There’s all to play in the Barbados Rally Club’s (BRC) Driver’s and Class Championships when competitors gather for the season’s finale, the high-scoring HO2 Construction Winter Rally on Sunday, October 27. The Champion Driver, 4wd and 2wd titles are yet to be resolved, while just a handful of points separate the front-runners in SuperModified 2, Modified 3 and M2, so a day of hard-fought competition is on the cards.
As has been the case for the past two seasons, there are no dropped scores to be taken into account and the two-thirds rule no longer applies, which means drivers must be overall finishers to score points. Adding in the enhanced points structure for the final round – a class win will earn 28 points (up from the usual 20), second 23, third 20, down to 10 for 10th place – means drivers will need to be at their best.
In the Champion Driver title chase, M1 leader Edward Corbin (Daihatsu Charade) has 105 points, three more than Ian Warren (BimmaCup), who leads Clubman 2, with Jamal Brathwaite (M2 Honda Civic Type-R) and Roger Hill (M4 Toyota Corolla WRC) tied in third place on 95; in the 4wd Championship, Dane Skeete (Subaru Impreza WRC S12B) leads Hill by a margin of 22 points, while fewer than 10 points cover the top four in 2wd, Logan Watson (BMW M3) the current leader.
The three closest-fought class battles include M2, where event sponsor Paul Horton, who represents the Turks & Caicos Islands in his Citroen DS 3 R3 MAX, is just three points adrift of arch-rival Brathwaite, having swapped times and positions all season; in the M3 battle of the BMW M3s, Logan Watson is two points ahead of another TCI Rally Team member, Canada’s Stan Hartling, while SM2 sees Stuart Maloney (Citroen C2) leading Roger Skeete, driving Maloney’s former Peugeot 306 Maxi, by only four points.
Slated for an 8.45 am start from Hopewell Plantation in St Thomas, the HO2 Construction Winter Rally will comprise 10 stages, five each before and after a lunch break at Hopewell, which will also be the Service Park for the day.
In the morning, three runs through the 4.50-kilometre HO2 Construction Dark Hole stage, running towards Spring Vale, will alternate with two downhill runs of the Java Island Lion Castle stage (4.00km). After lunch, there will be two runs from Spring Vale to Dark Hole, mixed with three through the 3.50km Java Island Apes Hill stage, which will represent a first-time challenge for many competitors.