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Mon, October 3rd 2011

Spectators Thrilled at Black Bess Return
Trevor Manning heads drivers having fun at BRC Autumn Gravel Sprint

Spectators turned out in their hundreds for the Barbados Rally Club's (BRC) return to the Black Bess Plantation, St Peter, on Sunday (October 2). Trevor Manning headed the time sheets after the BRC Autumn Gravel Sprint, where driver and spectator enjoyment was the keynote the day.

Gathered high on an escarpment created as a focal point of the proposed development, spectators enjoyed a panoramic view of the three-kilometre course, which provided action aplenty. As one poster on the island's motor sport forum,, noted: "Despite the low numbers of entrants, Black Bess lived up to its name as a spectator spot. Would do it again next week."

With his Escort re-liveried to reflect support from FG Wilson, Paints Plus, Hankook and Garbage Master, Manning was pleased to be back behind the wheel: "We haven't had fun like that in a while - there was no-one in the group, so it was definitely play time.

"We first started with the Escort on gravel and the car now, compared to then, is completely different: there is more power, and the engine response is much better, which would serve us well for tarmac. Also important is that we can now see what is going on with the car from the displays inside. The plan from here now is to secure some more sponsors."

Manning was fastest overall on both the morning and afternoon runs although, on the last run of the day, he was beaten by both Ian Warren (Suzuki Swift) and Geoff Noel (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX). Third in the morning, second in the afternoon, and with two more SuperModified 10 victories under his belt, Warren said: "That was a marvellous stage, much kinder on the car, so you could press out on the jumps and high-speed sections. The course was well prepared and we ran throughout the day on old tyres."

NoelNoel had failed to register any Production 4 points in the morning, after a driveshaft failure in the first official run. He also switched the default setting to 'fun', remarking: "I was not interested in the times. Usually I go for neat and tidy but I was having fun and letting it all hang out, especially in the main spectator areas." Mark Hamilton had finished second in the morning in his similar Evo IX, but completed only one afternoon run, with an unidentified mechanical noise causing the team some concern.

Winner of SM11 in his first drive in the ex-Jonathan Still gravel spec BMW M3, Logan Watson described it as: "By far the best loose event I have ever driven. A big thank-you to all those who were involved. Brilliant, just brilliant." He headed home the spectacular Graham Manning and Calvin Briggs in their MkII Escorts morning and afternoon.

LintonAlthough not in contention for the M7 title, Adrian Linton was in press-on form in his Vauxhall Astra GSi, class fastest on the morning practice run; he repeated the feat on the first official timed run – fourth overall, too – but his day ended on the second run, when a different line over the crest caused a spin and triple roll. Afterwards, he said: "Once you are driving hard in motor sport it's not a matter of if, but when. I only have a bruised elbow from knocking it against the cage, but the car is a bit bent."

Jeremy Sisnett (Ford Fiesta) and M7 points-leader John Corbin (Toyota Corolla) finished second and third to Linton in the first run, then Sisnett headed Corbin home in the afternoon, to close to within one point of Corbin, with one round to go.

In M6, morning class-winner Neil Corbin (Starlet) was fifth overall and a couple of seconds ahead of Jamal Brathwaite (Mitsubishi Mirage), while they swapped class results in the afternoon, Brathwaite an impressive fourth overall. Both enjoyed their day, Corbin said: "By time I was done my back tyres were bald, and I could not have asked for much more from the event." Brathwaite added: "We had some good fun on a great course; I wish it were longer. The score in M6 is now one-one with Neil on the gravel and we are looking forward to the next event."

BRC Autumn Gravel Sprint
Virgin Atlantic BRC Class Championship, round 8
Provisional results:
1st Trevor Manning (M8-WRC FG Wilson/Garbage Master/Hankook/Paints Plus Ford Escort WRC), 2m 04.55s
2nd Mark Hamilton (P4 First Caribbean International Bank/Consumer Guarantee Insurance/PowerMaster/Simpson Motors/Automotive Art Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX), 2m 08.48s
3rd Ian Warren (SM10 Chefette/Automotive Art/Shell V-Power/Simpson Motors Suzuki Swift), 2m 11.18s
4th Adrian Linton (M7 Ravensden/Garbage Gobbler/JAD Performance Vauxhall Astra GSi), 2m 13.43s
5th Neil Corbin (M6 Nassco/Jason Jones/Auto Solutions Toyota Starlet), 2m 14.75s
6th Jamal Brathwaite (M6 FG Wilson Generators/AM Electrical Solutions/Carib Beer/Meridian Windows and Doors/Chicken Pen Racing/AutoPlus Motors Inc/D2 Suspension/Kumho/Valvoline/Ellesmere Quarries Mitsubishi Mirage RS), 2m 16.77s
7th Logan Watson (SM11 The Unknown Entity BMW M3), 2m 17.26s
8th Graham Manning (SM11 Ford Escort MkII)
9th Karl Waterman (SM10 Toyota Starlet), 2m 21.50s
10th Jeremy Sisnett (M7 Ford Fiesta), 2m 22.58s
Modified 8-WRC: 1st T Manning
Production 4: 1st Hamilton
SuperModified 11: 1st Watson; 2nd G Manning; 3rd Calvin Briggs (Rocklyn Hardware Supplies/Sign Guyz Graphics/Sammy Lee Towing and Recovery/Freekz Customz Ford Escort MkII), 2m 47.62s
SM10: 1st Warren; 2nd Waterman; 3rd Stuart White (Toyota Starlet), 2m 30.50s
M7: 1st Linton; 2nd Sisnett; 3rd John Corbin (Toyota Corolla), 2m 25.27s
M6: 1st N Corbin; 2nd Brathwaite

Virgin Atlantic BRC Class Championship, round 9
Provisional results:
1st T Manning, 1m 56.23s
2nd Warren, 1m 59.16s
3rd Geoffrey Noel (P4 Globe Finance/Sentry Insurance Brokers/Mix 96.9/Automotive Art/Cargo Solution International/CIAC Airconditioners Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX), 2m 02.74s
4th Brathwaite, 2m 04.75s
5th Watson, 2m 07.70s
6th Sisnett, 2m 08.92s
7th G Manning, 2m 09.06s
8th N Corbin, 2m 11.45s
9th J Corbin, 2m 17.74s
10th Briggs, 2m 24.43s
Modified 8-WRC: 1st T Manning
Production 4: 1st Noel; 2nd Hamilton, 2m 32.98s
SuperModified 11: 1st Watson; 2nd G Manning; 3rd Briggs
SM10: 1st Warren; 2nd Waterman, 2m 25.71s; 3rd White, 2m 50.79s
M7: 1st Linton; 2nd Sisnett; 3rd John Corbin (Toyota Corolla), 2m 25.27s
M6: 1st N Corbin; 2nd Brathwaite

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