Rally drivers gearing up for the tarmac

Conor Roach will be one of the star attractions at next week’s tarmac event.
Conor Roach will be one of the star attractions at next week’s tarmac event.

After a break of seven weeks, the Barbados Rally Club’s 2013 calendar resumes on Saturday, August 17, with the BRC Summer Nights Tarmac Sprint.

Originally planned as a tarmac special stage rally, the seventh of 10 rounds of the Virgin Atlantic Driver’s and Class Championships will now be a night-time speed event.

Entries opened at Motorsport Services in Haggatt Hall yesterday, and will close at noon on August 16. Also a qualifying round of the Motoring Club of Barbados Inc’s annual championship, the event will run to the usual speed event format: one practice run, scheduled to start at 6.30pm, will be followed by three official runs.

The venue will be the popular Hangman’s Hill to Lion Castle stage, running north over approximately 3.37 kilometres, offering competitors their last chance to score points on tarmac in the 2013 Virgin Atlantic Championship. The remaining two events are the double-header BRC Autumn Gravel Sprint (September 29) and the BRC Winter Gravel Rally (October 13).

The BRC competition secretary Neil Corbin said: “A number of competitors have been keen to compete in more speed events, and we decided that this would be an ideal way to give them the opportunity to do so. This venue has not been used as much this year as in previous seasons, and we hope to attract a sizeable crowd of spectators, expecially as we are running at night.”

Conor Roach (Peugeot 106) and Rhett Watson (SuperModified BMW M3) jointly lead the overall title chase, based on class results, with 105 points each (scored from a possible maximum of 108); drivers will count their nine best scores at year-end.

Group N leader Geoff Noel (Mitsubishi Lancer EvoIX) is the highest-placed four-wheel-drive entry in third place overall on 102 points, with Josh Read (Toyota Starlet) fourth on 96. Tied in fifth place, each with 92 points, are Andrew Jones (Ford Escort MkII), Roger Skeete (Subaru Impreza WRC S12) and Ian Warren (SM10 Suzuki Swift).

The top 10 is completed by WRC-2 class leader Roger Hill (Toyota Corolla WRC) with 88 points, Andrew Mallalieu, whose 87 points place him second in Group N in his Subaru Impreza N10, and Modified 7 leader Edward Corbin (Toyota Corolla RunX), who has 76 points.

Read continues to lead the two-wheel-drive title chase, based on overall results, six points ahead of Warren, while Skeete heads Hill by 19 points in the 4-wheel drive championship. (RB)

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