Summer Sun & Stars Rally tomorrow
Jamaica’s Jeffrey Panton (Ford Focus WRC06) is top seed for tomorrow’s Summer Sun & Stars Rally, heading an entry list of nearly 30 for the combined Barbados Rally Club (BRC) and Motoring Club (MCBI) event.
A further ten cars will run ahead of the main field in the Barbados historic rally, organised by the Vaucluse Raceway Motor Sport Club (VR-MSC).
Scrutineering was today at the Carter’s Wildey, St Michael complex, with tomorrow’s event slated for a 2p.m. start and a finish scheduled for 10 p.m. Twelve stages are scheduled, heading north from the service park at Hopewell Plantation during the afternoon, then southbound in darkness, with spectator attention likely to focus on a much-lengthened configuration of the Vaucluse Raceway, included in each direction in the Hangmans Hill stage.
Panton and co-driver Mike Fennell Jr. arrived in the island yesterday in time for the briefing meeting at Vaucluse where the running order was confirmed. Roger Hill and Graham Gittens (Toyota Corolla WRC) start behind Panton and ahead of Dane Skeete, who makes his four-wheel-drive competition debut in father Roger’s Subaru Impreza WRC S12 with co-driver Tyler Mayhew.
He first drove the Impreza at a Bushy Park Track Day two weeks ago.
“It’s an awesome machine, quite different to my usual skate. The launch control is epic, to say the least. Of course, it’s a lot heavier, and that gives it a different feel in the high-speed bends, as well as under braking. Also, it has an oomph more torque,” Skeete said.
Of the chance to go head-to-head with Sol Rally Barbados 2015 winner Panton, he added: “I don’t expect to be anywhere near his pace, so I’m not too bothered, really. The target is just to finish . . . and have some fun in the process.”
And, what advice, if any, has been handed down by “The Sheriff”?
“Just the usual –– have fun and bring it home,” Dane said.
Even with Skeete’s Peugeot 306 Maxi taken out of the equation, an intense two-wheel-drive battle is still in prospect. Top seed is Rhett Watson (BMW M3), ahead of Barry Mayers –– he’s standing in for brother Roger who is unwell, in WR Starlet, Neil Armstrong (Toyota Starlet) and Cliff Roett (Toyota Starlet).
With three rounds of the BRC driver’s and class championships to run, including tomorrow’s event, the clubman, historic, modified 6, M7 and SuperModified 10 and SM12 classes are all fully subscribed, meaning there is still a long way to go before the various titles are settled.