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Drivers chase points in Virgin Atlantic Championship

The sixth Barbados Rally Carnival is just over three weeks away, and with it comes the chance for a bumper points haul for competitors in the Virgin Atlantic Barbados Rally Club (BRC) Driver's Championship. A Geest Line freighter is already heading toward the island carrying rally cars from Europe, while the visiting crews will arrive on a Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747-400 on May 24.

Both the Carnival’s International events are qualifying rounds of the championship – the Vaucluse Raceway International RallySprint will follow the format of this season’s earlier RallySprints as a night-time event staged on Saturday, May 27, while the two days of Rally Barbados (June 3 & 4) will count as separate points-scoring opportunities.

There have already been two rounds of the Virgin Atlantic BRC Driver's Championship, the March Gravel Challenge run at Black Bess in St Peter in March, and last month’s Carnival Warm-up Tarmac Rally. Despite many regular competitors having been absent, either awaiting completion of their cars or away from the island, 32 drivers have already scored points, a number anticipated to nearly double over the period of Rally Carnival.

With a maximum score from each of the opening two rounds, Adrian Linton has taken an early lead in the overall standings in the Ravensden/Crane & Equipment/Garbage Gobbler/West Coast Garden Centre/Edwin Clarke Furniture Vauxhall Astra GSi; with 34 points, he leads the Modified 7 Group by 13 points, although his advantage in the overall title battle is only four.

Leading the chasing pack is Production 2 runner Neil Barnard, with 30 points scored in the Shell Helix/Automotive Art Suzuki Ignis Sport; he is in turn only one point ahead of the two drivers tied in third place, Modified Open Group leader Mark Hamilton (Consolidated Finance/McEnearney Quality Inc Ford Escort MkII) and Modified 6 front-runner Ian Warren (Subzero/Details Car Valet Inc Peugeot 206GTi).

Just two more points behind them lie last year’s overall champion, Roger Hill (Mobil 1/Nassco Ltd/Motormac/PPG Toyota Celica GT4), who is tied on 27 points with Brett Clarke in the Shell Helix/Automotive Art Suzuki Swift GTi. It was an impressive performance during the two events of last year’s Rally Carnival that first allowed Hill to extend his advantage in the title chase - he won the Modified 8 classification at the International RallySprint, then turned in a near-perfect score the following weekend with co-driver Graham Gittens during Rally Barbados. Doubtless, he will be hoping for more or the same in 2006.

The Virgin Atlantic BRC Driver's Championship follows the same class structure as in the past, and drivers will count their best seven scores from the eight rounds.

Key dates for Barbados Rally Carnival 2006
Saturday, May 20 – scrutineering for local entries, McEnearney Quality, Wildey
Friday, May 26 – scrutineering for overseas entries, McEnearney Quality
Saturday, May 27 – Vaucluse Raceway International RallySprint, Vaucluse Raceway, St Thomas
Thursday, June 1 – Rally Barbados 2006 shakedown
Saturday, June 3 – Rally Barbados 2006, day 1
Sunday, June 4 – Rally Barbados 2006, day 2
Monday, June 5 – Rally Barbados 2006 prize-giving, The Boatyard

Virgin Atlantic BRC Driver’s Championship 2006
Positions after round 2

1st Adrian Linton (Ravensden/Crane & Equipment/Garbage Gobbler/West Coast Garden Centre/Edwin Clarke Furniture Vauxhall Astra GSi), 34pts
2nd Neil Barnard (Shell Helix/Automotive Art Suzuki Ignis Sport), 30pts
3rd equal Mark Hamilton (Consolidated Finance/McEnearney Quality Inc Ford Escort MkII) & Ian Warren (Subzero/Details Car Valet Inc Peugeot 206GTi), 29pts
5th equal Roger Hill (Mobil 1/Nassco Ltd/Motormac/PPG Toyota Celica GT4) & Brett Clarke (Shell Helix/Automotive Art Suzuki Swift GTi), 27pts

Modified 9:
1st Paul Bourne (Warrens Motors Subaru Impreza WRC), 17 points
2nd Harold Morley (Sunbeach Communications Inc/Warrens Motors Subaru Impreza WRC S9), 12pts
3rd Geoff Noel (Subaru Impreza WRC), 11pts

Modified 8:
1st Hill, 27pts
2nd Kirk Watkins (Abacus Builders Inc/Planned Maintenance Mitsubishi Lancer Evo V), 23pts
3rd Barry Gale (VP Racing/Nishikoi Fish Foods Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI), 17pts

Production 4:
1st Ryan Hutchinson (Auto Airtronic Services/Simple Green Toyota Celica GT4), 15pts

Modified Open:
1st Hamilton, 29pts
2nd Josh Read (Automotive Art/Baram Services/Forever Flowers/D Blades Trophies Ltd Toyota Starlet), 19pts
3rd Jonathan Still (Hitachi Power Tools/Philips Lighting/Warrens Motors/VP Racing/Crane & Equipment/Autolink BMW M3), 17pts

Modified 7:
1st Linton, 34pts
2nd Rhett Watson (The Unknown Entity/New Media Advertising/Makita Power Tools/NF Nitrous Booster Ford Escort MkI), 21pts
3rd equal Freddie Gale (Gale’s Hatcheries/NASSCO/Nitrous Formula Octane Booster/Nishikoi Fish Foods Toyota Corolla RunX) & John Corbin (Corbin’s Garage/Klark-Odio Toyota Corolla), 10pts

Modified 6:
1st Warren, 29pts
2nd Daryl Clarke (Mitsubishi Colt), 12pts
3rd Shareef Walcott (Corbin’s Garage/Klark-Odio Toyota Corolla), 10pts

Modified 5:
1st Clarke, 27pts
2nd James Betts (Star Products/Champion Auto/QuikStart Auto/Kendal Sporting/L & N Workshop/Van Betts Marble Man/Hankook Tyres/All Terrain Plus/Undercover Awnings Opel Corsa GSi), 17pts
3rd equal Stuart White (Williams Equipment/Ullyetts Machine Shop/Errie’s Tyre Service Toyota Corolla) & Ryan Wood (Sitemasters Toyota Starlet), 12pts

Production 3:
1st Tristan Gibbs (Rent-a-Tool/Scorpion Liners/Boyss Ltd/Algae X/Corrosion Block/Surfside Gym Toyota Starlet Turbo), 16pts
2nd Derek Roach (MINI Cooper), 12pts

Production 2:
1st Neil Barnard, 30pts

For further information, - BRC web site:

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