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By Glenn "Evolution Thug" Beckles
Jan 29, 2003

Richard "Red Mout Ru" RoettWith a few days to go, immense anticipation is building within the motorsport fraternity. At this moment I would like to pause to pay my respects and extend my condolences to the Roett family. Richard "Red Mout Ru" Roett will be sadly missed. He was a jovial person who was beloved by all. The rumour mill has been spinning with extreme velocity, emitting brain-teasing titbits to tantalise die-hard and casual motorsport fans alike. Rumours of Cosworth, Focus and Impreza WRCs have been flying around, coupled with those of prospective overseas entrants for this year's Rally Carnival. One can be sure of one thing, however, the upcoming motorsport season will be action packed and keenly contested. Whether you attend events as a casual spectator, or a true die-hard who can't resist the urge to view first hand the best of what Bajan motorsport has to offer, your plate will be full.

If last year could be used as a benchmark, this year should surpass it quite comfortably. With new machinery and drivers stepping in class and group, this season should provide plenty of action and intense competition. Each event will be keenly contested and hard fought, keeping spectators on their toes. Roger MayersTop 3 cars in All Stage RallyTrevor ManningRoger "His Hottness" Mayers in his Automotive Art sponsored Ford Escort Cosworth WRC was the toast of 2002, erasing and making new records at the first speed events of the year. He posed a clear and present threat to favourites Paul "The Surfer" Bourne, Roger "The Sheriff" Skeete and Trevor "Electric Micey" Manning. The Texaco Havoline All Stage Rally was also an event to be remembered, with Roger Skeete winning it an unprecedented 9th time. Roger Mayers was 2nd and Barry Gale was 3rd. Trevor Manning, (who lead overnight by some 26.5 seconds) was leading up to the lunch break, but a broken drive shaft at the first stage after lunch saw him lose out on winning his 2nd All Stage Rally. Manning however did manage to make it to the Super Special Stage at Vaucluse International Raceway, where he thrilled the crowd with his spectacular driving. Manning's title of "Loose Surface Specialist" was well defended after convincing victories at Black Bess and two thrilling wins in the "handicap" races in the two final Sunbeach Rallysprint Challenges.

Roger MarshallSpeaking of the Sunbeach Rallysprint Cup, the winner of that series was Roger Marshall in his Toyota Starlet. He drove well, even though not making it to the latter rounds of the handicap round, his consistency in the group races was enough to secure the championship. The Vaucluse race track has seen may close finishes since it's opening, and each round of the Sunbeach Rallysprint Cup had its share of heart-stopping drama. From Brian "The Iceman" Gill in his Group N Subaru Impreza defeating Paul "The Surfer" Bourne in his Subaru Impreza WRC, to the classic finish between Barry "BNTL" Gale in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI and Trevor "Electric Micey" Manning in his Evo V, there was non-stop action. Up to this day, improvements are being made to the track, as well as suggestions being put forward to add a little more variety to the Rallysprint Cup for 2003.

With all of this having been said, all that's left to be done is to grab the coolers and umbrellas, call up your buddies and head off to where the motorsport action is. Whether it is a single venue event, double header, all stage rally, rallysprint or racing at Bushy Park, you will not lack any excitement. More likely, you'll be craving for more, wishing for the next event to hurry up and come. I'll be there for sure, and you should too.
Rally Fans


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