As competitors in the Barbados Rally Club (BRC) Drivers’ and Class Championships prepare for the two most important weekends of the year – LIME King of the Hill and Sol Rally Barbados 2015 – reigning champion Rhett Watson has picked up where he left off last year. He leads the standings by two points from Wayne Archer, with Justin Campbell, Jeremy Croney and Paul Horton tied for third, three further points behind.
The two weekends offer crucial points-scoring opportunities. At the LIME King of the Hill on May 24, the speed event scale gives 15 points for a class win, while each full day of Sol Rally Barbados 2015 from May 30 to 31 is a separate championship round, with 20 points up for grabs for a class win, and a potential 55 points over the two weekends. With more than 50 local entries, a major shake-up is likely.
With two of the eight rounds run, SuperModified 12 class-leader Watson (BMW M3) has a perfect record, with two class wins and the maximum possible 35 points. He is helped by competing in one of the more popular classes, as the points scale is reduced if there are fewer than three starters, which has affected Archer (Historic BMW 325), who has also accrued two class wins, but against reduced competition in the opening round.
Campbell (M3) has twice finished second to Watson in SM12, while Croney (Clubman Peugeot 206XS) is another to have achieved two wins, but once with a depleted class. Horton, who travels from the Turks & Caicos Islands to contest Modified 7 in his Ford Escort MkI, has twice finished second.
Horton is not alone in inter-island travel. The WRC-1 and four-wheel drive standings are both led by Trinidad and Tobago’s John Powell (Ford Focus WRC08), with Jamaica’s Jeff Panton (Focus WRC08) second in the class and WRC-2 class-leader Roger Hill (Toyota Corolla WRC) second in four-wheel drive. Andrew Mallalieu (Subaru Impreza N10) is third in four-wheel drive and leads Group N from Trinidad’s David Coelho (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX), another regular at BRC events.
In the two-wheel drive title chase, Watson has a five-point advantage over Campbell, who is tied in second place with SM11 points-leader Andrew Jones (Escort MkII), with Barry Mayers (WR Starlet) fourth after his two-wheel drive victory in the Shakedown Stages.