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BARBADOS - rally racing 2008
Motorsport gets thumbs up from Thompson
Date January 22, 2008 Compliments of the Nation News
"WE SUPPORT IT."
That was the positive statement from Prime Minister David Thompson regarding one of this country's most popular sporting fraternities, as he performed his first task since taking over the driver's seat of Government.
The occasion was the Motoring Club's annual awards presentation at The Boatyard on Sunday night, a few hours after Thompson's new Cabinet was sworn in by Governor-General Sir Clifford Husbands at Kensington Oval.
The Prime Minister presented champion driver Paul "The Surfer" Bourne with the Motoring News Sports Personality Of The Year trophy during the ceremony.
Thompson, who is also a resident of St Philip, said his Government supported motorsport and was hoping to meet with those involved to see how it fits in with Government's plans.
"I see the numbers and my daughters always go to Bushy Park when there are meets there," the Prime Minister said.
New Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy presented Bourne with the Champion Driver's Trophy. The driver amassed 81 points for the season, 15 more than his nearest rival Josh Read, who ended with 66 and placed second. (TT)
'Surfer' on a roll
CHAMPION DRIVER Paul "The Surfer" Bourne gave notice of his intentions as he drove away with top honours in the opening speed event of the 2008 season of the Motoring Club Barbados Inc.'s (MCBI) Gravel event at Guinea Plantation, St John, last Sunday.
At the wheel of his recently-unveiled C & amp;W Broad Band/Warrens Motors/Banks/Pirelli Subaru Impreza WRC, Bourne, in brilliant sunshine and watched
by a large crowd dotted along the three-mile gravel course, returned the fastest time of two minutes 28.74 seconds to cap an impressive weekend for himself and the vehicle.
The powerful Subaru Impreza WRC, formerly driven by World Rally Champion (WRC) Petter Solberg, was launched to Barbados' racing fraternity during an impressive ceremony organised by Warrens Motors Inc., C & amp;W BroadBand/Banks and Pirelli and held at the Cable & amp; Wireless Sports Club, Wildey, last Saturday. Speaking after the speed event, Bourne admitted he was still learning, but was satisfied with how the car performed and praised the efforts of British engineer Melvyn Evans and Brett udd and the team at ProAuto Services, who prepared the car.
"It is work in progress and we have only just started . . . . but I am happy with the way things are going. The car is good and with some luck we will see how things come together," Bourne said.
Arch-rival, and himself a former champion driver, Roger 'The Sheriff' Skeete in the Texaco/Havoline/Michelin Ford Escort Cosworth WRC was two and a half seconds adrift in second place with a time of two minutes 31.33 seconds, while another former champion driver Roger "The Ninja" Hill in his Esso/Mobil1/Motormac/NasscoToyota Celica GT4 grabbed third place with a time of two minutes 35.33 seconds. He held off the hard-charging Sean Gill in the Simpson Motors/Automotive Art Suzuki Swift who had to settle for fourth place with a time of two minutes 40.81 seconds.
Daryl Clarke, sharing a Toyota Corolla with Jamal Brathwaite, was the first of the drivers in the three-minute time bracket, and was still good enough to be fifth overall with a time of three minutes 09.61 seconds ahead of Justin Campbell in a BMW who rounded off the top six with a time of three minutes 10.27 seconds.
Creditable performances came from Jamal Brathwaite who turned in a time of three minutes 15.45 seconds, and David Brewster in the Tile Outlet/SRG Engineering Peugeot 205 GTi who did a best time of three minutes 19.63 seconds.The two were seventh and eighth respectively.
The next event on the local motoring calendar will be the Barbados Auto Racing League's (BARL) first event on Sunday at Bushy Park. However, drivers will take on each other in another gravel event on March 2, under the aegis of the Barbados Rally Club (BRC). That event is carded for Searles, Christ Church, starting at 8 a.m.
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