Panton, Fennell win Tivoli Rally
Jamaican Jeff Panton led a cadre of drivers to group titles as the curtain came down on the Barbados Rally Club’s (BRC) motoring season with the Tivoli Winter Rally last weekend.
On a day of fluctuating fortunes, Panton and codriver Mike Fennell Jr., who maintained their 100 per cent win rate in the Barbados Rally Club’s (BRC) 2018 driver’s and class championships in the Ford Focus WRC06, returned a time of 19 minutes 23.64 seconds to become champion driver.
He had high praise for Britain’s Ron Swann, who with Darren Garrod in the Subaru Impreza WRC S12B, finished 06.53 seconds adrift in second place.
“To be honest, I didn’t put much preparation into my driving and my mental state and it showed, being totally off, lacking rhythm and feeling uncomfortable in the car. I’m gutted for Rob, as he was the better driver, leading until his stall,” Panton noted.
Swann and Garrod had won the first two stages from Pool to Drax Hall, then Chapel to Congo Road.
They had built up a five-second lead, although Panton pegged them back, as they shared the other two daylight stage wins after SS5 was cancelled to bring the event back on time.
An electrical fault, however, ruined the remainder of the day for the Englishman.
Swann said after dinner, they went to the start line and with all the lights on, the battery went down and they stalled due to the launch not working and the clock was already at eight seconds.
“After that, the car was down on power, so we just had to manage it to the finish. To lose by six seconds, having given eight or 10 on the start line is hard to swallow, as I really felt we had him,” Swann said.
The other champions are the event’s two-wheel-drive “king” and SM2’S champion, Barry Mayers and SM3’S Logan Watson.
Among the two-wheel-drive contenders and pointed for group titles are Barry Mayers, in the company of Andrew Skeete in the Ford Fiesta.
They were one minute, 02.93 seconds ahead of title rival Dane Skeete, who reverted to his Peugeot 306 Maxi, promising a cracking battle for twowheel-drive honours with the Mayers brothers.
Engine problems sidelined Roger Mayers and steering failure put paid to Skeete’s ambitions causing contact between the Peugeot and the scenery on the first night-time run from Chapel to Congo Road.
Barry Mayers assumed the twowheel-drive lead, and third overall, where he remained to the finish.
Helped by some impressive stage times, including fastest two wheel drive on SS2, Logan Watson was ahead in his BMW M3.
Watson had an epic battle for overall position with Roger ‘The Ninja’ Hill’s Toyota Corolla WRC and Trinidad & Tobago’s David Coelho in his Ford Fiesta R5 when Skeete retired, and inherited fourth place.
Watson is the SM3 championelect, having started the event only two points clear of Andrew Jones (Ford Escort MKII), who retired with engine problems.
Hill finished fourth overall, third in WRC, and less than a second ahead of Coelho, who is benefitting from increased seat time in his Fiesta. He won Group A by 12 seconds from Andrew Mallalieu (Subaru Impreza), who was sixth.
Greg Cozier, in the Ford Escort RS finished seventh, winning the Historic class while Turks & Caicos’ driver Paul Horton (Citroen DS 3 R3 MAX) was eighth, winning Modified 2 and Jonathan Still (BMW M3) won Group B to be in
Jeff Panton and Mike Fennell Jr in the Rubis/sandals Barbados/kig Ford Focus WRC06 triumphed in the Tivoli Winter Rally.
Barry Mayers and Andrew Skeete in the Chefette/ Rubis/digicel/ Hankook Ford Fiesta won SM 2 with a time of 20 minutes, 26.57 seconds.