Top drivers have points to prove
Read leading a close battle at the top
As competitors in the Barbados Rally Club (BRC) driver’s and class championships make their final preparations for the two most important weekends of the year – Flow King of the Hill and Sol Rally Barbados 2016 – the leading 10 drivers in the champion driver title chase are covered by just nine points after the first two rounds.
With nearly 50 local entries, however, a major shake-up is on the cards. At Flow King of the Hill on May 29, the speed event scale gives 15 points for a class win, while Sol Rally Barbados from June 3 to 5 represents two championship rounds. Friday and Saturday are round four, Sunday round five – with 20 points for a class win, giving a maximum possible score of 55 points over the two weekends.
With two of the eight rounds run, SuperModified 2 class-leader Josh Read (Toyota Starlet) has a perfect record, with two class wins and the maximum possible 35 points. He is helped by competing in one of the more popular classes, as the points scale is reduced if there are fewer than three starters, which has affected other front-runners.
Read’s advantage over Clubman 1 leader Rommell Martin (Toyota Starlet) is three points. Martin won C1 in the opening round, but finished second in the Sunoco Shakedown Stages to Pierre Clarke (Honda Civic), who is equal third in the champion driver standings with Group N leader Andrew Mallalieu (Subaru Impreza N10), just one point behind Martin.
Equal fifth, another single point behind Clarke and Mallalieu, are Jamal Brathwaite (Honda Civic Type-R) and Neil Corbin (Toyota Starlet), who respectively lead Modified 2 and M1.
Mallalieu leads the four-wheel-drive points, ahead of the only WRC runner to have been seen so far, Roger Hill (Toyota Corolla WRC), with his Group N opposition Mark Thompson and Trinidad & Tobago’s David Coelho, each in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX, third and fourth.
In the two-wheel-drive championship, Read has a seven-point advantage over Dane Skeete (Peugeot 306 Maxi), with Andrew Jones (Ford Escort MkII), Corbin, Roger Mayers (WR Starlet) and Daryl Clarke (Honda Civic) completing the top six.
While overall and class awards for Sol Rally Barbados 2016 are presented only to those crews which complete all the scheduled stages, the ‘two-thirds’ rule still applies for local competitors. Points can therefore be scored in the championship on Friday/Saturday and then Sunday, providing two-thirds of the stages run have been completed. Overseas competitors are ignored as far as championship points are concerned, although local crews still enjoy the once-a-year chance to gauge their competitiveness against the visitors.