This is a blog post
. To read the original post, please click here »
Ten out of 10! That’s what Neil Armstrong and Barry Ward achieved on the Bronte and Cedar Hill stages in the south of the island to lead the Trinidad & Tobago Rally Club’s (TTRC) 10th Anniversary Rally Trinidad 2014 by more than three-and-a-half minutes at the end of day two. All did not go entirely smoothly, however, as a damaged engine mount on the Suzuki SX4 WRC needed some attention during the day, with the service crew ready to replace it overnight.
Neil Armstrong - BAR/Barry Ward – BAR (WRC Suzuki SX4 WRC)
As others fell by the wayside, the Barbados pairing, who finished second to Jamaica’s Jeffrey Panton last year, were in dominant form. Armstrong said: “Everything went well and I have managed to maintain a good flow. We have been quick, but have had no big moments. There's a bit more left if needed." Co-driver Barry Ward added: "Neil has been spot on. The notes are good and he has actually been listening to them!”
Armstrong’s fellow-countryman Paul Bourne (Ford Focus WRC07) had an advantage of just a few hundredths at the start of the day, but it was soon demolished: Armstrong charged through the first Bronte stage of the day to establish a 36-second lead, then steadily built on it during the day. Competing on high-speed gravel for the first time in a while, Bourne was some way adrift of Armstrong’s pace in the early part of the day, although narrowed the gap mile for mile over the last three stages.
Paul Bourne - BAR/Sean Abed – BAR (WRC Ford Focus WRC07)
Within the top three fastest on eight of the day’s 10 stages, Stuart Johnson (Subaru Impreza STI N12) was second, 33secs up on Bourne, and almost two minutes ahead of his closest challenger in Group N, the impressive young Craig Sumair (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI). Cristian Bourne (Evo VIII) was fifth overall, leading Group A by more than five minutes from Colin Khan (Impreza).
Stuart Johnson/Lee Quesnel (Gp2-N Subaru Impreza STI N12)
On his Caribbean debut, Ireland’s Frank Kelly put the prodigious power of ‘Baby Blue’ to good use on the high-speed stages, pushing the Escort hard to finish the day sixth overall and lead the two-wheel-drive battle by four-and-a-half minutes from early leader Ryan Peyrau (Suzuki Swift Sport).
Frank Kelly - NIR/Michael Fennell Jnr (SM6 Ford Escort MkII)
Three of the top six overnight were casualties of day two: fourth after the National Stadium stages, Dean Serrao’s (Subaru Impreza WRC S9) Rally Trinidad jinx struck early in the day, an engine failure putting him out of the event. His Bajan compatriots James Betts and Geoff Goddard, sixth overnight, landed heavily on the nose of the Evo V, damaging radiator and intercooler beyond immediate repair, while driver (back pain) and co-driver (bit his tongue!) needed some medical TLC.
Of the local front-runners, David Coelho (Evo IX), fifth overnight and second fastest on the day’s opening stage, retired with a broken transfer case, while other overseas visitors to fall foul of the stages were Suriname’s Radj Pershad (Impreza STI N12), who smashed a rear wheel on a culvert, returning later in the day, while Vincentian Steve Olliviere (Evo VII) suffered clutch failure, but coincidentally they all hope to return on Sunday.
There were dramas for other locals down the field: Winston Medford (Toyota Corolla RunX) retired after a broken rear engine mount caused the power unit to twist forward and break a turbo oil line, causing a small fire; Latiff Khan (Evo VII) missed a few stages with gearbox problems, which were resolved; Peter Morris (Evo X) retired with a broken oil line and leaking radiator, but is another trying to be back out tomorrow; Ansel Ali had some problems with his rotary-engined Mazda 323 but also said he was working to be back out on Sunday morning.
Peter Morris – ENG/Hannah Morris (Gp3-A Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X)
Bad news for rally fans is the cancellation of Sunday’s night’s stages at Saith Park, Chaguanas, after the Commissioner of Police rescinded the permissions to use the venue. A statement from the TTRC said: “There will be no Saith Park stage for Rally Trinidad 2014, despite all permissions being granted five weeks ago and Police and Fire Services accepting payment with receipts for Police force and Fire officers at Saith Park. The TTRC regrets to inform our rally fans of this, however plans are being made to have the Super Special finale of Rally Trinidad 2014 at ‘old’ Preysal (with the jump and loop) and then on to Mojo's Restaurant and Lounge in Chaguanas for the prize giving ceremony.”
A further 10 stages at Snake and Jack and Jill will complete the timed sections of RT14 today, but keep tuned to social media for news of the finale.
Provisional results – after SS12, Day 2
Neil Armstrong - BAR/Barry Ward – BAR (WRC Suzuki SX4 WRC), 1h 11m 16.51s
Stuart Johnson/Lee Quesnel (Gp2-N Subaru Impreza STI N12), + 03:35.65
Paul Bourne - BAR/Sean Abed – BAR (WRC Ford Focus WRC07), + 04:08.82
Craig Sumair/ Mathew Russell (Gp2-N Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI), + 05:35.18
Cristian Bourne/Jesu de Gannes (Gp3-A Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VIII), + 05:48.76
Frank Kelly - NIR/Michael Fennell Jnr (SM6 Ford Escort MkII), + 07:43.49
Harold Morley - BAR/Hugh Hutchinson -JAM (Gp2-N Subaru Impreza STI N14), + 10:56.27
Colin Khan/Richard Ramsingh (Gp3-A Subaru Impreza), + 12:14.97
Ryan Peyrau/Simon Rodriquez (SM6 Suzuki Swift Sport), + 12:19.98
Bobby Marshall - JAM/Josh Plaza (M2 Mitsubishi Colt), + 14:40.24
Ryan Pinheiro/Ross Viera (Gp3-A Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IV), + 15:14.90
Reyaz Mohammed/Sayyad Saddiq (SM6 Mitsubishi Colt), + 15:59.09
Gobin Mahadeo/Chris Ackee (Gp3-A Subaru Impreza STI), + 17:52.83
Shelford Robinson/Rajesh Jairam (SM6 Nissan B13), + 21:32.75
Donald Gopaul/Randy Mohammed (SM6 Mitsubishi Lancer), + 22:58.20
Latiff Khan/Kurt de Freitas (Gp3-A Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VII), + 24:56.94
Richard Phillips/Nandallal Ramdass (SM6 Mitsubishi Lancer GSR), + 26:07.124
Sarah Jane Gopaul/Barry Gowandan (SM6 Mazda 323), + 26:30.50
Steve Ollivierre - SVG/David Jackson - SVG (Gp3-A Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VII), + 27.19.37
Radj Pershad - SUR/Mukesh Mallian - SUR (Gp2-N Subaru Impreza STI N12), + 31:41.44
Winston Medford/Graveney Dindial (SM6 Toyota Corolla RunX), + 44:00.39
Ishmael Khan/Michael Dinnoo (SM5 Toyota Starlet), + 46:03.82
Key to classes:
WRC; Group 3-A; Group 2-N
2WD Super Modified:
- SM 6 - 2001cc to 3000cc; SM 5 - 1600cc to 2000cc
M4 - 2501cc to 3000cc; M3 - 2001cc to 2500cc; M2 - 1601cc to 2000cc; M1 - 0 to 1600cc