BOURNE WINS BRC SUMMER NIGHTS TARMAC STAGES
The island’s motor sport volunteers have been praised by competitors and organisers following the Barbados Rally Club Summer Nights Tarmac Stages on Saturday, August 11, which was run in worsening conditions in the north of the island. Despite the Club’s best efforts, the event was abandoned after four of the six planned stages.
Paul Bourne and Mark Kinch (Ford Focus WRC07) were the winners of round seven of the BRC Virgin Atlantic Championship, leading home Roger Skeete and Louis Venezia (Subaru Impreza WRC S12) by a margin of 30 seconds.
Bourne, who was fastest on all four stages said: “Everything went well. I was more bothered with the dark than the wet, perhaps I need some night vision goggles.”
Afterwards Skeete, who had been suffering from anti-lag and launch control issues, said: “Congrats to Paul Bourne and Mark Kinch – well done in difficult conditions. Even more so to the organisers and marshals, who were standing in the rain from start to finish. At times the rain was horizontal, they must all have been soaked to the skin. We could not go rallying without your considerable efforts. Thanks!”
His comments were echoed by BRC Competition Secretary and Modified 6 winner Neil Corbin, who said: “Thanks to all involved, especially the marshals who braved out the weather, Stage Commander Jeff Bovell and Deputy Michael Hinkson.”
Clerk of the Course Neil Barnard expanded on the reasons for cutting the event short: “First, thanks to all the officials, marshals, Island Constables and security that had to contend with some extremely difficult conditions. Despite the constant drizzle, most marshals were able to function in their posts, but when the rain really started to come down around nine o’clock it became unrealistic for some of them to carry out their functions exposed to the bad weather and they retreated to their parked vehicles. This created a couple issues of members of the public trying to drive onto the stage.
“Additionally, even though we provided them with raincoats, the start and finish marshals were very exposed, as there were no sides to their tents. To their credit they did not abandon their positions, but there was also a real danger of some of the computer equipment being damaged in both those locations.
“Based on the combination of issues we decided that the overall situation was becoming somewhat dangerous and we opted to cancel the remaining two stages. As usual the decision was made with the safety of the travelling public, the spectators and the competitors, in mind, particularly the public.”
Roger Hill (Toyota Corolla WRC) finished third, with Neil Armstrong fourth, top two-wheel-drive and SuperModified 10 winner in the Toyota Starlet.
Others to clock top six times included Group N contenders Geoff Noel (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX) and Andrew Mallalieu (Impreza N10), who beat Noel by three seconds, SM11 winner Logan Watson (BMW M3) and Virgin Atlantic Championship leader Daryl Clarke (Honda Civic), who finished fifth overall, winning Modified 7. He said: “The rain suited me as I was getting good grip. We were a second or two off Josh Read and Neil Armstrong, so we were definitely having a good night.”
Read slipped out of the overall running on the final stage, when his Starlet refused to start, apparently with water in the distributor. Up to then, he had been enjoying himself: “I was cautious because it was the very first time using full wets but then I found out that I should be even more committed because of the grip generated by the tires. After the wrecker ride home, the car started without any issue.”
Read’s woes promoted Ralph White (Starlet) to second in SM10, with Paul Horton of the Turks & Caicos Islands third in his Ford Escort MkI, tackling a Barbados stage in the rain for the first time.
The top 10 was completed by Martin Atwell, who finished just eight seconds behind Watson in the battle for SM11, despite what he described as a “character-building” first experience of his rear-wheel-drive M3 in the wet, and M7 runner-up Adrian Linton, whose slick tyres made for what he called a “challenging and exciting event”.
BRC Summer Nights Tarmac Stages Provisional results:
- 1st Paul Bourne / Mark Kinch (M8-WRC Ford Focus WRC07), 11m 17s
- 2nd Roger Skeete / Louis Venezia (M8-WRC Subaru Impreza WRC S12), 11m 47s
- 3rd Roger Hill / Graham Gittens (M8-WRC Toyota Corolla WRC), 12m 09s
- 4th Neil Armstrong / Barry Ward (SM10 Toyota Starlet), 12m 24s
- 5th Daryl Clarke / Russell Brancker (M7 Honda Civic), 12m 34s
- 6th Andrew Mallalieu / Jeremy Foster (P4 Subaru Impreza N10), 12m 35s
- 7th Geoffrey Noel / Nigel Reece (P4 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX), 12m 38s
- 8th Logan Watson / Rhett Watson (SM11 BMW M3), 12m 43s
- 9th Martin Atwell / Chris King (SM11 BMW M3), 12m 51s
- 10th Adrian Linton / Dominic Linton (M7 Vauxhall Astra SRi), 13m 22s etc
- 1st Bourne / Kinch;
- 2nd Skeete / Venezia;
- 3rd Hill / Gittens
- 1st Mallalieu / Foster;
- 2nd Noel / Reece
- 1st Watson / Watson;
- 2nd Atwell / King;
- 3rd Andrew Jones / Ian Warren (Ford Escort MkII), 13m 30s
- 1st Armstrong / Ward;
- 2nd Ralph White / Joe Troulan (Toyota Starlet), 13m 06s;
- 3rd Paul Horton – TCI / Kristian Yearwood (Ford Escort MkI), 13m 27s; etc
- 1st Carlos Edwards/Andre Waithe (Toyota Starlet), 14m 01s
- 1st Clarke / Brancker;
- 2nd Linton / Linton;
- 3rd Jeremy Sisnett / Justin Sisnett (Ford Fiesta), 13m 41s; etc
- 1st Neil Corbin / Matthew Staffner (Toyota Starlet), 13m 38s;
- 2nd Rhett D’Andrade / Tristan Gibbs (Daihatsu Charmant), 13m 54s;
- 3rd John Foster / Ian Weekes (Daihatsu Charmant), 14m 21s; etc
- 1st Sean Cox / Scott Bentham (Suzuki Swift Gti), 15m 34s
- 1st Conor Roach / Damien Johnson (Peugeot 106), 14m 47s
- 1st Jeremy Croney / Andrew Croney (Peugeot 206), 15m 04s;
- 2nd Rommell Martin / Christina Brandford (Toyota Starlet), 17m 41s