Monday, February 8th, 2016

Rally Barbados 2010 – Day 1

Posted By: Duane 3NE 2NR29/05/10No Comments;
Tags:, , , , Photographers: Duane 3NE 2NR, Gerrard Wilson, Dewayne Thomas and Lyden Thomas
Categories: Event Coverage, Rally

Rally Barbados 2010 – Day 1
Written by Robin Bradford

Roger ‘The Sheriff’ Skeete chalked up his 11th win in the Caribbean island’s premier event with victory on Sol Rally Barbados 2010 (May 29/30), which marked the 20th Anniversary of the inaugural running of the Barbados Rally Club’s International All-Stage Rally; the winning margin of just 1.16secs was the smallest since 2001 after two thrilling days of competition, during which the lead changed four times.

Event coverage sponsored by

With co-driver Louis Venezia in the Da Costa Mannings Auto Centre/Michelin/Warrens Motors/Big John’s Subaru Impreza WRC S12, Skeete battled with fellow-countryman Paul ‘Surfer’ Bourne, who has won the event twice, and former UK National Champion Paul Bird, second for the past two years to Northern Ireland’s Kris Meeke – all three led the event, described by Bird as “the best rally battle I’ve ever been involved in.”

The intensity of the lead battle was reflected elsewhere, as 90 crews from a record 15 nations, including the host country, contested the 13 classes: 39 drivers set class stage-winning times, compared to 27 last year, and no winner of a contested class can claim a perfect set of stage wins . . . and all this played out in front of upwards of 20,000 spectators who lined the five stage venues over the weekend, culminating in the new Shell V-Power SuperSpecial at Simpson Motors.

Bourne and Allan Kinch (Banks/Chefette/LIME/Virgin Atlantic Ford Focus WRC 07) set the pace, beating Skeete on the opening uphill 5.8-kilometre Automotive Art Canefield stage by 1.85secs; co-driven in the Ford Focus WRC 08 by Scotland’s Kirsty Riddick, Bird stalled under heavy braking after an overshoot and lost 16 seconds trying to restart the hot engine, dropping him to 16th.

Fastest on the next stage, LIME Malvern (6.2kms)  – beating Skeete by one second and Bourne by two – Bird started to fight back; while Skeete retaliated on the second Canefield, three more stage wins placed Bird nine seconds behind Bourne at lunch, with Jamaicans Gary Gregg and Hugh Hutchinson (Rally Jamaica/Seaboard Marine/BD Gregg & Bros/NG Racing Ford Focus WRC 05) third and Skeete fourth.
The first downhill Canefield of the afternoon was cancelled, after a long delay to clear a damaged car, so battle was rejoined at Malvern, Bourne and Bird remarkably joint fastest; Skeete retook third place from Gregg, which became second (3.3secs behind new leader Bird) after the next Canefield, where Bourne lost 20 seconds to a puncture.

A mighty effort from Skeete on the day’s final stage (Canefield, as the last Malvern run was cancelled to avoid excessively late running) saw him 2secs faster than Bird, to lead overnight by 1.16secs; Bourne was third, another 9.5secs down, with a delighted Sean Gill and Michael Cummins fourth in the Simpson Motors/Shell V-Power/Automotive Art Mitsubishi WRC. The top six was completed by Trinidad’s John Powell, co-driven in the Shell Helix Subaru Impreza WRC S12 by experienced Brit Craig Thorley – Powell admitted to making a few mistakes – and locals Roger Hill/Graham Gittens in the Esso/Nassco/MotorMac Toyota Corolla WRC.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.