RALLY CARNIVAL ACTION STARTS SATURDAY

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RALLY CARNIVAL ACTION STARTS SATURDAY

Hutchinson and Linton tied for top spot

The Red Bull International RallySprint at the Vaucluse Raceway in St Thomas on Saturday (May 19) will provide island motor sport fans with their first chance to see the visitors to the seventh annual Barbados Rally Carnival in action.

European competitors, popular crowd-pleasers Kevin Procter and Martin Stockdale among them, have been arriving at Grantley Adams International Airport since Saturday and their competition cars are due to emerge from the Bridgetown Port early this week.

Qualifying is slated for 10.00am, with the Group heats scheduled for a 3.00pm start; the sun will have set long before the Group Winners Handicap KnockOut begins. A prize-giving will complete the day's activities.

Saturday's event is the third and final round of the 2007 Vaucluse Raceway RallySprint Cup, which is poised for a thrilling climax, with a spread of just five points across the top four drivers.

Jointly leading the way after two rounds are Adrian Linton and Spencer Hutchinson. Driving his regular Ravensden/Crane & Equipment/Garbage Gobbler/West Coast Garden Centre/Edwin Clarke Furniture Vauxhall Astra GSi, Linton has been one of the stars of the St Thomas venue this season, with a near-perfect record - apart from finishing second to Roger Marshall (Photofinish/One Hour Photo Hyundai Accent) in qualifying in the opening round, he has headed the Modified 7 Group throughout, and gained a couple of useful bonus points for wins in the Handicap KnockOut in round two.

Hutchinson, who races a Peugeot 306 S16, does have a perfect record in the Production Group, but with only one bonus point for a Handicap win, is tied on 47 with Linton; it has been a good performance, though, as former kart racer Hutchinson returned to competition this year after some years away. He carries competition number 200, as the Vaucluse Raceway clocked up its double-century of competitors when Hutchinson first raced there in March.

Just two points adrift of these two is Kirk Watkins (Abacus Builders Inc/Hankook Mitsubishi Lancer Evo V), who has the distinction of being the only competitor not to have missed a single event at Vaucluse since the venue opened in August 2000. He in turn is just three points ahead of Jonathan Still in the Hitachi Power Tools/Philips Lighting/Warrens Motors/Crane & Equipment/VP Racing BMW M3.

The Red Bull International RallySprint (May 19) is the third and final round of the Vaucluse Raceway RallySprint Cup and a round of the BRC Driver's Championship. It is organised by the Vaucluse Raceway Motor Sport Club and sponsored by Red Bull.

Since its creation, the Barbados Rally Carnival has attracted nearly 160 overseas competitors, followed by more than 4,000 supporters over the years, who annually inject around Bds $2 million into the island's economy, much of it in valuable foreign exchange.

2007 Vaucluse Raceway RallySprint Cup
Positions after two rounds

1st equal Spencer Hutchinson (Peugeot 306 S16) & Adrian Linton (Ravensden/Crane & Equipment/Garbage Gobbler/West Coast Garden Centre/Edwin Clarke Furniture Vauxhall Astra GSi), 47 points
3rd Kirk Watkins (Abacus Builders Inc/Hankook Mitsubishi Lancer Evo V), 45pts
4th Jonathan Still (Hitachi Power Tools/Philips Lighting/Warrens Motors/Crane & Equipment/VP Racing BMW M3), 42pts
5th Andrew Skeete (Hitachi Power Tools/Rent-a-quip/Quality Tyre Mitsubishi Lancer), 37pts
6th William Branch (Automotive Art/ImitationTrees.com Toyota Corolla), 36pts
7th equal Freddie Gale (Gale's Hatcheries/NASSCO/Castrol/VP Racing/Barbados Industries Toyota Corolla RunX) & Greg Cozier (Citgo/Hyundai Commercial & Industrial Ford Escort RS2000), 32pts
9th Sean Gill (First Caribbean VISA/Automotive Art/Shell V-Power Suzuki Swift), 24pts
10th equal John Corbin (Corbin's Garage/Klark-Odio Toyota Corolla) & Trevor Manning (Shell V-Power/Simpson Motors/Garbage Master Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VIII), 20pts
etc

Key dates for Barbados Rally Carnival 2007
Friday, May 18 - scrutineering for all competitors
- Sir Garfield Sobers Gymnasium, Wildey
Saturday, May 19 - Red Bull International RallySprint
- Vaucluse Raceway, St Thomas
Thursday, May 24 - Rally Barbados 2007 shakedown
Saturday, May 26 - Rally Barbados 2007, day 1
Sunday, May 27 - Rally Barbados 2007, day 2
Monday, May 28 - Rally Barbados 2007 prize-giving
- The Boatyard

For further information:
e-mail - robin@bradfax.com
web site - www.barbadosrallycarnival.com

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