Edward Corbin is the Barbados Rally Club’s (BRC) Champion Driver elect, after claiming his seventh Modified 1 class win of the season in Sunday’s BRC Winter Rally at the wheel of his Daihatsu Charade. With co-driver Johnathan Alleyne, he has dropped only two points from the maximum possible score of 143, having previously won the title with a 100 per cent win rate in 2019, after many years of near misses since first losing out to a tie-break in 2003.
After the finish, Corbin said: “It hasn’t fully sunk in, but I’m waiting for the official confirmation for BRC Championship number two after going through many close ones over the years with ties and second place finishes. We went into the event with the goal of having some fun, while hoping that everything went our way. It was a trouble-free day and I knew I had my fate in my hands and was determined to not throw it away.”
Victory in Sunday’s eighth and final round of the BRC Driver’s and Class Championships confirmed Dane Skeete and Tyler Mayhew (Subaru Impreza WRC S12) as provisional 4wd Champions, a title they also won in 2019. With a total time of 15 minutes 22.36 seconds, they beat Stuart Maloney and Kristian Yearwood (Skoda Fabia Rally2 evo) by just over 20secs, with Josh Read and Mark Jordan (Ford Fiesta R5) completing the podium, all three crews finishing in their seeded start positions. Logan Watson and Barry Ward (BMW M3) finished 10th overall, confirming them as provisional 2wd Champions.
Maloney was fastest on the first of the scheduled 10 stages, Upper Parks to Haggatts, heading Skeete by nearly 2secs, with the R5 Fiestas of Read and Britain’s Rob Swann and the Skodas of Mark Maloney and Roger Hill completing the top six. On the first run through Swanns to Rock Hall, Mark Maloney ran wide on a left-hander, climbing the embankment and smashing a front wheel, retiring on the opposite side of the road; while he would score no points, he returned to action after lunch.
While Stuart Maloney held his lead after SS2, Skeete won that and all the remaining stages, Maloney lucky to escape unharmed when he left the road shortly after the Rock Hall jump on SS7: “From the first pass, I committed to the jump and went at it 100 per cent and did the same each time, but for the third pass we carried way more speed in as I had a good run through the previous corners. We had a nose-heavy landing which put us on the embankment and I really thought it was going to roll, but it darted over to the other side of the road and despite there being a wide field we found the pole which hit in the middle of the car; I was a passenger for much of it and we are fortunate to come out unscathed and with only cosmetic damage as well.”
With the pole blocking the road, the stage was cancelled, the time lost also resulting in the cancellation of the final stage, which would have run after sunset. Maloney continued for the last two stages “at 80 per cent”, with a sufficient buffer to keep the rest of the R5 class at bay, giving him provisional back-to-back FIA R5 class titles. Read beat him on SS6 and SS9 and finished 8secs adrift, with Hill third R5, another 15secs down, and Swann fourth, 2secs behind Hill. Paul Horton enjoyed his best run of the season, sixth overall and fifth in R5, contributing to a good weekend for the Turks & Caicos Rally Team, his car driven to a dominant double victory in the Motoring Club Barbados Inc’s double-header Hammertime sprint the day before by three-time British Rally Champion Matt Edwards, who has been co-driving and coaching Horton since last year.
After the nine R5s, the other most popular and heavily-contested class was Clubman 2, which saw an exciting battle between the BimmaCup cars of Sean Corbin, Sacha Soodeen and Ryan Wood, who started the day with a chance of the Champion Driver title, should Edward Corbin falter. Soodeen was quickest on the first two stages, but Corbin got into his stride thereafter to lead by lunchtime. Beaten only once in the afternoon by Wood, Corbin claimed the class win by 9secs.
With 131 points, Wood finishes second in the provisional Champion Driver standings to Edward Corbin, with Stuart Maloney third (121pts), Sean Corbin fourth (119pts) and SuperModified 1 Toyota Starlet driver Darren Lashley fifth (117pts), impressive performances from both Corbin and Lashley in their first full seasons in the BRC championship.