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Clarke leadsthepack

widens gap after six rounds

With six of 10 rounds completed in the 2012 Barbados Rally Club (BRC) Virgin Atlantic Driver’s and Class Championships, Modified 7 leader Daryl Clarke (Honda Civic) has increased his lead in the overall title chase, thanks to a perfect score over the two weekends of Sol Go Further King of the Hill and Sol Rally Barbados 2012.

Meanwhile, the rally club is enjoying increased competitor numbers – 63 local drivers have participated in Virgin Atlantic Championship events so far this season, an increase of 11 per cent over last year’s total at the same point of 57.

Class wins in all three events – each day of Sol RB12 was a separate round – plus three bonus points as fastest in M7 on the Power Stage make Clarke’s total 108.

He is five ahead of Neil Corbin (Toyota Starlet) and Geoff Noel (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX), the leaders of M6 and Production 4, who are tied for second, with SuperModified 11 leader Logan Watson (BMW M3) a further three points behind in fourth.

The four-wheel-drive points have been shuffled. Paul Bourne (Ford Focus WRC07) has jumped into first place after his miserable weekend at King of the Hill. He finished second among the local competitors on the Saturday of Sol RB12 and was the winner on Sunday.

He now leads Sean Gill (Suzuki SX4 WRC) by six points, with Noel and Roger Skeete (Subaru Impreza WRC S12) third and fourth respectively.

The two-wheel-drive title chase could not be closer. Neil Armstrong (Starlet) and Watson each have 75 points, the former’s perfect record as top two-wheel drive launching him into contention despite missing the first two rounds. Clarke is third, ahead of early leader Stuart Maloney (Peugeot 306 Maxi).

Maloney’s advantage of six points after three rounds was cut to four at King of the Hill, when Watson’s last-run charge gave him the class win.

The BMW driver’s two wins the following weekend, when Maloney didn’t score, made for a lead of 39 points. Also in BMWs, Alex Whitehead and Bryan Gill are within 12 points of MaloneyIn Super Modified 10 Armstrong’s perfect score of class wins since his first BRC outing at the Valvolvine Shakedown Stages gives him a 21-point lead over Ralph White (Starlet), who is enjoying an excellent season, while Ian Warren’s (Suzuki Swift) engine woes on Sol RB12 leave him third, only one point ahead of Josh Read (Starlet)In Super Modified 9, thanks to good early-season form, Allan Maynard still leads the Starlets at the sharp end of this competitive class.

Three wins have brought Carlos Edwards to within three points of him, however, and the positions would switch if one applied the dropped-score rule now. Roger Mayers is now third, two points ahead of Clifford Cox, who has slipped from second.

In Modified 7, Clarke is unbeaten this year. His most recent successes have pushed his advantage over Kyle Catwell (Volkswagen Golf) up to 42, with Sean Field (Peugeot 306 GTi6) another 12 points behind, with neither scoring at King of the HillIn Modified 6 and 5 merged, Corbin has been beaten only once, by Jamal Brathwaite (Mitsubishi Mirage) at the Shakedown Stages, so he leads by 47 points – that’s the biggest margin of all – with Brathwaite second, two points ahead of Wayne Archer (Peugeot 206). (PR)†

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