HO2 Construction Winter Rally brings season to an end

Edward Corbin is the Barbados Rally Club’s (BRC) Champion Driver elect, a title that has eluded the nine-time Class Champion more than once since first losing out to a tie-break in 2003. Victory in his Modified 1 Daihatsu Charmant with co-driver Johnathan Alleyne in last Sunday’s (October 27) final round, the HO2 Construction Winter Rally, maintained their 100 per cent win rate in the 2019 Driver’s and Class Championships.
 Sunday’s 10-stage, 41-kilometre event was won by Dane Skeete and Tyler Mayhew (Subaru Impreza WRC S12B) in a total elapsed time of just over 25 minutes, which also confirmed them as provisional 4wd Champions. Roger Mayers and Sean Corbin finished just under 36 seconds behind, ahead of the other five 4wd entries, after a committed and crowd-pleasing performance in the Toyota ‘WR’ Starlet, even winning the first stage after lunch by a few hundredths from Skeete.
 Mayers said: “It is difficult to maintain the rate we went at today, as it is so easy with this car to just slide off the edge. The faster we get, we start to feel a bit invincible and that's when things go wrong, so Corbs helps to just pull it back.” Of the first stage after lunch, Skeete added: “Roger caught me ‘Sunday driving’ on the first run of Turners Hall, so I had to make an effort for the next run. Other than that, it was a chill day.”
 Trinidad & Tobago’s David Coelho finished third, after swapping times on the morning stages with fellow Ford Fiesta R5 driver Andrew Mallalieu, until he edged away in the afternoon, Mallalieu finishing the day fifth; the two were split by Roger Hill in the Modified 4-winning Toyota Corolla WRC.
 In addition to finishing second in the Champion Driver title chase in 2016 and third last year, Corbin achieved a hat-trick of second places in 2003 to 2005 and again in 2009. At the finish, the provisional Champion said: “Today was a little tough as I was sick from about Friday and my plan was to start and finish every stage and we've done that. I've been close to a championship win a few times and everything came together this year. Being successful hasn't really sunk in yet, but it already feels quite good.”
 And Corbin drew praise from his closest rival Ian Warren, who also recorded a 100 per cent win rate, but with Clubman 2 undersubscribed more than once: “Congrats to Edward on keeping it together while not feeling 100 per cent. To remain in contention, I had to be focused on winning my group because these BimmaCup guys are very competitive and a lackadaisical approach would not work. Second overall is fine, as we had a ball driving the nuts off the car in our comeback year. We did a lot of driving, perhaps the most competitive miles we have ever done in a year, considering we have done perhaps about 17 events all year with a few more to go.”
 One class battle has lit up the stages all season: Jamal Brathwaite (Honda Civic Type-R) and Sunday’s event sponsor, HO2 Construction boss Paul Horton (Citroen DS 3 R3 MAX), have swapped stage wins and event wins back and forth Modified 2, reaching the final round separated by just three points. They were split by just a few seconds all day, Brathwaite winning seven stages. Horton said: “We went into the last stage a few tenths apart and he pulled out something really special; well-deserved on his part, as he was really committed, as was I. The best man won. The whole year has been us battling back and forth; he's a good friend of my mine and that makes it really special.”
 Of his first foray in to sponsorship, Horton said: “It was very successful through the coverage we got in the papers and other media. I was happy and I'm willing to do it again; I like supporting the club and I love being here in Barbados.” For the Club, PRO Neil Barnard said: “Huge thanks to Paul Horton and HO2 Construction for sponsoring the rally and continuing to support motor sport in Barbados! It was a fitting end to a successful year of rallying. We had good support, as usual, from our marshals, Roving Response, all the officials who ‘deputised' and our hard-working results team on the road and in Rally Control, who were ably assisted by Cam and Geoff from RallySafe. The re-introduction of Turners Hall to Apes Hill proved very popular, with a number of spectators viewing at points throughout the course. Just like our Pickering speed event last month, the competition was hot, to say the least. I don’t often say this at the end of a long, hard year of motor sport organisation, but I’m actually looking forward to 2020.”
 The event comprised 10 stages, five each before and after the lunch break at Hopewell, which was the Service Park for the day. In the morning, three runs through the 4.50-kilometre Dark Hole stage, running towards Spring Vale, alternated with two downhill runs of Java Island Lion Castle (4.00km). After lunch, two runs from Spring Vale to Dark Hole were mixed with three through the 3.50km Java Island Apes Hill stage.

HO2 Construction Winter Rally - Sunday, October 27
BRC Driver’s & Class Championships, round 7
Official results:

1st Dane Skeete/Tyler Mayhew (WRC Sol/Automotive Art/CO Williams Sand & Lime Subaru Impreza WRC S12B), 25m 05.42s
2nd Roger Mayers/Sean Corbin (SM2 Chefette/Rubis/Sign Depot/Hankook Toyota Starlet), + 35.60s
3rd David Coelho – T&T/Barry Ward (FIA R5 Subway/Zanzibar/Kaizan Sushi Ford Fiesta R5), + 1m 12.23s
4th Roger Hill/Graham Gittens (M4 Esso/Nassco/Pennzoil/MaxMeyer Paints/MotorMac Toyota Corolla WRC), + 1m 18.65s
5th Andrew Mallalieu/Geoff Goddard (FIA R5 Terra Caribbean Ford Fiesta R5), + 1m 29.53s
6th Rhett Watson/Bradley Weekes (SM2 Chefette/Gliptone/Stihl/Leafy Organics/Gunk/Power King Batteries/Bajan Pure Water/Its Barbados BMW M3), + 1m 48.31s
7th Andrew Jones/Lindsey Pilkington – ENG (SM2 Lucozade/Supreme Distributors Inc Ford Escort MkII), + 2m 13.37s
8th Kurt Thompson/Adam Straker (SM2 Glassesco/NKM Clothing/Bio Beauty/Slam 101.1FM/King Ocean Shipping/RA Mapp Honda Civic), + 2m 41.72s
9th Avinash Chatrani/Andrew Skeete (M4 iShop Barbados/Genius Lynk/Axe Solutions/Lenovo/PowerBass/Gunk/Sign Station Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI), + 2m 49.22s
10th Fraser Louden – SCO/Ashleigh Sidgwick - SCO (WRC EV Offshore Mitsubishi Lancer Evo Proto), + 3m 00.82s

WRC: 1st D Skeete/Mayhew, 25m 05.42s; 2nd Louden – SCO/Sidgwick – SCO, + 3m 00.82s
FIA R5: 1st Coelho – T&T/Ward, 26m 17.65s; 2nd Mallalieu/Goddard, + 17.30s
Modified 4: 1st Hill/Gittens, 26m 24.07s; 2nd Chatrani/A Skeete, + 1m 30.57s
SuperModified 2: 1st Mayers/S Corbin, 25m 41.02s; 2nd Watson/Weekes, + 1m 12.71s; 3rd Jones/Pilkington – ENG, + 1m 37.77s; etc
SM1: no finishers
M3: no finishers
M2: 1st Jamal Brathwaite/Rashid Phillips (Valvoline/Automotive Art/Consumers Guarantee Insurance/Caribbean Auto Glass/TEC Barbados/Stylz Auto Spa/Chicken Pen Racing/JSB Motorsport Honda Civic Type-R), 28m 16.24s – 11th overall; 2nd Paul Horton - TCI/Kristian Yearwood (M2 Java Island/Sky Motorsports/H Racing/Arbikie Highland Estate Citroen DS 3 R3 MAX), + 05.30s
M1: 1st Edward Corbin/Johnathan Alleyne (Valvoline/Hilti/Cargo BGI/Co-Operators General Insurance Daihatsu Charmant), 28m 53.65s – 14th o/a; 2nd Jermin Pope/Aaron Kirton (Glassesco/PEG Farms/Good Time Snacks Honda Civic), + 1m 08.49s; 3rd Shareef Walcott/Jan-Yves Hinds (Melwani’s Toyota Corolla), + 3m 33.75s
Historic 2: 1st Harold Morley - ENG/Barry McKenzie – T&T (Porsche 911RSR) 31m 30.88s – 19th o/a; 2nd John Corbin/Trevor Mapp (Valvoline/Hilti/Cargo BGI/Co-Operators General Insurance Toyota Corolla), + 2m 58.28s
Clubman 2: 1st Ian Warren/Robert Warren (West Lake Performance Tyres/Benthams Farm & Garden/Guava Tech BimmaCup), 29m 56.27s – 15th o/a; 2nd Stuart Garcia/Rasheed Smith (Smith’s Engineering Works/Four & Twenty Bakery/Intelligent Defence Systems/ Zaccios/Kirba Inc BimmaCup), + 40.89s; 3rd Allan Kinch/Kyle Proverbs (Tranquility Cruises BimmaCup), + 44.62s; etc
C1: no finishers
Group B: 1st Jonathan Still/Heath Hazell (Seawell Automotive/Sharkey’s The Bar/Pelican Produce/Total Oils BMW M3), 28m 48.99s

For media information only. No regulatory value.

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Web site: www.barbadosrallyclub.com