The race to win the second season of the R5 Rally Championship, presented by First Citizens, is wide open as competitors from home and away gather in Barbados for this weekend’s Rally of the Sun & Stars, the first qualifying round for three months.
Beginning on Saturday and running from day into night over 12 stages, the Motoring Club Barbados Inc’s (MCBI) premier event is round seven of 10 in this year’s R5 title chase.
After four point-scoring rounds, reigning champion Stuart Maloney again holds the advantage, but is only seven points ahead of Jamaica’s Jeff Panton, each now at the wheel of a Skoda Fabia Rally2 evo.
Panton’s fellow-countryman Kyle Gregg (Ford Fiesta Rally2) is third, another 15 points behind and seven ahead of Bajan Roger Hill, who finished third in last year’s inaugural championship in his Fabia R5.
With fewer than 30 points spread across the top four in the standings and 64 points remaining on offer between now and the final round in November, there is still all to
Saturday’s event is scheduled to start at 2 p.m. from the Service Park at Greenland, St Andrew. The afternoon route will alternate between Lamberts to Church Hill (4.6 kilometres) and Orange Hill to Indian Ground (3.1km), three times each, with the stages running in the reverse direction for the night-time route, scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m.
Championship points after
1st Stuart Maloney (BAR) 85 points
2nd Jeff Panton (JAM) 78pts
3rd Kyle Gregg (JAM) 63pts
4th Roger Hill (BAR) 56pts
5th Rob Swann (ENG) 48pts
6th Mark Maloney (BAR) 38pts
7th Josh Read (BAR) 35pts
8th Andrew Mallalieu (BAR) 33pts
9th Paul Horton (TCI) 15pts. (PR)