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Rally racing 2004
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Raceway RallySprint Cup 2004
Web Posted - Thu Aug 05 2004
A thrilling climax to the 2004 RallySprint season is expected this Sunday, when the Grand Final of the Vaucluse Raceway RallySprint Cup is staged at the St Thomas facility.
Head-to-head racing is scheduled for 1 p.m. after morning qualifying runs, and the day’s action will conclude with awards function in the evening.
Driving his Banks/Havoline/Pirelli Subaru Impreza WRC, Bourne has become the man to beat over the three-kilometre track as this season has unfolded. Setting new track records twice, Bourne has removed loose surface specialist Trevor “Electric Micey” Manning’s name from the top of the track’s record table.
Gill’s Automotive Art/Courts/Kerridge/ Yokohama Simpson Motors Rally Team Suzuki Ignis is regularly the fastest two-wheel-drive car at the track and although he missed last month’s fourth round, the new scoring system for 2004 means it may not count against him.
With five events in this year’s championship, competitors are required to drop their lowest score. That means that those drivers who have already missed a round – there are three in the top seven in the current standings – can bank every point scored in the final. Those who have contested every round will have a score to drop.
Taking each driver’s best three scores from the first four rounds, Bourne and Gill are tied on 67 points – that does not include Bourne’s lowest score – 12. Still in with a fighting chance of taking the title is James Betts in the Hankook/Champion Auto/Venture Marble/KG Enterprises/Errie Tyres Toyota Corolla. Enjoying by far his best season at VRW – Betts was 16th last year and 24th the year before – he is just two points behind Bourne and Gill, with a lowest score of 17 to take into account. Fourth and fifth in the standings respectively are two of Gill’s Automotive Art/Courts/Kerridge /Yokohama Simpson Motors team-mates, Barry Gale (Mitsubishi Evo VI) with 63 points and Neil Barnard (Opel Corsa) with 60. They both missed last month’s round, Gale after an accident at the previous event, and Barnard because of a mechanical failure.
Barnard is tied in fifth place with Edward Corbin in the Automotive Art/Corbin’s Garage/Klark-Odio Toyota Corolla SR and Karl Waterman in the Flyin’ Fish Toyota Starlet. This sets the stage for an interesting showdown between them.
Fifty-three drivers have scored points this year in the VRW RallySprint Cup – more than in the previous three seasons – and, with points awarded for both qualifying and racing, every run counts.
A top-quality field is anticipated for the Grand Final. There will be a social for drivers and other interested parties at the Vaucluse Raceway tomorrow, when entries will close at 6 p.m.
Sunday’s climax to the season will be run to the usual format, with qualifying runs slated for 9 a.m and head-to-head knock-out runs from 1 p.m.
Once the Group Winners have been decided, the traditional Handicap KnockOut runs will complete the day’s on-track activity.
Once the final championship points have been published, an hour will be allowed for queries, after which the event and championship prize-giving will take place outside the Banks Pig’n’Likka Bar in the pits.
Caribbean rally racing
For the first time, Raceway officials will allow vehicles to park in the northern spectator area, assuming there has been no seriously adverse weather before the weekend.
2004 Vaucluse Raceway RallySprint Cup – after four rounds (points in brackets show lowest score dropped)
1st equal Sean Gill (Automotive Art/Courts/Kerridge/Yokohama/Simpson Motors
Rally Team Suzuki Ignis), 67 points (0pts)
1st equal Paul Bourne (Banks/Havoline/Pirelli Subaru Impreza WRC), 67 pts (12pts)
3rd James Betts (Hankook/Champion Auto/Venture Marble/KG Enterprises/Errie Tyres Toyota Corolla), 65pts (17pts)
4th Barry Gale (Automotive Art/Courts/Kerridge/Yokohama/Simpson Motors Rally Team/VP Fuel Additives Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI), 63pts (0pts)
5th equal Neil Barnard (Automotive Art/Courts/Kerridge/ Yokohama/Simpson Motors Rally Team Opel Corsa), 60pts (0pts) 5th equal Karl Waterman (Flyin’ Fish Toyota Starlet), 60pts (10pts)
5th equal Edward Corbin (Automotive Art/Corbin’s Garage/Klark- Odio Toyota Corolla SR), 60pts (15pts)
8th Sean Corbin (Yardman/Rid-A-Bug/Kellspeed Toyota Starlet), 56pts (0pts)
9th Lindsay Farmer (Nassco/Philips Lighting/Toyo Tyres/ Mobil1/Denso Plugs/Freezetone Toyota Starle Turbo), 56pts (8pts)
10th equal Adrian Linton (Crane & Equipment/Ravensden / AutoZone /Garbage Gobbler Vauxhall Astr GTE) , 55pts (0pts)
10th equal Roger Skeete (Havoline/McEnearney Quality/Michelin
For Escort WRC), 55pts (15pts)
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