Jamaica’s Jeff Panton and Mike Fennell claimed their second Flow King of the Hill crown yesterday (Sunday), but enjoyed the limelight alone this time, following 2016’s tie with Simon Jean-Joseph and Jack Boyere. Second-placed Rob Swann claimed his best-ever KotH result, ahead of fellow British regulars, Roger Duckworth and Kevin Procter, with Roger Skeete finishing fifth and highest-placed local driver, as last year.

Sol Rally Barbados (June 2-4) and Flow King of the Hill (May 28) are organised and promoted by the Barbados Rally Club, which celebrates its 60th Anniversary in 2017; title sponsors are the Sol Group and Flow. Marketing partners are Simpson Motors, Automotive Art and Banks; official partners are Accra Beach Hotel & Spa, the Barbados Hotel & Tourism Association, Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc, Geest Line and the Tourism Development Corporation; associate sponsors are Chefette and Stoute’s Car Rental.

Panton said: “Every win is a good win and the confidence level is high for next weekend. We went out very strong for the first run, as we expected rain. I wasn’t able to better my time for runs two and three, but the last run was dry and we lowered the time by two seconds. The Friday night start doesn’t bother me too much; seven-kilometre stages are nothing new for me and it’s just another night stage and we’re ready for it.”

By the time the first run over the 4.3 km’s course started at 10:00 am, huge crowds had gathered inside the Vaucluse Raceway (VRW) in St Thomas, with hundreds more spectators lining other popular spots on Hangman’s Hill, at Dukes and Lion Castle. After rain had fallen sporadically during Saturday’s Rally Show at Simpson Motors, more was forecast for Sunday, and it would play its part in the results.

Second-placed Rob Swann and Darren Garrod in their Elegant Hotels/Blue Sky Luxury/Cygnet Plant Subaru Impreza WRC S12B
Photo Credit: Himal Reece/

For the first time, there was no Practice run, the fastest of four Official runs to decide the results, then seeding for Sol RB17. This would benefit a handful of drivers, including a couple of class-winners, as everyone was encouraged to be ‘on it’ from the start, with rain likely. The event was run in reverse order of seeding, from Clubman up to WRC-1.

Panton (Rubis/Sandals Barbados/KIG Ford Focus WRC06) was quickest on the first run, clocking 2m 48.55s, 2.3secs faster than Swann and Darren Garrod in the Elegant Hotels/Blue Sky Luxury/Cygnet Plant Subaru Impreza WRC S12B, with Skeete and Louis Venezia another 1.3secs adrift in the Sol/Flow/Automotive Art/Simpson Motors/WTI Impreza S12B. Duckworth and Mark Broomfield (Intrinsys Impreza S6) were fourth, with Procter and newcomer Andrew Roughead (Procter’s Coaches Ford Fiesta) fifth.

Dane Skeete and Tyler Mayhew (Sol/Flow/Automotive Art/Williams Trading Inc Peugeot 306 Maxi) were sixth and fastest 2wd, ahead of Watson (Chefette/Power King Batteries/Gliptone/Stihl/Gunk/The Unknown Entity in support of Little Pink Gift BMW M3), Josh Read and Mark Jordan (Sprite/Hankook/Chutney’s/Urban Kitchen/Weetabix/Nassco/Flow/eCarib Classifieds/Cell Hut Toyota Starlet), Roger Hill and Graham Gittens (Esso/Nassco/MaxMeyer/MotorMac/Pennzoil Toyota Corolla WRC) and Avinash Chatrani and Eric Allamby (Lenovo/PowerBass/Gunk/iShop/Genius Lynk/Copacabana Beach Club Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI).

While Panton improved by two-tenths on the second run, he could have gone faster, but encountered yellow flags after Roger Skeete had slid off on an unexpected stretch of wet road, damaging the front left of the Impreza. While Swann (by 1.8secs, to within six-tenths of Panton), Procter (by 4.3secs) and Duckworth (by 2.6secs) also all improved on the second run, Skeete’s first-run time was still good enough for him to stay in fifth place . . . and so it remained for the rest of the day.

Jeffrey Panton and Michael Fennell at the Flow King of the Hill Prizegiving, flanking Flow Barbados Managing Director Jenson Sylvester.
Photo Credit: Himal Reece/

Rain fell part-way through run three, so only drivers in the first half of the field improved; then there was then a delay while emergency teams dealt with a number of incidents, the worst of which befell Scotland’s Fraser Louden, who rolled his Evo IX near the end of the stage. While both he and co-driver were OK, the clear-up took some time.

Skeete returned once the run resumed and, although he was no faster, he was happy with the repairs to the car; catching the best of the weather, Britain’s Nigel Worswick and Rebecca Kirsch were fastest in the Worswick Engineering/Rallytech Composites Ford Escort WRC.

While both Panton and Duckworth improved on run four, Duckworth leap-frogging Procter for third, Swann’s earlier time still earned him a satisfying second place: “I had a really good day, despite not having any real clean runs. I drove well within myself, as there is still next week to come. I’m pretty pleased with second overall, which means not being first on the road, so it could work to my benefit.”

Flow King of the Hill winners Jeffrey Panton and Michael Fennell Jnr in action in their Rubis/Sandals Barbados/KIG Ford Focus WRC06

Dane Skeete held the upper hand in the 2wd battle until the final run, when Watson cut 2.5secs off his first-run time to finish ahead; Skeete also lost out to Roger Mayers and Sean Corbin (Chefette/Rubis/Digicel/DHL/Hankook/Illusion Graphics WR Starlet), who had finished the first run stuck in second gear, which required a trip back to the workshop. Mayers was 65th after run one, missed run two, 51st after run three (one place behind Scottish crowd favourite Allan Mackay’s Ford Anglia WRC) and finished eighth and winner of SuperModified 2. His brother Barry and Ben Norris completed the top 10, third in SM2, the Chefette/Rubis/Digicel/DHL/Hankook/Illusion Graphics Ford Fiesta handling strangely, running one rear damper borrowed from the Starlet.

Watson said: “The plan today was to feel out the car as we did some development work since the Shakedown Stages. The weather played a big part, so we tried to have a go in the first run to post a good time, then we had some fun sliding in the wet. It feels great to win something like this on sheer pace and not really benefit from attrition!”

The smallest margin of victory in the classes was Roger Mayers (0.39secs) over Dane Skeete in SM2, with five other classes settled by less than 1.5secs: Daryl Clarke (Flow/Automotive Art/Amir’s Chicken/MQI Collision Repair/Valvoline/eCarib Classifieds Honda Civic) and Kurt Thompson (Glassesco/NKM Clothing/Bio-Beauty Day Spa Civic) were split by just 0.51secs in Modified 2, while Wayne Archer (Archers Hall Design Centre/RW Water/Arrow Woodworking/Arrow Construction/D & A Mechanical Services BMW 325) beat Greg Cozier (Barbados Historic Rally Carnival/Geest Line/Jondel Race Engines/Rally and Competition Equipment Ford Escort RS) by 0.84secs in Historic 2.

In Group A, Chatrani beat Trinidad’s David Coelho (Subway/Zanzibar/Kaizan Sushi Evo IX) by 1.44secs, the same margin of victory by which Edward Corbin (Automotive Art/Hilti Daihatsu Charmant) came from behind to beat Scotland’s Kenny Hall (Halltune Garage/F & Co Hair Stylists/The Sporting Pig Sports Bar & Restaurant/Time Out Hotel Ford Puma S1600) in M1. Holland’s Frans Verbaas (Verbaas Preparations/Koni Rover Mini Cooper) beat England’s Andrew Costin-Hurley (Cygnet Plant Ltd/Earl’s Performance Hoses/Wootton Tyres Ford Puma Evo) by 1.50secs in Group B2.


Key to nationalities (competitor from Barbados unless shown): ENG – England; FRA – France; GUY – Guyana; JAM – Jamaica; MTQ – Martinique; NED – The Netherlands; NZL – New Zealand; SCO – Scotland; T&T – Trinidad & Tobago; USA – United States of America; WAL – Wales

1st Jeffrey Panton – JAM/Michael Fennell Jnr – JAM (Rubis/Sandals Barbados/KIG Ford Focus WRC06), 2m 46.45s 2nd Rob Swann – ENG/Darren Garrod – WAL (Elegant Hotels/Blue Sky Luxury/Cygnet Plant Subaru Impreza WRC S12B), + 02.50s 3rd Roger Duckworth – ENG/Mark Broomfield – ENG (Intrinsys Subaru Impreza WRC S6), + 04.41s 4th Kevin Procter – ENG/Andrew Roughead – ENG (Procters Coaches Ford Fiesta), + 05.19s 5th Roger Skeete/Louis Venezia (Sol/Flow/Automotive Art/Simpson Motors/WTI Subaru Impreza WRC S12B), + 05.72s 6th Roger Hill/Graham Gittens (Esso/Nassco/MaxMeyer/MotorMac/Pennzoil Toyota Corolla WRC), + 08.30s 7th Rhett Watson/James Hutchinson (Chefette/Power King Batteries/Gliptone/Stihl/Gunk/The Unknown Entity in support of Little Pink Gift BMW M3), + 08.37s 8th Roger Mayers/Sean Corbin (Chefette/Rubis/Digicel/DHL/Hankook/Illusion Graphics WR Starlet), + 08.90s 9th Dane Skeete/Tyler Mayhew (Sol/Flow/Automotive Art/Williams Trading Inc Peugeot 306 Maxi), + 09.29s 10th Barry Mayers/Ben Norris (Chefette/Rubis/Digicel/DHL/Hankook/Illusion Graphics Ford Fiesta), + 10.70s etc
WRC-1: 1st Panton/Fennell, 2m 46.45s; 2nd Swann/Garrod, + 02.50s; 3rd Procter/Roughead, + 05.19s; etc Group A: 1st Avinash Chatrani/Eric Allamby (Lenovo/PowerBass/Gunk/iShop/Genius Lynk/Copacabana Beach Club Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI), 2m 59.10s – 12th o/a; 2nd David Coelho – T&T/James Harris – ENG (Subway/Zanzibar/Kaizan Sushi Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX), + 01.44s; 3rd Ryan Pinheiro – T&T/Ross Vieira – T&T (Lange Trinidad Limited/Gulf Oil/Exedy Clutches Mitsubishi Lancer Evo V), + 08.95s; etc
GpN: 1st Mark Thompson/Kurt Seabra – GUY (Automotive Art/Stag Beer/Glassesco/NKM/Bio Beauty/SLAM 101.1FM Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX), 3m 01.81s – 15th o/a; 2nd George Sherman – USA/Anthony Sherman – USA (Subway/Zanzibar/Kaizan Sushi Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX), + 20.77s; 3rd Antony Pownall – ENG/Rikki Proffitt – WAL (Sparrow Hill Cars Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX), + 55.22s SuperModified 3: 1st R Watson/Hutchinson, 2m 54.82s – 7th o/a; 2nd Andrew Jones/Lindsey Pilkington – ENG (Lucozade/Caribbean Powder Coating/AP Jones Pharmacy/Southern Surf Beach Apartments Ford Escort MkII), + 05.60s; 3rd Justin Campbell/Juan Watts (Republic Bank/Five Star Fast Track/Hilton Barbados Resort/Dream Solutions/Automotive Art/Hilti/#RAY/Campbell Racing Team BMW M3), + 08.63s; etc
SM2: 1st R Mayers/S Corbin, 2m 55.35s – 8th o/a; 2nd D Skeete/Mayhew, + 00.39s; 3rd B Mayers/Norris, + 01.80s; etc
SM1: 1st Neil Corbin/Matthew Staffner (Nassco/H Jason Jones/Emtage Electric/BG Products & Services/Auto Solutions/Valvoline/Sun General Insurance/Maxmeyer Paints Toyota Starlet), 3m 06.15s – 27th o/a; 2nd Craig Marshall – NZL/Andrew Smith – NZL (Window Factory/Dataspares Peugeot 106 Maxi), + 04.84s; 3rd Philip Moe/Adrian Gittens (Sunbay Hotel/Mark’s Auto Spares/Bajan Motors Toyota Corolla), + 06.21s; etc Modified 2: 1st Daryl Clarke/Russell Brancker (Flow/Automotive Art/Amir’s Chicken/MQI Collision Repair/Valvoline/eCarib Classifieds Honda Civic), 3m 04.58s – 21st o/a; 2nd Kurt Thompson/Adam Straker (Glassesco/NKM Clothing/Bio-Beauty Day Spa Honda Civic), + 00.51s; 3rd Jamal Brathwaite/Dario Hoyte (Platinum Motors Collision Repair/Valvoline/Automotive Art/Consumers Guarantee Insurance/JSB Motorsport/Ellesmere Quarries/Chicken Pen Racing/Pirelli Honda Civic Type-R), + 01.21s; etc
M1: 1st Edward Corbin/Rodney Clarke (Automotive Art/Hilti Daihatsu Charmant), 3m 10.15s – 36th o/a; 2nd Kenny Hall – SCO/Fenny Wesselink – NED (Halltune Garage/F & Co Hair Stylists/The Sporting Pig Sports Bar & Restaurant/Time Out Hotel Ford Puma S1600), + 01.44s; 3rd Pascal Calvel – MTQ/Francoise Devin – FRA (Sodiva/Pneus Cash Tire/Tilo/ABC Depannage/CGFF/SMD Citroen C2 R2 MAX), + 04.69s; etc
M: 1st James Thomson – SCO/Shaun Douglas – SCO (Walker Groundworks/Halltune Rallysport Vauxhall Nova), 3m 25.27s – 67th o/a Historic 2: 1st Wayne Archer/Tristan Gibbs (Archers Hall Design Centre/RW Water/Arrow Woodworking/Arrow Construction/D & A Mechanical Services BMW 325), 3m 14.24s – 48th o/a; 2nd Greg Cozier/Natasha Farnum (Barbados Historic Rally Carnival/Geest Line/Jondel Race Engines/Rally and Competition Equipment Ford Escort RS), + 00.84s; 3rd John Corbin/Owen Proverbs (Automotive Art/Pro Sales Toyota Corolla), + 20.87s; etc
H1: 1st Robin Hamilton – SCO/Vanessa Hamilton – SCO (Robin Hamilton Autos Talbot Sunbeam), 3m 34.22s – 78th o/a Clubman 2: 1st Derek Edwards/Damien Johnson (D & A Mechanical Services/Arrow Construction BMW 318ti Compact), 3m 16.34s – 55th o/a; 2nd Stuart Garcia/Rasheed Smith (Intelligent Defence Systems/Smiths Engineering Works/Four & Twenty Bakery/Tropical Sunset/Zaccios BMW 318ti Compact), + 09.61s; 3rd Allan Kinch/Allan Maynard (Jolly Roger/Pirate’s Cove BMW 318ti Compact), + 09.84s; etc
C1: 1st Jermin Pope/Aaron Kirton (Good Time Snacks/Uniform Factory Outlet/Glassesco/NKM Clothing/Bio Beauty Honda Civic), 3m 23.12s – 63rd o/a; 2nd Trevor Mapp/Allister Nurse (Sign Station/JSB Motorsport/Chicken Pen Racing/AS Autostop/Valvoline Mitsubishi Colt Mivec RS), + 06.12s; 3rd Randy Reid/Romario Reid (School Boy Sound System/Bird’s Wrecker Service Toyota Starlet), + 08.41s; etc
GpB2: 1st Frans Verbaas – NED/Kees Hagman – NED (Verbaas Preparations/Koni Rover Mini Cooper), 3m 12.47s; 2nd Andrew Costin-Hurley – ENG/Emma Morrison – ENG (Cygnet Plant Ltd/Earl’s Performance Hoses/Wootton Tyres Ford Puma Evo), + 01.50s; 3rd Calvin Briggs/Ryan Wood (GpB2 Massy Realty/Lucas Oils/Keisha’s Cheesecakes Ford Sierra), + 10.01s
GpB1: 1st Jonathan Still/Heath Hazell (Sharkey’s Bar/Suga Apple/Castrol/Quality Tyre/Markham Construction BMW M3), 3m 15.63s; 2nd Richard Seal – ENG/Bruce Yeomans – ENG (GpB1 Ford Escort MkI), + 09.83s

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