbin (Daihatsu Charmant) and Ian Warren (BimmaCup) claimed a brace of wins in M1 and Clubman 2 respectively, while Rally Club debutante Suleman Esuf (M3) improved steadily throughout the day, missing an overall top 10 result in the reverse direction by just three-tenths.
 Apart from Read, the day’s casualties included Shareef Walcott (M1 Daihatsu Charmant), who struck a pole on his third morning run, Chris Hoad (C2 BimmaCup), who suffered a similar fate, then the BMWs of Shon Cummings, who crashed out on the afternoon’s second run, and Stan Hartling, who hit a grass bank.

BRC Winter Sprint - Sunday, September 29
BRC Driver’s & Class Championships, round 5 (Lamberts to Pickerings)
Official results:
1st Dane Skeete (WRC Sol/CO Williams Sand & Lime/Automotive Art Subaru Impreza WRC S12B), 2m 13.03s
2nd Roger Hill (M4 Esso/Nassco/Pennzoil/MaxMeyer Paints/MotorMac Toyota Corolla WRC), + 05.52s
3rd Mark Thompson (M4 Glassesco/Automotive Art /NKM Clothing/Bio Beauty Day Spa/SLAM 101.1FM Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX), + 05.73s
4th David Coelho – T&T (FIA R5 Subway Ford Fiesta R5), + 06.33s
5th Andrew Jones (SM2 Lucozade/Herr’s Chips/AP Jones Pharmacy Ford Escort MkII), + 09.19s
6th Rhett Watson (SM2 Chefette/Gliptone/Stihl/Leafy Organics/Gunk/Power King Batteries/Bajan Pure Water/Its Barbados BMW M3), + 09.98s
7th Logan Watson (M3 Leafy Organics/Cargo BGI/Luxe Caribbean Properties/Stihl/It’s Barbados/Sign Depot/Bajan Pure Water BMW M3), + 11.16s
8th Josh Read (SM2 Weetabix Toyota Starlet), + 11.39s
9th Stan Hartling – TCI (M3 Bambarra Rum BMW M3) + 12.13s
10th Jamal Brathwaite (M2 Valvoline/Automotive Art/Consumers Guarantee Insurance/Caribbean Auto Glass/TEC Barbados/Stylz Auto Spa/Chicken Pen Racing/JSB Motorsport Honda Civic Type-R), + 12.66s
WRC: 1st Skeete
FIA R5: 1st Coelho – T&T
Modified 4: 1st Hill, 2m 18.55s; 2nd M Thompson, + 0.21s
SuperModified 2: 1st Jones, 2m 22.22s; 2nd R Watson, + 0.79s; 3rd Read, + 02.20s; etc
SM1: 1st Ryan O Wood (Shonny’s Kitchen/Lucas Oil/Biz Needz Racing/MB Auto City/Bajan Bully/Axalta Paints/Island Guild/LITT Marketing & Events/Exceptional Plumbing Services Toyota Starlet), 2m 36.33s – 19th overall
M3: 1st L Watson, 2m 24.19s; 2nd Hartling, + 0.97s; 3rd Justin Campbell (Republic Bank/Automotive Art/Sign Station/Dream Solutions/Hilti/Comps Auto Services/ZION BMW M3), + 01.93s; etc
M2: 1st Brathwaite, 2m 25.69s; 2nd Paul Horton - TCI (Java Island Citroen DS 3 R3 MAX), + 02.70s
M1: 1st Edward Corbin (Valvoline/Hilti/Cargo BGI/Co-Operators General Insurance Daihatsu Charmant), 2m 27.38s – 13th o/a; 2nd Ben Hartling – CDN (Hartling Group Citroen C2 R2 MAX), + 09.45s; 3rd Shareef Walcott (Melwani’s/Reef Motorsport Toyota Corolla), + 12.74s; etc
Historic 2: 1st Wayne Archer (Arrow Construction/Arrow Woodworking/RW Water/Archers Hall Design Centre/D & A Air Conditioning/CA Autobody Repairs/Seven Creative Media BMW 325), 2m 32.28s – 17th o/a; 2nd John Corbin (Valvoline/Hilti/Cargo BGI/Co-Operators General Insurance Toyota Corolla), + 17.14s
Clubman 2: 1st Ian Warren (West Lake Performance Tyres/Benthams Farm & Garden/Guava Tech BimmaCup), 2m 37.87s – 21st o/a; 2nd Stuart Garcia (Intelligent Defence Systems/Zaccios/Four & Twenty Bakery/ Smith’s Engineering Works/Kirba Inc BimmaCup), + 01.25s; 3rd Chris Hoad (Subway/Dasani Water BimmaCup), + 02.29s; etc
C1: 1st Jason Tull (CA Autobody Repairs/Computech Solutions/Jay-T’s Auto Services/Dominus PHD/CST Tyres/Redline Performance Imports/Devon Star Auto Parts Peugeot 106 Rallye S2), 2m 50.68s – 30th o/a
Group B: 1st Jonathan Still (Seawell Automotive/Sharkey’s Bar/Pelican Produce/Total Oils BMW M3), 2m 32.82s; 2nd Calvin Briggs (Ford Sierra), + 06.73s; 3rd Shawn Eversley (CA Autobody/SE Performance/Track Batteries/Big Gases Suzuki Swift), + 11.95s

BRC Driver’s & Class Championships, round 6 (Pickerings to Lamberts)
Official results:
1st D Skeete, 2m 13.94s
2nd Coelho – T&T, + 06.57s
3rd Hill, + 08.03s
4th Jones, + 08.10s
5th Thompson, + 08.38s
6th R Watson, + 09.64s
7th L Watson, + 11.39s
8th Roger Skeete (SM2 Sol/Automotive Art Peugeot 306 Maxi), + 12.41s
9th Brathwaite, + 14.51s
10th David St Hill (M3 St Hill & Sons Garage/Tropical Touch/Charles Doc Inc/Solar & Wind Energy Solutions BMW M3), + 15.46s
WRC: 1st Skeete
FIA R5: 1st Coelho – T&T
Modified 4: 1st Hill, 2m 21.97s; 2nd M Thompson, + 0.35s
SuperModified 2: 1st Jones, 2m 22.04s; 2nd R Watson, + 01.54s; 3rd R Skeete, + 04.31s; etc
SM1: 1st Wood, 2m 40.51s – 19th o/a
M3: 1st L Watson, 2m 25.33s; 2nd St Hill, + 04.07s; 3rd Suleman Esuf (Express Imports/SY Adams BMW M3), + 04.38s; etc
M2: 1st Brathwaite, 2m 28.45s; 2nd Horton, + 01.81s
M1: 1st E Corbin, 2m 30.97s – 14th o/a; 2nd Pierre Beswick – TCI (Grace Bay Car Rentals/Hartling Luxury Resorts/Caicos Dream Tours Citroen C2 R2 MAX), + 19.15s
Historic 2: 1st Archer, 2m 35.67s – 16th o/a; 2nd J Corbin, + 21.02s
Clubman 2: 1st Warren, 2m 40.68s – 20th o/a; 2nd Garcia, + 02.65s; 3rd Jason Downey (MQI/Subzero/mMoney BimmaCup), + 21.38s
C1: 1st Tull, 2m 52.03s – 24th o/a
Group B: 1st Still, 2m 30.39s; 2nd Briggs, + 27.76s