Sol Rally Barbados 2018 Report

Now that the dust has settled, let's take a look back at Sol Rally Barbados 2018.

The Chefette Speed Team faced the starters on the Friday evening of the rally with each driver looking to get the edge on the competition in a long rally of 24 stages, covering 128 competitive kilometres. Barry drew first blood and was the fastest 2WD in the Friday night super special stage at Vaucluse Raceway after Roger threw away a good run with a spin  to drop 10 seconds below Barry.

By the second stage of the Saturday morning, Roger had erased his overnight deficit and was less than a second behind Barry and seven seconds ahead of Rhett. Rhett had opted for a more conservative approach, which left him with some work to do if he was to catch front runner Dane Skeete who was 10 secs ahead. 

As the day progressed Roger took over the 2WD lead following a string of fastest 2WD times up until SS9 where something in the road caused a puncture which cost him 2 minutes and sent him plummeting down the standings. By this time, Rhett had broken into the Top 10 and Barry was 2nd fastest 2WD trailing Skeete by 5 seconds. By the end of the Saturday night stages, Barry had overhauled Skeete and went ahead by 5 secs.

The Sunday morning, Roger was in command of the stage times, consistently setting Top 5 overall times and was advancing up the leader board gaining 8 places before a small error caused him a spin which led to the car going airborne and being damaged in the process; this brought his march to an  abrupt halt. Meanwhile, Rhett steadily chipped away at Skeete's advantage ahead of him. By the final stage of the day, the two were separated by just a few seconds, with Rhett leading. Rhett and co-driver Bradley Weekes did well to maintain the advantage and claimed 2nd fastest 2WD and was first in SM3.

Barry and co-driver Ben Norris held on firmly to the fastest 2WD honours to successfully defend their title from last year. Overall winners Jeffrey Panton and Michael Fennell Jr. were also successful in their overall title defence. On reflection, Barry highlighted some challenges along the way but admitted that the misfortune of Daryl Clarke and Russell Brancker earlier in the day had weighed heavily on his mind. He noted that ""It was one of the most challenging Sol Rally Barbados events to date. It was not the smoothest and we almost went OTL with a faulty fuel pump halfway through Saturday and had other issues on Sunday. I think Roger was the fastest over the weekend but he had his challenges then there was the challenge from Dane and Rhett. Sunday the plan was to be out of the box as fast as possible which helped us to pull ahead. I'm happy with the result for the team especially with the difficulties faced but it is all dampened by having Russell and Daryl in thoughts as they try to pull through their injuries.

Article published October 21, 2018

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