Scrutineering Saturday at Automotive Art, Welches

Nearly 50 cars are entered for Sunday’s (May 6) Valvoline Shakedown Stages, as local crews use the island’s first tarmac rally of the year as a crucial part of their preparations for Sol Rally Barbados 2012 (June 9/10), while the organising Barbados Rally Club (BRC) fine tunes its event management systems in advance of the Caribbean’s biggest annual motor sport International.

Sunday’s event is round three of the BRC Virgin Atlantic Driver’s and Class Championships, and the start of a busy time for competitors: with Shell V-Power King of the Hill on June 3, and each day of Sol RB12 a separate round of the championship, there are four points-scoring opportunities over the next six weekends.

Rally fans eager to soak up the latest news are invited to Scrutineering between noon and 5.00pm tomorrow (Saturday) at Automotive Art, Welches; there will be Valvoline give-aways, the first chance to buy 2012 Automotive Art rally gear, with food and drinks also on sale. Among the cars bound to attract attention is the unusual Lotus Exige, which will be campaigned by Stan Hartling, representing the Turks & Caicos Islands, with co-driver Andy Proudfoot from Canada.

The Valvoline Shakedown Stages will start at 9.00am from Pool Plantation Yard, St John, which is the venue for the service area, lunch break, finish and planned post-event social. There are 12 stages, giving a total distance of around 42 kilometres: in the morning, there will be three runs each from Blackmans to Malvern (2.90kms) and from Society to Pool (4.20kms); after lunch and a 1.00pm restart, the stages will be reversed and run Malvern to Blackmans followed by Pool to Society.

The most successful driver in recent Shakedown Stages history, with three wins in the past five years, Paul Bourne is seeded at number one in his Ford Focus WRC07; his local season has started well, winning two of three events staged so far. Sol Rally Barbados winner for the past two years Roger Skeete (Subaru Impreza WRC S12) starts at two, with Sean Gill (Suzuki SX4 WRC) at three.

Seeded fourth is Roger Hill (Toyota Corolla WRC), the only driver with a perfect top 10 record in the Shakedown Stages over the past five years – aside from his 2009 win, he has finished second, third and fourth (twice) – with Trinidad’s John Powell (Impreza WRC S14) and Dean Serrao (Impreza WRC S9) rounding out the Modified 8-WRC entry.

Completing a total of 10 four-wheel-drive cars, Avinash Chatrani (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI) is alone in M8-A, while Geoff Noel, Mark Hamilton (both Evo IXs) and Andrew Mallalieu (Impreza N10) will resume their tussle for Group N honours.

While the overall battle will hold the attention of many, competition will be hot among the leading two-wheel-drive crews. Very evenly-matched, Neil Armstrong (Toyota Starlet) and Ian Warren (Suzuki Swift) have between them been the giant-killers of the past couple of seasons, also highest-placed 2wd in the Shakedown Stages, Warren in 2009 & ’10, Armstrong last year.

They have already shown strong form in local events this year, but others are keen to join the party. The strongest challengers include two former winners of the Caribbean Motor Racing Championship (CMRC), Stuart Maloney and Roger Mayers, both also Rally Barbados winners, Maloney as co-driver to Bourne in 2007, Mayers driving his self-engineered Ford Focus two years earlier.

Maloney’s Peugeot 306 Maxi and the Starlet that Mayers shares with brother Barry have also both been at the sharp end of 2wd competition in the last year, but it’s an arena which is becoming ever more crowded. Other contenders include the BMW M3s of Logan Watson and brothers Owen and Sammy Cumberbatch, all of whom have finished in the top 10 in the Shakedown Stages in the last five years.

While those drivers contest the SuperModified classes, the Modified classes also promise action. Front-runners here so far have been Daryl Clarke (Honda Civic) and Neil Corbin (Starlet), while Jamal Brathwaite (Mitsubishi Mirage RS), Kyle Catwell (Volkswagen Golf GTI), double circuit racing Champion Eddie Corbin, armed with the ex-Freddie Gale Toyota Corolla RunX, and Jeremy Sisnett (Ford Fiesta) are all in the mix.

Sol Rally Barbados, Shell V-Power King of the Hill and the Valvoline Shakedown Stages are organised and promoted by the Barbados Rally Club, which celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2007; Sol RB12 is the 23rd running of the Club’s annual International All-Stage Rally and marks the fifth year of title sponsorship by the Sol Group, the Caribbean’s largest independent oil company.

Web sites: www.rallybarbados.bb; www.barbadosrallyclub.com

VALVOLINE SHAKEDOWN STAGES
Provisional running order at May 4

1 Paul Bourne/Megan Bryant (M8-WRC Chefette/LIME/Banks/Slam 101/MQI/Castrol Ford Focus WRC07)
2 Roger Skeete/Louis Venezia (M8-WRC Sol/Michelin/Da Costa Mannings Auto Centre/Simpson Motors Subaru Impreza WRC S12)
3 Sean Gill/Michael Cummins (M8-WRC Simpson Motors/Automotive Art/Monster Energy/Shell V-Power Suzuki SX4 WRC)
4 Roger Hill/Graham Gittens (M8-WRC Esso/Nassco/MotorMac Toyota Corolla WRC)
5 John Powell – TRI/Nicholas Telfer – TRI (M8-WRC Intercontinental Shipping/Trinidad Mooring & Launch Services/FT Farfan/Shell Subaru Impreza WRC S14)
6 Dean Serrao/Clint Gregory (M8-WRC Sugar Ultra Lounge/Rush Restaurant Subaru Impreza WRC S9)
7 Avinash Chatrani/Martin Goddard (M8-A Electric Avenue/Hankook/Solder Seal Gunk/Lubriguard/Sign Station Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI)
8 Mark Hamilton/Clive Howell (P4 CIBC-FCIB/Simpson Motors/MAXI Malta/PowerMaster/Boston Seasoning/Automotive Art Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX)
9 Andrew Mallalieu/Jeremy Foster (P4 Terra Caribbean Subaru Impreza N10)
10 Geoff Noel/Kreigg Yearwood (P4 Globe Finance/Sentry Insurance Brokers/Cargo Solutions International Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX)
11 Neil Armstrong/Barry Ward (SM10 Chefette/Lubriguard/Hankook/Nassco/Redline Fuels/ARMAG Rentals Toyota Starlet)
12 Ian Warren/Robert Warren (SM10 Automotive Art/Simpson Motors/Degree Suzuki Swift)
14 Stuart Maloney/Trevor Perkins (SM11 Automotive Art/Sign Station/Valvoline Peugeot 306 Maxi)
15 Roger Mayers/Barry Mayers (SM9 Chefette/Digicel/Automotive Art/Illusion Graphics Toyota Starlet)
16 Logan Watson/Rhett Watson (SM11 Oreo/Chips Ahoy!/Club Social/Formula1 High Performance Auto Care Products/Liquid Wrench/Sign Depot/The Unknown Entity/In support of Little Pink Gift BMW M3)
17 Brian Gill/Heath Hazell (SM11 Coca Cola BMW M3)
18 Alex Whitehead/Brian Hurley (SM11 AM Electrical Solutions/Sign Station BMW 328i)
19 Andrew Jones/Kurt Ward (SM11 AP Jones Pharmacy/Panadol/Lucozade Ford Escort MkII)
20 Nigel Reece/David Reece (SM10 Subzero Services/IGM Air Conditioners/Ullyetts Machine Shop Service/Valvoline/Gatorade/Frito-Lay/Trident International Ford Escort MkI)
21 Ralph White/Joe Troulan (SM10 Barbados Villa Services/Island Safari/Amsoil Toyota Starlet)
22 Paul Horton – TCI/Kristian Yearwood (SM10 Sky Motor Sport/H Racing/Java Island Ford Escort MkI)
23 Clifford Cox/Scott Bentham (SM9 PondFly Toyota Starlet)
24 Carlos Edwards/Andre Waithe (SM9 Courts I-Finance/Enermax Toyota Starlet)
25 Jeremy Gonsalves/Christopher Corbin (SM9 Makita/Quik Start Auto/Star Products Opel Corsa)
26 Allan Maynard/Marcus Beck (SM9 Marshall Trading/Lubriguard/Roberts Manufacturing Toyota Starlet)
27 Andrew Skeete/Andrew Croney (SM9 Sonic Industrial & Mechanical Hand Tools/Hankook Mitsubishi Lancer GSR)
28 Kyle Catwell/Norman Catwell (M7 Chicken Pen Racing/Kumho/Valvoline/Mackeson/Ellesmere Quarries Volkswagen Golf GTI)
29 Daryl Clarke/Russell Brancker (M7 Ellco Rentals/Mom’s Pasta Products/MQI/Roberts Manufacturing Honda Civic)
30 Edward Corbin/Rodney Clarke (M7 Valvoline/Automotive Art Toyota Corolla RunX)
31 John Corbin/Owen Proverbs (M7 Valvoline/Automotive Art Toyota Corolla)
32 Sean Field/Darnley Rayside (M7 Beacon Insurance/Castrol/Landscapes in Harmony/Field Insurance Brokers/Ackee Tree Restaurant Peugeot 306 GTi6)
33 Freddie Gale/Kyle Proverbs (M7 Gale’s Hatcheries/Nassco/Redline Fuels/VP Racing Fuels Toyota Corolla RunX)
34 Jeremy Sisnett/Justin Sisnett (M7 Ford Fiesta ST)
35 Jamal Brathwaite/Dario Hoyte (M6 Valvoline/Mackeson/Kumho/Ellesmere Quarries/Codgi’s Customs Brokers/Chicken Pen Racing/AutoPlus Motors Mitsubishi Mirage RS)
36 Neil Corbin/Ryan Corbin (M6 Nassco/Jason Jones/Auto Solutions/Castrol Toyota Starlet)
37 Sean Cox/Adam Cox (M5 Simpson Motors/Gliptone/Johnsen’s Suzuki Swift Gti)
38 Rhett D’Andrade/Tristan Gibbs (M6 Daihatsu Charmant)
39 Rommell Martin/Alex Kellman (M5 VV&K Rentals/B3 Imagining/Shine Auto Care/Leroy Body Workshop Toyota Starlet)
40 Shareef Walcott/Rashid Phillips (M6 Castrol/Melwani’s/Rallymaxx/Sammy Lee Towing & Recovery Toyota Corolla)
41 Jeremy Croney/Christian Sampson (Club Peugeot 206)
42 Stan Hartling – TCI/Andy Proudfoot – CDN (SM11 Lotus Exige)
43 Pierre Lashley/Dwayne Forde (SM11 Financial and Tax Consultants/Storey’s Distribution/Scud Sports/Kyle Lashley’s Customs Brokers/DSD Eurotuning/JAHAD Enterprises/H2O Solutions BMW 325i)
44 Randy Reid/Owen Cumberbatch (SM11 BMW M3)
45 Paul Inniss/Jan-Yves Hinds (P2 HIV Aids Commission/Illusion Graphics/Bartex Concrete Works/Downes Auto Body Repair/Erie Tyre Services/J’s Freighting Honda Civic)
46 Fabien Clarke/Arlington Hoyte (P2 Barbados Business Listings/RCR Tours/Bovell Auto Repair/Simple Trucking Suzuki Ignis Sport)

Sol Rally Barbados, Shell V-Power King of the Hill and the Valvoline Shakedown Stages are organised and promoted by the Barbados Rally Club, which celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2007; Sol RB12 is the 23rd running of the Club’s annual International All-Stage Rally and marks the fifth year of title sponsorship by the Sol Group, the Caribbean’s largest independent oil company.

Paul Bourne, pictured on the 2010 event, is the most successful driver in recent Shakedown Stages history, with three wins in five years. Photo by Sean Chandler/vtcaribbean

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