HILL AND MAYERS LEAD CHAMPION DRIVER TITLE CHASE
Roger Hill and Barry Mayers are joint leaders of the Barbados Rally Club’s (BRC) Champion Driver title chase following the coronavirus-delayed start to the season at last month’s HammerTime 20, jointly organised with the Motoring Club of Barbados Inc (MCBI). Mayers leads the 2wd Championship too, while there are also joint leaders of the 4wd standings, Britain’s Rob Swann and his arch-rival and close friend Jamaican Jeffrey Panton, who both jetted in for the double-header sprint.
With the Championship cut from seven to six qualifying rounds due to the pandemic, Flow King of the Hill (October 25) and Sol Rally Barbados (October 31/November 1) will this year carry greater weight than before in the Club’s annual Driver’s and Class Championships; of the maximum of 113 points possible from a perfect score of six class wins, almost half – 55 – will come from those two high-pressure weekends.
Driving his new Skoda Fabia R5, Hill’s total of 28 points puts him two ahead of Trinidad & Tobago’s David Coelho (Subway Ford Fiesta R5), with whom he shared the FIA R5 class wins two weeks ago. Andrew Mallalieu (Terra Caribbean Fiesta) is a further two points behind in this well-subscribed class, which promises to be one of the highlights of the Club’s premier event.
Mayers also benefitted from competing in a popular class, so collected 28 points for his efforts in the Chefette/Rubis/Hankook/Sign Depot Ford Fiesta, sharing SuperModified 2 class wins with Josh Read (Weetabix Toyota Starlet), who now trails by two points, with Andrew Jones (Herr’s Chips/A P Jones Pharmacy Ford Escort MkII) a further two behind. The same drivers with the same points are also the top three in the 2wd standings.
With Dane Skeete a non-starter due to a fuel leak in his Subaru Impreza WRC S12B that could not be rectified in time, Panton and Swann were on their own in the WRC class. Panton won the first event, Swann the second in his Blue Sky Luxury/Elegant Hotels Ford Fiesta WRC, but only scored reduced points for an under-subscribed class. With a fully-subscribed 4wd field, however, each claimed 28 points to jointly lead the 4wd Championship by seven points from Hill, with Coelho fourth on 20.
Some rule changes were included in the 2020 Championship Regulations published in January, which will now apply to this year’s shortened season. Drivers must participate in at least four points-scoring rounds to be eligible for any of the Club’s Championships, but no retroactive adjustments of points will be made as they were last year, should a competitor drop out part-way through the year. Also, new championship entrants will not be permitted after the fourth round. Points will only be awarded when a competitor has completed all stages (and is not OTL) in a rally or 50 per cent of timed runs in a sprint event. ‘Finishing’ a stage is defined as crossing the start line and finish line of the stage according to all regulations, in the process recording an elapsed time.
The major change, however, involves the method to settle a tie between two or more drivers in either the class or overall results: first, the competitor with the highest number of stage wins in his or her respective class, throughout all championship rounds, will be deemed the winner.
If the tie is still undecided, then the most overall second places will be counted, and so on until all results have been exhausted. Should the tie still exist after that, then the competitor with the largest overall margin in Sol Rally Barbados over the second-placed competitor in their respective class, shall be deemed the winner.