As rallying returned to the island’s roads last Sunday 27th March for the first time since December 2020, fans had their first chance to gauge form ahead of the new season, during which the Barbados Rally Club (BRC) is celebrating its 65th Anniversary. The club’s blue riband event, Sol Rally Barbados 2022, is scheduled for the weekend of June 4 & 5, with King of the Hill on the previous Sunday (May 29th).

More than 30 cars turned out for last weekend’s Motoring Club Barbados Inc (MCBI) double-header Spring Blaze 22, as spectators lined the 4.7-kilometre course running from Cliff to Society, St John. The event, which comprised four runs in each direction, also counted towards the new R5 Rally Championship presented by First Citizens, which had kicked off with a Sprint at Bushy Park the day before.

While Dane Skeete (Subaru Impreza WRC S12) won Sunday’s event in both directions, Stuart Maloney emerged as R5 points leader in his Skoda Fabia Rally2 evo after three events, ahead of Jeff Panton (Ford Fiesta R5), who left the road on his final run, with Roger Hill (Fabia) and Sol Esuf (Fiesta) tied in third. Driving his uncle Stuart’s older Fabia, FIA F3 racer Zane Maloney had beaten him on Saturday then in the first direction on Sunday in his first experience of road rallying, but is not registered for points.

Of a healthy entry of six in SuperModified 2, Barry Mayers won in the first direction and finished fifth overall, beating all but three of the R5s in his rear-wheel-drive Fiesta, while Andrew Jones (Ford Escort MkII) came out on top in the reverse run, also ahead of a couple of R5s. After issues on his second run in the first event, Mark Thompson returned in the reverse runs to plant his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX firmly in contention, fifth overall, behind Skeete, Stuart Maloney, Panton and Esuf.

Edward Corbin (M1 Daihatsu Charmant) and Sean Corbin (C2 BimmaCup) were class-winners in both directions, while Calvin Briggs (Ford Sierra) and Shawn Eversley (Suzuki Swift) shared the honours in Group B.

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