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Bounre Early Leader of Rally Club Championship
Drivers prepare for round two on Sunday

More than 20 registered competitors scored points in the opening round of the Barbados Rally Club (BRC) Virgin Atlantic Driver's and Class Championships run within the Motoring Club of Barbados Inc's recent Double-Header Loose Event at Guinea.

Only the first three official runs counted for BRC points, so Paul Bourne in the Banks and LIME-supported Subaru Impreza WRC S9 is the early leader of the Driver's Championship, which is based on overall results; he scored a 15-point maximum, to lead by three points from Roger Hill (Esso/Nassco/Motormac Toyota Corolla WRC), who was the faster of the two in the second group of official runs that didn't count for BRC points.

Fresh back from finishing 17th overall the previous weekend on Rallye Sunseeker, opening round of Britain's MSA Gravel Rally Championship, Neil Armstrong had enjoyed rather more seat time than many of his competitors and put it to excellent use - he claimed the 10 points for third overall, keeping his Group A Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI respectably close to the World Cars ahead of him; he was unopposed in Modified 8-A.

While Sean Gill was fourth-fastest on the road on his first competitive outing in the Evo VIII formerly campaigned by Trevor Manning, a 10-second penalty for late arrival dropped him to eighth in the BRC overall order, costing four points, although he remained third in M8-WRC.

Fourth overall, once Gill's penalty was taken into account, Geoff Noel kept his Evo IX a safe margin ahead of the Imprezas of Harold Morley and Dean Serrao to claim maximum points in Production 4, while Nicholas Gill (Mazda 3) finished ahead of Jonathan Still (BMW M3) to start the season leader of SuperModified 11; this result was reversed during the later runs, which were not scored for BRC points, promising another season of close competition between these evenly- matched combinations.

With their regular cars not yet prepared for the season, a number of competitors were sharing, in an effort to get some early points on the board, among them Barry Gale, who chalked up nine points in M8- WRC sharing his father Freddie's M7 Toyota Corolla RunX, and James Betts, who beat Jeremy Gonsalves to SM9 victory in their shared Opel Corsa. Ian Warren, meanwhile, used his M6 title-winning Peugeot 206, but was scoring points in SM10, where he will be competing as the season wears on.

There are 12 qualifying rounds this year and, with only one dropped score allowed, the battle for both the Driver's and Class Championships is expected to be intense; the second round is only days away, Sunday's (March 22) BRC Spring Gravel Sprint, which will be run on the popular stage at Searles, Christ Church.

Entries are open at Automotive Art, Wildey, and will close on Thursday at 4.00pm. The event, which will be based in the Searles Factory Yard, is slated for a 9.00am start; there will be four officials timed runs. BRC PRO Neil Barnard noted: "Huge thanks are due to Black Bess Quarries and ARMAG for their assistance with material in preparing the course over the past few days."

Virgin Atlantic BRC Driver's Championship - after Round 1

1st Paul Bourne (M8-WRC Banks/LIME Subaru Impreza WRC S9), 15 points
2nd Roger Hill (M8-WRC Esso/Nassco/Motormac Toyota Corolla WRC), 12pts
3rd Neil Armstrong (M8-A Hankook Tyres/Gunk/Simpson Motors/Shell V-
Power Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI), 10pts
4th Geoffrey Noel (P4 Globe Finance/Dwalt Tools/Essco/Sunbeach/
Automotive Art Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX), 9pts
5th Harold Morley (P4 Subaru Impreza N14), 8pts
6th Dean Serrao (P4 Subaru Impreza N12), 7pts
7th Nicholas Gill (SM11 Mazda 3), 6pts
8th Sean Gill (M8-WRC Simpson Motors/Shell V-Power Mitsubishi Lancer
Evo VIII), 5pts
9th Jonathan Still (SM11 Hitachi Power Tools/Ocean Spray/Philips
Lighting/Crane & Equipments BMW M3), 4pts
10th Ian Warren (SM10 4Ws/Flyin' Fish/Crane & Equipment Peugeot 206),

Virgin Atlantic BRC Class Championship - after Round 1

Modified 8-WRC: 1st Bourne, 15pts; 2nd Hill, 12pts; 3rd S Gill,
10pts; 4th Barry Gale (Gale's Hatcheries/Nassco/VP Racing Toyota
Corolla RunX), 9pts
M8-A: 1st Armstrong, 10pts
Production 4: 1st Noel, 15pts; 2nd Morley 12pts; 3rd Serrao, 10pts
SuperModified 11: 1st, N Gill, 12pts; 2nd Still, 10pts
SM10: 1st Warren, 15pts; 2nd Rhett Watson (The Unknown Quantity/MQI
Collision Repair Centre/Toshiba/Office Solutions & Supplies/Corbs
Workz Ford Escort MkI), 12pts; 3rd Logan Watson (Ford Escort MkI), 1pt
SM9: 1st James Betts (All Terrain Plus/Makita/Champion Auto/Kendal
Sporting/Star Products Opel Corsa), 12pts; 2nd Jeremy Gonsalves (All
Terrain Plus/Makita/Champion Auto/Kendal Sporting/Star Products Opel
Corsa), 10pts
M7: 1st Adrian Linton (Ravensden/Morris Straker Contruction/Garbage
Gobbler/Crane & Equipment Vauxhall Astra GSi), 15pts; 2nd Freddie
Gale (Gale's Hatcheries/Nassco/VP Racing Toyota Corolla RunX), 12pts;
3rd Gary Mendes (Lunatics Inc/G & G Sales & Service/L G Trading/
Barbados Muffler Centre/Appleby Filling Station/ACT Sand Blasting/
Techno Toy Tuning/Fast Lane Model Car Racing Toyota Starlet), 10pts
M6: 1st Edward Corbin (Automotive Art/Klark-Odio/Corbins Garage/JVM
Signage Daihatsu Charmant), 12pts; 2nd Danny Williams (Ford Fiesta),
M5: 1st Dave Sealy (Lunatics Inc/G & G Sales & Service/L G Trading/
Barbados Muffler Centre/Appleby Filling Station/ACT Sand Blasting/
Techno Toy Tuning/Fast Lane Model Car Racing Toyota Starlet), 10pts
P1: 1st Sean Cox (Simpson Motors Suzuki Swift), 10pts

Round 2: Mar 22 - BRC Spring Gravel Sprint, Searles, Christ Church

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