While motor sport fans will be delighted to learn that Jamaican Jeff Panton is returning to do battle with island ace Roger Skeete in this Sunday’s Winter Tarmac Sprint, they will be just as pleased to hear that more than 30 drivers have entered for the final rounds of the Barbados Rally Club’s (BRC) 2014 Driver’s And Class Championships, a record number in recent years.
And there’s good news, too, for front-runners Daryl Clarke, Rhett Watson and Stuart White, as they go down to the wire in their chase for the prestigious champion driver title. All have fully-subscribed classes, at least for the first part of the weekend’s double-header, so no points should be lost to lack of competition, an issue suffered by both Watson and White earlier in the year.
After scrutineering at the MTW Chance Hall Depot in St Lucy at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday, the event is slated for a 10 a.m. start. Round seven of the BRC Championship will run from Josey Hill to Lamberts, with the direction being reversed for round eight. The lunch break will be at around noon, with the finish expected to be at approximately 3 p.m.
Entries for the BRC’s season finale have rarely exceeded 20 in the past decade, most recently in the 2010 Karcher Winter Rally, also a tarmac event.
BRC competition secretary Neil Corbin said: “We are all delighted with the excellent turn-out, with both quality and quantity for the last event of the season, and it would seem to support the club’s decision to abandon gravel events for this year’s championship.
“Our decision to run only tarmac events was made after careful thought, as we know there are many competitors who enjoy that environment, and spectators as well. But, with fewer suitable venues available and the increasing costs of preparing the courses to make them as driver and car-friendly as possible, we really had no choice.”
With one dropped score taken into account, reigning SuperModified 12 champion Watson (BMW M3) leads with 103 points. White (BMW 325), who won the BRC’s new Historic class title last year, is second on 102, with former Modified 7 title-winner Clarke (Honda Civic) third on 101.
Sunday’s double-header format makes predictions impossible, but competitors and spectators alike are promised an excellent day of competition on a rarely-used stage format.