Pan­ton, Fen­nell win Tivoli Rally

Daily Nation (Barbados) - - Sport 6 - By TREVOR THORPE

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

ninth place.

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.

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