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Skeete is Shell V-Power King of The Hill
Thousands turn out for final Sol Rally Barbados 2009 shakedown

Thousands of fans gathered at Stewarts Hill in St Philip on Sunday (May 24) to witness the 'Sheriff's promotion to 'King', as Roger Skeete powered to victory at Shell V-Power King of the Hill, the Barbados Rally Club's (BRC) final shakedown before the Caribbean's biggest annual motor sport event, Sol Rally Barbados 2009, next weekend (May 29-31).

Despite two heavy morning showers, the three-kilometre stage was lined with spectators from long before the scheduled 10.30am start, with the largest gathering on the hill overlooking the straight, alongside which Merville Lynch Productions was broadcasting live coverage on the Giant Daylight Screen.

Competing for the first time in his recently-acquired Michelin/Da Costa Mannings Auto Centre/Warrens Motors Subaru Impreza WRC S12, Skeete set the pace from the start, clocking a time of 1 minute 54.34 seconds on the practice run; his closest rival was last year's winner Paul Bourne, on 1:57.38 in the Banks/LIME/Virgin Atlantic Subaru Impreza WRC S9), while only two other drivers dipped below the two- minute mark - Roger Hill (Esso/Nassco/MotorMac Toyota Corolla WRC) and England's Kevin Procter (Procters Coaches Subaru Impreza WRC S7). Sol RB09 winner Kris Meeke (Digicel/Red Bull/ARMAG Subaru Impreza WRC S9) was having clutch problems and the 2:09.78 he recorded in practice would be his only time of the day.

In the first official timed run, Skeete went more than three seconds faster (1:51.24), as did Bourne (1:54.27) and Hill (1:55.78), with Steve Perez (Kick Energy Drink/VK Vodka Kick Ford Focus WRC05) now leading Procter as highest-placed visitor. The top 10 - now re- seeded in reverse order to run at the back of the field - was completed by Barry Gale (Autolink/VP Racing/Bella Beauty Supply/Pro Pac Dog Food Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI), an impressive Cliff Roett (Carters & Co/Nassco/Lucky Horseshoe/Roett's Garage/Castrol Toyota Starlet) the highest-placed two-wheel-drive runner, ahead of Jonathan Still (Hitachi Power Tools/Ocean Spray/Philips Lighting/Crane & Equipments/Little Switzerland BMW M3) and Ian Warren (Shell V-Power/ Simpson Motors/Automotive Art Suzuki Swift), with Neil Armstrong (Simpson Motors/Hankook/Shell V-Power/Gunk Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI) 10th.

In the second official run, Skeete found only an additional three- tenths (1:50.95) and, although Bourne reduced the margin significantly (1:52.84s), it would be enough for Skeete to win, as the third official run was cancelled part-way through on safety grounds, with oil dropped on a fast section of the stage after another brief shower. Hill also further improved (1:53.97), cutting the spread across the top three from five seconds after practice to just over three seconds by close of play.

Perez found another second and finished fourth, highest-placed international competitor, with Jamaica's Jeff Panton (Automotive Art/ Bearings and Seals/Jamaica Freight and Shipping/Seaboard/Castrol/ Active Traders/Automoto Ford Focus WRC) fifth, despite only doing one official timed run. Procter and Gale finished sixth and seventh, ahead of Trevor Manning (All Terrain Plus/Cellate Caribbean/Garbage Master/Bess Block Ford Escort WRC), who arrived in time for a hero's reception from the crowds on the second official run.

In that run, the fastest two-wheel-drive men switched order, Warren finishing ninth overall and claiming SuperModified 10 from Roett, who failed to finish and slipped to 10th; Still finished 12th, winning SM11 from Nick Gill (Mazda 3) and Welsh legend Phil Collins, whose bright red Ford Escort MkII was reaching some alarming angles.

Martin Atwell (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo III RS) improved by more than a second for 11th place, pipping Armstrong to Modified 8-A, while Ryan Champion (Subaru Impreza 555) finished class third, after suffering a puncture on the first official run. Production 4 produced an excellent mixed battle, victory going to Trinidad's John Powell (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX) from British Rally Championship regular Rob Swann (Subaru Impreza N14), with local ace Geoff Noel (Evo IX) third, after setting the practice pace, but then missing the second timed run.

Eight of the 88 drivers entered ran in an event which had no major incidents, although the afternoon rain caused some very entertaining moments for the crowd at the end of the long straight, drivers sliding off incuding Group N winner Andrew Costin-Hurley (Ford Puma), St Elmo Cumberbatch (BMW) and Daryl Clarke (Mitsubishi Mirage).

Sol Rally Barbados 2009 (May 29-31) and Shell V-Power King of the Hill (May 24) are organised by the Barbados Rally Club, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2007; title sponsor is the Sol Group. Marketing partners are Automotive Art, Banks, Digicel, McEnearney Quality, Red Bull and Simpson Motors; official partners are the Barbados Hotel & Tourism Association, Barbados Tourism Authority, Divi Southwinds Beach Resort, Geest Line, Stoute's Car Rental and Virgin Atlantic; associate sponsors are ARMAG, Caribbean Airlines, Crane & Equipments, Merville Lynch Productions, Little Switzerland, Redline Fuels and Shelbury Construction.

Shell V-Power King of The Hill

Key to nationalities (competitor from Barbados unless shown):
ENG - England; JAM - Jamaica; NIR - Northern Ireland; SCO - Scotland;  TDAD - Trinidad & Tobago; WAL - Wales


1st Roger Skeete (M8-WRC Michelin/Da Costa Mannings Auto Centre/
Warrens Motors Subaru Impreza WRC S12), 1m 50.95s
2nd Paul Bourne (M8-WRC Banks/LIME/Virgin Atlantic Subaru Impreza WRC 
S9), 1m 52.84s
3rd Roger Hill (M8-WRC Esso/Nassco/MotorMac Toyota Corolla WRC), 1m 
4th Steve Perez - ENG (M8-WRC Kick Energy Drink/VK Vodka Kick Ford 
Focus WRC05), 1m 55.44s
5th Jeffrey Panton - JAM (M8-WRC Automotive Art/Bearings and Seals/
Jamaica Freight and Shipping/Seaboard/Castrol/Active Traders/Automoto 
Ford Focus WRC), 1m 56.75s
6th Kevin Procter - ENG (M8-WRC Procters Coaches Subaru Impreza WRC 
S7), 1m 56.93s
7th Barry Gale (M8-WRC Autolink/VP Racing/Bella Beauty Supply/Pro Pac 
Dog Food Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI), 1m 58.12s
8th Trevor Manning (M8-WRC All Terrain Plus/Cellate Caribbean/Garbage 
Master/Bess Block Ford Escort WRC), 1m 58.36s
9th Ian Warren (SM10 Shell V-Power/Simpson Motors/Automotive Art 
Suzuki Swift), 1m 58.91s
10th Cliff Roett (SM10 Carters & Co/Nassco/Lucky Horseshoe/Roett's 
Garage/Castrol Toyota Starlet), 1m 59.13s

Class Results

Modified 8-WRC 1st Skeete; 2nd Bourne; 3rd Hill
M8-A 1st Martin Atwell ( Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 
III RS), 1m 59.15s - 11th o/a; 2nd Neil Armstrong (Simpson Motors/
Hankook/Shell V-Power/Gunk Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI), 1m 59.87s; 3rd 
Ryan Champion - ENG (Champions/Pirelli/MSR Motorsport/Axis Caribbean 
Subaru Impreza 555), 2m 00.18s; etc
Production 4 1st John Powell - TDAD (Intercontinental Shipping 
Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX), 2m 01.01s - 16th o/a; 2nd Rob Swann - ENG 
(Revolution Competition Wheels/Escape Hotel Subaru Impreza N14), 2m 
02.64s; 3rd Geoff Noel (Globe Finance/DeWalt Tools/Essco/Sunbeach/
Automotive Art Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX), 2m 03.56s; etc
SuperModified 11 1st Jonathan Still (Hitachi Power Tools/Ocean Spray/
Philips Lighting/Crane & Equipments/Little Switzerland BMW M3), 1m 
59.85s - 12th o/a; 2nd Nick Gill (Mazda 3), 2m 00.81s; 3rd Phil 
Collins - WAL (Silverstone Tyres/Millington Engines/Great Stuff 
Caterers/Orchard Motorsport/Collins Engineering/Pontilas Developments 
Escort MkII), 2m 01.03s; etc
SM10 1st Warren; 2nd Roett; 3rd Logan Watson (The Unknown Entity/MQI 
Collision Repair Centre/Toshiba/Office Solutions & Supplies/Corbz 
Workz/Castrol Ford Escort MkI), 2m 07.07s; etc
SM9 1st Josh Read (Automotive Art Toyota Starlet), 2m 02.19s - 20th o/
a; 2nd James Betts (All Terrain Plus/Cellate Caribbean/Makita/Black 
Bess/Yamaha/Champion Auto/Quik Start Auto/Kendal Sporting Opel 
Corsa), 2m 02.85s; 3rd Daryl Clarke (Area 5 Auto Works/Mom's Pasta 
Products Mitsubishi Mirage), 2m 04.88s; etc
M7 1st Adrian Linton (Ravensden/Morris Straker Construction/Garbage 
Gobbler/Crane & Equipments Vauxhall Astra GSi), 2m 04.57s - 26th o/a; 
2nd Freddie Gale (Gale's Hatcheries/Nassco/VP Racing/Workz Mechanical 
Services Toyota Corolla RunX), 2m 11.29s; 3rd John Corbin (Corbins 
Garage/Klark-Odio/Automotive Art Toyota Corolla), 2m 14.51s; etc
M6 1st Edward Corbin (Automotive Art/Klark-Odio/Corbins Garage/JVM 
Signage Daihatsu Charmant), 2m 12.78s - 46th o/a; 2nd Danny Williams 
(Chris's Workshop/Sunbury Plantation House/Barbados Paragliding 
Association Ford Fiesta), 2m 19.29s; 3rd Wayne Archer (Daihatsu 
Charmant), 2m 29.90s; etc
M5 1st Kenny Hall - SCO (Halltune Garage Opel Corsa), 2m 12.60s - 
45th o/a; 2nd Glenn Campbell - NIR (Burn Road Trade Sales/Campbell 
Motorsport Electrics/Motorcare/Agnew Recovery/TorqueTronix Nissan 
Micra), 2m 20.52s; 3rd Sean Cox (Simpson Motors Suzuki Swift), 2m 
29.11s; etc
P3 1st Sean T Field (AM Realty/Ackee Tree/Field Insurance Brokers/
Landscapes in Harmony Peugeot 306), 2m 15.75s - 54th o/a; 2nd Cheryl 
Spencer - ENG (Eden Vauxhall/Creative Space Solutions/Old Castle B & 
B/ABS Embroidery Vauxhall Astra GSi), 2m 52.45s
P2 1st Fabien Clarke (Barbados Business Listings/RCA Tours/Bovell 
Auto Repair Suzuki Ignis Sport), 2m 42.37s - 72nd o/a
Group B 1st Andrew Costin-Hurley - ENG (Earl's Performance Hoses Ford 
Puma), 2m 08.98s - 37th o/a; 2nd Norman Catwell (Ellesmere Quarries/
Chicken Pen Racing Peugeot 205 GTi), 2m 09.45s; 3rd Andrew Jones 
(Rexona V8/A P Jones Pharmacy/Southern Surf Hotel Ford Escort MkII), 
2m 09.98s; etc
Historic 1st Ding Boston - ENG (Oxford Universities Motorsport 
Foundation/Phillips Tyres/Virgin Atlantic/Toyo/Recaro/Powervamp 
Racing/MASS Engines Riley 1.5), 2m 33.77s - 70th o/a

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