Rally racing 2006
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BARBADOS - rally racing
Date March 10, 2006 Compliments of the Nation News
by TREVOR THORPE
IT WILL BE the "Battle of Champions" at Bushy Park tomorrow.
In fact, the Barbados Auto Racing League (BARL) has put together a star-studded field. No fewer than eight current or former champions are on a list of 20 drivers down to contest the Hilti Tools Handicap Race.
The event promises to bring the curtain down in style on the Barbados Motoring Federation's (BMF) SOL Motorsport Interactive which will start at noon.
High on the list is Roger "The Sheriff" Skeete, the league's first day champion and winner of the handicap race, and Group B and overall champion driver Kenrick "Snapper" Husbands.
Skeete, who will be driving the Texaco/Havoline/Michelin Peugeot 306 Maxi, marked his return to BARL racing two weeks ago after an absence of 13 years with a hat-trick of wins in Digicel Group 3C. Husbands will be at the wheel of the Williams Equipment/NP Oil/Hilti Tools Toyota Starlet.
The list also includes last year's Group 2C champion Wendel Batson, Group 3B winner Dave Hinds, and multiple Group 1B champion William Jones. Jones also holds the distinction of being the only driver to have won the BARL Handicap Championship more than once (in 2002 and 2003).
In-form drivers such as Group 3 competitors Dirk Gray, Sean Maloney, Ralph White and Kirk Worrell, who will all be driving well-prepared Toyota Starlets, and Trevor Whitehall are also in the line-up. Gray took his RR ConSteel/Paints Plus/David R Services Toyota Starlet to two wins in Group 3B at BARL's opening race meet of the season last month. He was beaten just once - by Whitehall in the Castrol Mazda RX7.
The handicap race will be decided over ten laps and is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.
"We have been very pleased with the start to our season, as far as entries are concerned . . . and this weekend's race reflects that, while there are also more new cars being worked on," said BARL chairman Kurt Seabra.
"We have Digicel back on board again as sponsor of our elite cars in Group 3, and are delighted to have Hilti Tools as sponsor of our Handicap Championship, as well as this extra race."
The SOL Motorsport Interactive is fully supported by SOL, the Caribbean's largest independent oil company, and co-ordinated by the BMF, under its secretary-general John Sealy.
Each of its member clubs is responsible for one area of the operation, all supported by the island's motorsport marshals.
Each of the BMF's member clubs have worked together to offer patrons a variety of passenger rides in competition machinery, ranging from road-going saloons taking part in an autocross, through off-road karts and four-wheel-drives to full-blown rally cars.
The Automotive Art 4X4 Tug-O-War competition comes off at 3 p.m.
The event will also include the annual technical scrutineering session for rally and speed event competitors and a display of classic cars.
Product displays from McEnearney Quality Inc., Nassco Ltd., and Warrens Motors will allow patrons to inspect and test drive the latest vehicles.
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