As competitors enjoy the summer break before their next event at on August 27, the battle for the Barbados Rally Club (BRC) driver’s and class championships is shaping up nicely.
With five of eight rounds run, the top five in the champion driver standings are covered by just 14 points, a total which falls to nine – and includes some different names – if dropped scores are considered, while the extra points on offer in the next event will add further spice to the title fight.
As he has done since the start of the season, when his advantage was shared briefly, SuperModified 2 class-leader Josh Read (Toyota Starlet) leads the standings. Before the year’s two big events, Flow King of the Hill and Sol Rally Barbados 2016, Read had enjoyed a perfect record of class wins and, while he prevailed again at Flow King of the Hill, he finished second in SM2 on both days of Sol Rally Barbados 2016 to Roger Mayers.
Read’s total of 84 points, however, still sees him seven ahead of Jamal Brathwaite (Honda Civic Type-R) and Neil Corbin (Toyota Starlet), the respective leaders of Modified 2 and M1.
Just two points behind the joint second-place drivers comes Daryl Clarke, who is also two points behind Brathwaite in M2 in the Honda Civic. Another five points adrift, in fifth place, is Mayers, who enjoyed a hugely competitive tussle with Read in Sol Rally Barbados 2016 at the wheel of the WR Starlet.
But that is not the whole story; both Clarke and Mayers missed the opening round of the BRC Championship in March so, when dropped scores are taken into account, they have nothing to lose . . . quite literally! Applying the dropped score rule now would move Clarke and Mayers up to first and second in the standings, ahead of Read, and promote Edward Corbin (Daihatsu Charmant) and Andrew Mallalieu (Subaru Impreza N10) into the top five. Mallalieu is the only four-wheel-drive competitor in the top 10.
In the two-wheel-drive championship, Read leads Mayers by 14 points, with Dane Skeete (Peugeot 306 Maxi) and Neil Corbin a point apart in third and fourth places. In the four-wheel-drive standings, Roger Hill (Toyota Corolla WRC) leads with 67 points, 11 ahead of Mallalieu, with Roger Skeete a further point behind in third place in the Subaru Impreza WRC S12B.
An extra ingredient in the mix is the application of the ‘bonus’ points structure to the August event, introduced two years ago. The top three finishers in class and overall (for the two-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive championships) earn 25, 22 and 20 points respectively, compared with the regular 20, 17 and 15, with all points-scorers benefitting, right down to 10th place (10 points, compared with eight), so there is a real incentive for drivers to turn out and chase a good result.