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BARBADOS - rally racing
Revs up for rally -
Saturday 29, May-2004
by Trevor Thorpe
Defending champion Paul Bourne and nine-time winner Roger Skeete head a total of 90 drivers to face the starter in the Rally Barbados which will start at Simpson Motors, Warrens, today at 9 a.m. and continues tomorrow.
Of the 90 starters, 54 are from Barbados and eight from the region, including Jamaica’s championship leader Greg Gregg and his compatriot and former champion driver Jeff Panton who will this year be partnered by Justin Morin.
Based on current form, Bourne, who will have regulator Louis Venezia on board for the 32-stage event in the Banks/Havoline/Pirelli Subaru Impreza WRC, is highly tipped to repeat his performance of last year.
However, he could expect to come up against tough opposition from Skeete and Dave Crawford in the Havoline/McEnearney/Michelin/Harris Paints Ford Escort Cosworth WRC, as well as Panton and Morin and the pair of Peter Moodie Jr and Mike Fennell in the NG Racing/DMS Distributors/Citrix Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution V.
Bourne said he expects competiton to be stiff, but thinks he would have to also keep his eyes on the efforts of another crack Barbadian team of drivers, Roger Mayers and Max Ferri in the McEnearneyQuality/Trivia Persuit Ford Focus WRC and Gregg and Hugh Hutchinson who will be competing in an NG Racing-prepared Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution V.
But another driver who could spring a major surprise is Trevor Manning who will be partnered by James Betts in a new Shell/Automotive Art/Courts/Kerridge/Simpson Motors Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII.
Also expected to do well is English driver Martin Stockdale and navigator Mark Swallow who will be competing in the Plasterland/Drive-a-Matic BMW M3 GTR in Group B, and not Modified Open as well as Barbadian Sammy Cumberbatch and Nicholas Yarde in the BMW-powered Digicel Ford Escort MkI who are also entered in Group B, while Dave Price and navigator Neil Bevan will meet the opposition in the same class.
Meanwhile, the classifiers have moved the pair of Chris Ullyett and Derek Ince in the Ullyett’s Machine Shop Service/ProPac/LubriGuard/Sikkens/Goodyear/Crane & Equipment/Champion Nissan 200Y to Modified 6, and Garry Mendez and Roger Field in a Toyota Starlet to Modified 5.
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