ROOKIE HOAD MOVES AHEAD IN RALLY CLUB CHAMPIONSHIP
Chris Hoad eased ahead in the Barbados Rally Club’s (BRC) Champion Driver title chase after his third straight win in the competitive and well-subscribed Clubman 2 class in his Rookie season in the Championship. Having shared the overall lead with Stuart Maloney and Josh Read after the Double-Header Sprint at Bushy Park in June, he has now moved ahead of them by two and four points respectively, with Adam Mallalieu now tied for third place with Read.
Round three at the Vaucluse Raceway (July 18) was organised by the Motoring Club Barbados Inc (MCBI) and shared with the BRC for championship points; Covid-19 restrictions caused the planned Double-Header closed-road sprint to be replaced by a single points-scoring RallySprint, which has reduced the BRC Championship from eight to seven rounds. In this unusual format for the BRC, points were based on the fastest time from the three qualifying rounds and the first knockout round for each class.
Driving against nine other BimmaCup drivers in Clubman 2, Hoad’s winning time (set in the Quarter-Final) was 1.8 seconds quicker than that set by Derek Edwards, scoring his first points of the year, having withdrawn himself from the Bushy Park results when he realised his tyres did not conform to the regulations. Third quickest was Wayne Archer, who now lies second in the C2 standings, with 32 points to Hoad’s 45.
Hoad, who finished second in VRMSC’s BimmaCup last year, said: “I didn’t know what to expect when I decided to do the whole Rally Club Championship, as Clubman 2 is heavily subscribed with good drivers. I’m just trying to keep focused one event at a time. Although I visited the podium a couple of times in 2019 and 2020, my first overall win was in the RallySprint in June, a week after the BRC double header at Bushy Park, and now the Motoring Club RallySprint. Even though it’s not my strongest discipline, I’m looking to keep the streak going in the BimmaCup Rallycross on August 14.”
Second in the Champion Driver table, two points adrift of Hoad, Maloney (Skoda Fabia Rally2 Evo) was beaten by just 18/100ths at VRW by Adam Mallalieu (Ford Fiesta), who claimed his first class win, having finished second on points to Maloney at Bushy Park. The 17-year-old is also now joint third overall, two further points behind, with Josh Read (Toyota Starlet), who was beaten to the SuperModified 2 class win in the RallySprint by Andrew Jones (Ford Escort MkII), both suffering from a lower points haul as the class was undersubscribed – three starters are needed for maximum points to be scored.
Read and Jones are also first and second in the 2wd Championship, with Reigning Champion Driver Neil Corbin (SM1 Starlet) third, also fifth in the overall title chase and another scoring less for his win at VRW in an undersubscribed class. Dane Skeete (Subaru Impreza WRC S12) leads the 4wd Championship by two points from Jamaica’s Jeff Panton (Ford Fiesta WRC), who notched up his first WRC win of the season by just nine-tenths in the RallySprint; Maloney is third and Mallalieu fourth.
Following the postponement of Sol Rally Barbados and King of the Hill, the Rally Club’s Committee of Management is considering the possible use of the September dates for rounds of the Club’s Driver’s & Class Championships, run in whatever format can be accommodated within the Government protocols in force at the time.