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BRC Rally Barbados 2004,
Island Wide,
May 29 & 30, 2004
Intro Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 Team Report
Team Report: (Dri) Roger Skeete (Nav) Dave Crawford
(M9 Havoline/McEnearney Quality/ Michelin Ford Escort WRC)

It's good to be able to report something other than a DNF, we had a very eventful rally especially on the first day & night.

The weather appeared as if it was shaping up to be a challenge to all competitors and their respective crews, I know Jeanne was not looking forward to the coming doubtful weather and all of the various possibilities that could arise. However we departed on wets for the first stage at Hangman Hill, had a short wait at the stage start to contemplate how much rain we needed to keep our wets from feeling abused on the dry sections of the stage.

We completed SS1 without incident and set the quickest time, and went on to the French village to Four Hill stage were our first challenges appeared, albeit less of an issue than at that point in 2003. We had a puncture somewhere around the Rock Plantation and kept going as quickly as possible to the finish, happy that we were still going.

Arrived at service and changed all four tyres to slicks for Pickering's and went into the stage ,started and were now way ahead of last years effort, after leaving the triangle mid way through this stage negotiating a very quick "nearly" flat right, we left the road briefly sideways through the "black ground" on the left side of the road, and got back on 40 or 50 meters on maybe 20 meters in front of a large utility pole that unlike some spectators who were much further away did not flinch.

Near the finish of the stage in the rough section there was a lot of standing water that slowed us again from that point to the finish with a misfire maybe running on two cylinders to the finish. This was a similar water induced problem that occurred at the river crossing in Jamaica, so we continued knowing it would soon clear up.

Three stages and only two so far with extra excitement, we were now doing much better than the previous year the following stages were less eventful. All of these details were slowing us down and allowing the FORD focus of R Mayers & Maximus to build a cushion, way too much comfort being extended, however there was little we could do at this point because there were some issues with our anti-lag not giving the bang for the buck out the corners. All credit to Dave and the crew at main service for trying repeatedly to rectify this minor electronic glitch that was slowing us for most of Saturday after the lunch halt and right through to the last night stage. The crew and Dave grabbed this problem by the scruff of the neck in McEnearney's, removed the inlet manifold and throttle body fixed the problem for the start of day two and gave me a car without any problems to chase the Ford focus with.

At the restart we were told that Roger and Max were not restarting as a result of engine problems. We felt for there team at this point having been there on a number of occasions ourselves, and knowing that feeling of disappointment. Now the nerves started to be a consideration, because up until this point we had only one objective, catch and pass the focus not come second, but here we were now defending a lead for another possible 14 stages by driving
conservatively... OK I will try for two stages see how it feels, and if it is uncomfortable I am coming back with the big hammer.

So for the balance of Sunday we enjoyed a reduced number of scuffles with the Surfer and the Stallion until we were interrupted by rumology in de afternoon, but all in all I enjoyed what was a very well run rally.

Kudos to Mark, Jeanne,Dave and the whole McEnearney effort that supported us and all of our guests, I guess Charles must be happy that we did drag him away from his partying during the week end.

Once again thanks to the organizers, marshalls, sponsors, the Police Force, Light & Power and spectators. We had a near perfect event for the world to see and I am sure that millions in UK and Europe will get to see Barbados and this RALLY in a very positive light through the eyes of visiting press that filmed it to take back with them.

The Sheriff

2001 JustBajan.com®. Contact: e-mail info@JustBajan.com, Tel: (246) 429-6779