photo by Neil Barnard, Roger Hill in his Esso-liveried Skoda Fabia R5 and Sol Esuf in his Ford Fiesta R5 will be among those fighting for honours when closed-road speed event action returns to the island for the first time since last year

Panton and Swann give Ford Fiestas WRCs island debut

Sol Rally Barbados 2019 winner Dane Skeete celebrates the return to closed-road motor sport this weekend as number one seed for Sunday’s (August 23) HammerTime 20 at Cherry Grove in St John, jointly organized by the Barbados Rally Club (BRC) and Motoring Club of Barbados Inc (MCBI). The running order published today (Friday) reveals an entry of 28 cars, with nine in the four-wheel-drive classes the highest total in the island outside the Rally Barbados weekends since 2013.

At the wheel of his familiar Subaru Impreza WRC S12B, Skeete heads a multi-national entry list, with Jamaica’s Jeff Panton and Britain’s Rob Swann at numbers two and three in their new-to-the-island Ford Fiesta WRCs; both were retirements from the island’s premier event last year and, while Swann has already won a single-venue event in the UK in his blue example, Panton had not even seen his shining red mount until he arrived at Bushy Park this week.

Also back in action for the first time since Sol RB19, Barry Mayers starts at number four, leading a healthy 2wd entry, with Rhett Watson (BMW M3), the returning Josh Read (Toyota Starlet) and Andrew Jones (Ford Escort MkII) promising a close battle for both overall 2wd and SuperModified 2 honours.

HammerTime 20 is slated for a 10.00am start on Sunday; the double-header format will run from Henley to Cherry Grove in St John and reverse, creating two points-scoring opportunities for competitors in both the MCBI and BRC championships. More than half the field have also entered the BRC’s 1.5-kilometre BRC Test Stage at Orange Hill in St Peter on Saturday, which is scheduled to start at 2.00pm. A raft of Covid-19 Protocols will be in effect at both events and everyone is urged to follow the relevant Government advice and adhere to on-event signage.

The major boost to the 4wd classes comes in the FIA R5 group, with five cars entered for the first time. In order of seeding, Andrew Mallalieu and Trinidad & Tobago’s David Coelho are at eight and nine respectively in their Ford Fiestas, with Roger Hill at 10 in the Skoda Fabia R5 with which he replaced his long-serving Toyota Corolla WRC during the closed season. All three saw action last weekend at the Vaucluse Raceway’s 20th Anniversary, along with Stuart Maloney (Fabia), where they were evenly matched, so an excellent scrap is in prospect.

Starting at 11, former Suzuki Challenge Series SR3 Cup Champion and formidable drag racing contender Sol Esuf joins the R5 battle for the first time, after dipping his toe into rallying late last year in a BMW M3; that car will be driven this weekend by his brother Ahmed. The R5 class is completed by the Turks & Caicos Rally Team’s Paul Horton, who has been assisted in his acclimatization to his Fiesta by double British Rally Champion Matt Edwards.

Other news of note includes Kurt Thompson campaigning the BMW M3 Compact in which his father tackled Sol Rally Barbados 2019, while former professional show-jumper Natya Soodeen makes her debut in a closed-road speed event; having first seen circuit-racing action at Bushy Park less than a year ago, she is also a regular in the BimmaCup.

HammerTime 20 - Sunday, August 23
Final running order at August 21:

1 Dane Skeete (WRC Sol/CO Williams Sand & Lime/Automotive Art Subaru Impreza WRC S12B)
2 Jeffrey Panton – JAM (WRC Rubis/KIG/Sandals Barbados Ford Fiesta WRC)
3 Rob Swann – ENG (WRC Blue Sky Luxury/Elegant Hotels Ford Fiesta WRC)
4 Barry Mayers (SM2 Chefette/Rubis/Hankook/Sign Station Ford Fiesta)
5 Rhett Watson (SM2 Chefette/Stihl/Gliptone/Gunk/Leafy Organics/Bajan Pure Water/Power King Batteries BMW M3)
6 Josh Read (SM2 Weetabix Toyota Starlet)
7 Andrew Jones (SM2 Herr’s Chips/A P Jones Pharmacy Ford Escort MkII)
8 Andrew Mallalieu (FIA R5 Terra Caribbean Ford Fiesta R5)
9 David Coelho – T&T (FIA R5 Subway Ford Fiesta R5)
10 Roger Hill (FIA R5 Esso/MaxMeyer Paints/MotorMac Skoda Fabia R5)
11 Suleman Esuf (FIA R5 Express Imports/Y Esuf Auto Clinic/SY Adams & Son/Prosales Ford Fiesta R5)
12 Paul Horton - TCI (FIA R5 Java Island Ford Fiesta R5)
14 Avinash Chatrani (M4 Lenovo/Gunk/Sign Station/iShop Barbados/Genius Lynk/Axe Solutions Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI)
15 Roger Skeete (SM2 Sol/Automotive Art Peugeot 306 Maxi)
16 Jamal Brathwaite (M2 Valvoline/Automotive Art/Consumers Guarantee Insurance/Caribbean Auto Glass/TEC Barbados/Stylez Auto Spa/Chicken Pen Racing Honda Civic Type-R)
17 Ahmed Esuf (M3 Express Imports/SY Adams & Son BMW M3)
18 Neil Corbin (SM1 Nassco/Jason Jones/Emtage Electric/Auto Solutions/Valvoline Toyota Starlet)
19 Kurt Thompson (M3 Glassesco/NKM Clothing/Bio Beauty BMW M3 Compact)
20 Adrian Linton (SM2 Ravensden/JAD Performance/Helping Hands Foundation Vauxhall Astra VXR)
21 Jason Harewood (SM1 Image Vault/Mark Auto Spares/Williams Industries/Mitasu/Starboy Performance Toyota Starlet)
22 Harold Morley - ENG (H2 Spectrum X Porsche 911RSR)
23 Ryan O Wood (SM1 MB Auto City/BizNeeds Racing/Lucas Oil/MC LED Toyota Starlet)
24 Shawn Eversley (GpB SE Performance/Track Batteries/Big Gasses Suzuki Swift)
25 Pierre Clarke (M1 SDRR Hydraulics Honda Civic)
26 Stuart Garcia (C2 Kirba Inc/Guava Tech/Smith’s Engineering Works BimmaCup)
27 Sacha Soodeen (C2 BimmaCup)
28 Natya Soodeen (C2 BimmaCup)
29 Jason Downey (C2 BimmaCup)

For media information only. No regulatory value.

For further media information, robin@bradfax.com
Web site: www.barbadosrallyclub.com

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