PANTON ON TOP FORM AGAIN AT BRC WINTER SPRINT

Terrific two-wheel-drive tussle settled by split seconds

Jamaica’s Jeff Panton slid to victory – twice – in the Barbados Rally Club’s (BRC) double-header Winter Sprint on Sunday (October 8) to maintain his 100 per cent record in the 2017 BRC Driver’s and Class Championships, with one round to go. As drivers dealt with slippery stage conditions, a monumental battle for two-wheel-drive honours was the highlight of a slick event, which drew praise from competitors and officials alike.
Clerk of the Course Neil Barnard said: “The event started bang on time and finished 90 minutes ahead of schedule, with eight runs for approaching 30 cars, including the switch of direction, all done and dusted in four hours. Thanks for an amazing job on the day go to Roger Sargeant and his team of marshals, Yousuf Bulbulia and the Roving Response Team who look after on-event communications and equipment and John Croney with the timing, along with those Club officials who work ahead of time in event planning.”
Driving the Rubis/Sandals Barbados/KIG Ford Focus WRC06, Panton set out his stall early, almost three seconds quicker than the rest of the field on the opening run from Josey Hill to Lamberts (Collins); he was only headed once all day – on the first run in the opposite direction – despite conditions not being ideal. Having clearly enjoyed himself, the Jamaican said: “It was a great event. I had quite a bit of fun as the surface was extremely slippery, so I had to drive the car as you would on gravel. It was plenty sideways all day!”
With only Roger Hill (Esso/Nassco/MotorMac/MaxMeyer/Pennzoil Toyota Corolla WRC) to keep him company in the WRC class – he finished fourth and fifth overall – Panton scored reduced points, but remains in the lead of the Champion Driver title chase, also the 4wd Championship. An enhanced points system will be applied to the final round in November, however, so the Championship remains wide open.
It was immediately clear that the two-wheel-drive battle would be close, Barry Mayers (Chefette/Rubis/Digicel/DHL/Hankook/Illusion Graphics Ford Fiesta) fastest on the first run, nine-tenths ahead of his brother and M & M team-mate Roger (WR Starlet), with Rhett Watson (Chefette/Power King Batteries/Gliptone/Stihl/Gunk/Bajan Pure Water/The Unknown Entity, in support of Little Pink Gift BMW M3) another quarter-second adrift. As all three improved, the order remained the same after the second run, Roger taking the upper hand on the third run, his time of 1m 17.25s only two-tenths slower than Panton’s best up to that point. While Panton improved to 1:15.11, that remained Roger’s best, giving him victory in SuperModified 2, while Watson’s fourth run (1:17.63) was good enough for the SM3 win and also to split the Mayers boys, as Barry improved to 1:18.19.
In the opposite direction, Roger was quickest out of the box, 1:20.92 beating Barry by just one-hundredth, while Watson (1:22.85) had time to find; all three, plus Hill, headed Panton on that first run. Roger edged ahead over the next two runs, 1:18.21 giving him four-tenths on Watson, while Barry improved further on the final run (1:19.12), less than a second covering the battling trio.
Roger Mayers said: “After rebuilding the entire shifting system after the disappointment of Sol Rally Barbados, it was great to have it run trouble-free all day and get a good result.” Brother Barry was equally upbeat: “Today’s event was so well run by the club. This is the first real time I got to run all day at Roger with the new car and, despite being happy how it went, I know we’ve got the work cut out for us to get closer to him.” Watson, another who suffered disappointment at Sol RB17, said: “Today’s event went as planned, as this year is now all about development with the new power plant. I took it steady on the first two runs, then it was maximum attack to hunt down Roger. In the end, I’m pleased with the result and the car is on pace.”
Andrew Jones (Lucozade/Caribbean Powder Coating/AP Jones Pharmacy Ford Escort MkII) finished sixth overall and second in SM3 in both runs, with Daryl Clarke (Automotive Art/Flow/Amir’s Chicken/MQI Collision Repair/Valvoline/eCarib Classifieds Honda Civic) also in the top 10 twice on his way to the Modified 2 class win.
Avinash Chatrani (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI) was on his own in Group A, as was Edward Corbin (Daihatsu Charmant) in Modified 1, while the other class-winners were: Group N, Mark Thompson (Evo IX); SM1, Jeremy Gonsalves (Opel Corsa); Historic, Wayne Archer (BMW 325); Clubman 2, Stuart Garcia (BMW 318ti Compact) – all these won in both directions, while the C1 victories were shared by Jermin Pope (Honda Civic) and Trevor Mapp (Mitsubishi Colt Mivec RS).

BRC Winter Sprint – Sunday, October 8

BRC Driver’s and Class Championships, round 5
1st Jeffrey Panton – JAM (WRC Rubis/Sandals Barbados/KIG Ford Focus WRC06), 1m 15.11s
2nd Roger Mayers (SM2 Chefette/Rubis/Digicel/DHL/Hankook/Illusion Graphics WR Starlet), 1m 17.25s
3rd Rhett Watson (SM3 Chefette/Power King Batteries/Gliptone/Stihl/Gunk/Bajan Pure Water/The Unknown Entity, in support of Little Pink Gift BMW M3), 1m 17.63s
4th Roger Hill (WRC Esso/Nassco/MotorMac/MaxMeyer/Pennzoil Toyota Corolla WRC), 1m 17.92s
5th Barry Mayers (SM2 Chefette/Rubis/Digicel/DHL/Hankook/Illusion Graphics Ford Fiesta), 1m 18.19s
6th Andrew Jones (SM3 Lucozade/Caribbean Powder Coating/AP Jones Pharmacy Ford Escort MkII), 1m 19.37s
7th Avinash Chatrani (GpA Lenovo/PowerBass/Gunk/iShop Barbados/Copacabana/Genius Lynk Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI), 1m 20.03s
8th Daryl Clarke (M2 Automotive Art/Flow/Amir’s Chicken/MQI Collision Repair/Valvoline/eCarib Classifieds Honda Civic), 1m 20.65s
9th Mark Thompson (GpN Automotive Art/Stag Beer/Glassesco/NKM/Rock Hard Cement/SLAM 101.1FM Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX), 1m 20.71s
10th Andrew Mallalieu (GpN Terra Caribbean Subaru Impreza N10), 1m 21.89s
etc
WRC: 1st Panton; 2nd Hill
Group A: 1st Chatrani
Group N: 1st Thompson; 2nd Mallalieu
SuperModified 3: 1st R Watson; 2nd Jones; 3rd Logan Watson (Subzero Services Ltd/eCarib Classifieds/The Unknown Entity, in support of Little Pink Gift BMW M3), 1m 23.50s; etc
SM2: 1st R Mayers; 2nd B Mayers; 3rd Stuart McChlery (Lubriguard/Gunk/Lenovo/PowerBass Ford Escort MkI), 1m 24.82s
SM1: 1st Jeremy Gonsalves (Sign Depot/Valvoline/Makita/John Hardman Engineering Opel Corsa), 1m 25.77s; 2nd Clifford Cox (Snorkel/Deutz/Hilti/Williams Equipment/JLG/Biz Needz/MQ Multiquip/Yanmar/Hankook Toyota Starlet), 1m 26.15s
Modified 2: 1st Clarke; 2nd Adrian Linton (JAD Performance/Ravensden/Berkan Construction Vauxhall Astra SRi), 1m 23.98s; 3rd Paul Horton – TCI (Turks Head Brewery/Java Island/Sky Motorsports/H Racing Citroen DS 3 R3 MAX), 1m 25.21s
M1: 1st Edward Corbin (Valvoline/Hilti/Pro Sales/Express Imports Daihatsu Charmant), 1m 25.38s
Historic: 1st Wayne Archer (Archers Hall Design Centre/RW Water/Arrow Woodworking/Arrow Construction/D & A Air Conditioning & Refrigeration BMW 325), 1m 25.87s; 2nd John Corbin (Valvoline/Hilti/Pro Sales Toyota Corolla), 1m 36.29s
Clubman 2: 1st Stuart Garcia (Intelligent Defence Systems/Smiths Engineering Works/Four & Twenty Bakery/Zaccios/Tropical Sunset BMW 318ti Compact), 1m 30.75s; 2nd Derek Edwards (D & A Air Conditioning & Refrigeration/Arrow Woodworking BMW 318ti Compact), 1m 31.03s; 3rd Allan Kinch (Jolly Roger/PrintMax/Pirates Cove BMW 318ti Compact), 1m 32.43s; etc
C1: 1st Jermin Pope (Good Time Snacks/Uniform Factory Outlet/Glassesco/NKM Clothing/SLAM 101.1FM Honda Civic), 1m 31.52s; 2nd Trevor Mapp (Sign Station/JSB Motorsport/Ellesmere Quarries Mitsubishi Colt Mivec RS), 1m 35.14s

BRC Driver’s and Class Championships, round 6
1st Panton, 1m 16.68s
2nd R Mayers, 1m 18.21s
3rd R Watson, 1m 18.60s
4th B Mayers, 1m 19.12s
5th Hill, 1m 19.40s
6th Jones, 1m 21.04s
7th Clarke, 1m 21.38s
8th Thompson, 1m 21.65s
9th Justin Campbell (SM3 Republic Bank/Five Star Fast Track/Hilton Barbados/Automotive Art/Dream Solutions/Hilti/CRT/#RAY BMW M3), 1m 22.00s
10th Chatrani, 1m 22.95s
etc
WRC: 1st Panton; 2nd Hill
Group A: 1st Chatrani
Group N: 1st Thompson; 2nd Mallalieu
SuperModified 3: 1st R Watson; 2nd Jones; 3rd Campbell; etc
SM2: 1st R Mayers; 2nd B Mayers; 3rd McChlery, 1m 28.31s
SM1: 1st Gonsalves, 1m 27.47s; 2nd Cox, 1m 30.59s
Modified 2: 1st Clarke; 2nd Linton, 1m 24.12s; 3rd Horton, 1m 25.90s
M1: 1st E Corbin, 1m 26.50s
Historic: 1st Archer, 1m 27.99s; 2nd J Corbin, 1m 38.44s
Clubman 2: 1st Garcia, 1m 33.98s; 2nd Kinch, 1m 34.30s; 3rd Luke Cozier (BMW 318ti Compact), 1m 38.63s



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