Daryl Clarke is the man.

The ace driver will be crowned the Barbados Rally Club’s (BRC) Champion Driver for 2016 following two wins in the season finale in yesterday’s BRC Winter Sprint in the north of the island.

While victory was well-deserved after Clarke had lost the coveted title twice in the last four years in tie-break deciders, it was a bitter-sweet day, as he badly damaged his car in an accident on the day’s final stage.

After missing the curtain-raiser of the eight-round championship in March, he won Modified 2 in all the remaining events in his Honda Civic, to amass a total of 130 points, putting him out of reach of all the opposition. In 2012, he had lost out to Neil Corbin, then to Rhett Watson in 2014.

An elated Clarke noted: “I have come very close to winning the championship a couple of times and it feels great to finally do it. I was very busy this year with a lot of travelling and didn’t have much time to prepare for most of the events, so I was not actually studying the championship. My aim was just to enjoy myself and the car was very reliable allowing me a stress-free year, because I wasn’t picking at it all the time.”

Clarke finished fifth overall in both directions in Sunday’s event, which was run between Luke Hill, St Peter and Church Hill, St Lucy. His last-run incident was not the only drama of the day – having won round seven overall. Roger Mayers (WR Starlet) clipped a rock on the second official run in the opposite direction, broke the steering and crashed heavily. A post on M & M Racing’s Facebook page reported: “Roger says it is one of the highest forced impact accidents he has ever had, going from 75mph to 0mph in 20 feet. So thankful that Roger’s car is so strong and protected him.”

Despite that, his first-run time was good enough for him to finish second to Josh Read (Toyota Starlet) in round eight, exchanging their finishing positions from the earlier run.

Read explained: “We were finally able to get rid of the electrical gremlins which have affected the car for a few events. The first direction went well, but I had a few sideways moments that scrubbed some speed, and the reverse direction was a first time for me, and possibly most drivers. I thoroughly enjoyed it, my fastest run in this direction I would have to say was near perfection, just one corner that I lost a bit of time on.”

Dane Skeete (Peugeot 306 Maxi) finished third overall in each direction, just 1.1 seconds off Mayers’s winning time in round seven and six-tenths off Read in round eight. Reflecting on the season, Read added: “The two-wheel drive battle has been intense, constantly pushing man and machine to the limit. One for the record books in my opinion. Big shout out and thanks to my main competition, Roger Mayers and Dane Skeete, for a great year. Get well soon, Roger.”

Following the incidents involving Clarke and Mayers, BRC public relations officer Neil Barnard said: “After the events of yesterday afternoon, I am reminded of what a sterling team we have looking after our competitors. We put these things in place to safeguard our competitors in the event there is an adverse outcome to a competition scenario in the hope that we never have to use them, but when we do, its reassuring that we have the very best looking after them. My sincere thanks to our BRC organising team, the marshals, the roving response teams and Dr Brian Charles and his team, who once again did an amazing job yesterday.”

Final results

BRC Winter Sprint –

BRC Driver’s and Class Championships, round 7

1st Roger Mayers (WR Starlet), 1m 13.08s

2nd Josh Read (Toyota Starlet), 1m 13.61s

3rd Dane Skeete (Peugeot 306 Maxi), 1m 14.09s

4th Roger Hill (Toyota Corolla WRC), 1m 14.42s

5th Daryl Clarke (Honda Civic), 1m 15.94s

6th Rhett Watson (BMW M3), 1m 16.26s

7th Andrew Mallalieu (Subaru Impreza N10), 1m 17.21s

8th Neil Corbin (Toyota Starlet), 1m 18.67s

9th Jeremy Gonsalves (Opel Corsa), 1m 18.95s

10th Andrew Jones (Ford Escort MkII), 1m 19.28s

WRC: 1st Hill

Group N: 1st Mallalieu

SuperModified 3: 1st Watson; 2nd David St Hill (BMW M3), 1m 20.66s

SM2: 1st Mayers; 2nd Read; 3rd Skeete;

SM1: 1st Gonsalves; 2nd Edward Corbin (Daihatsu Charmant), 1m 21.06s; 3rd Shareef Walcott (Toyota Corolla), 1m 24.21s; etc

Modified 2: 1st Clarke; 2nd Adrian Linton (Vauxhall Astra), 1m 19.90s; 3rd Paul Horton – TCI (Ford Escort MkI), 1m 20.79s; etc

M1: 1st N Corbin

Clubman 2: 1st Joe Troulan (BMW 318ti Compact), 1m 30.67s

C1: 1st Jermin Pope (Honda Civic), 1m 27.09s; 2nd Trevor Mapp (Mitsubishi Colt Mivec RS), 1m 31.03s

Historic 2: 1st John Corbin (Toyota Corolla), 1m 33.39s

BRC Driver’s and Class Championships, round 8

1st Read, 1m 15.91s

2nd Mayers, 1m 16.57s

3rd Skeete, 1m 16.58s

4th Hill, 1m 19.51s

5th Clarke, 1m 19.96s

6th Watson, 1m 20.46s

7th Mallalieu, 1m 21.31s

8th N Corbin, 1m 22.57s

9th Jones, 1m 23.17s

10th Horton, 1m 24.14s

WRC: 1st Hill

Group N: 1st Mallalieu

SuperModified 3: 1st Watson; 2nd St Hill, 1m 25.89s

SM2: 1st Read; 2nd Mayers; 3rd Skeete; etc

SM1: 1st E Corbin, 1m 28.38s; 2nd Walcott, 1m 28.52s; 3rd Jason Harewood (Toyota Starlet), 1m 30.51s

Modified 2: 1st Clarke; 2nd Horton; 3rd Linton, 1m 25.59s;

M1: 1st N Corbin

Clubman 2: 1st Troulan, 1m 35.42s

C1: 1st Pope, 1m 33.42s; 2nd Mapp, 1m 35.73s

Historic 2: 1st J Corbin, 1m 42.01s

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