FAREWELL TO RALLYING AT BLACK BESS

Plans are well advanced for the final round of the 2004 Barbados Rally Club (BRC) Drivers’ Championship, which is slated for this Sunday (October 31); the BRC Stage Rally will be a mixed-surface event, run at the Vaucluse Raceway in St Thomas and Black Bess Plantation in St Peter, which is being used for motor sport competition for the final time.
The morning stages at Vaucluse will be sponsored by Newmart Rentals, while Bacassa, the development company which has purchased land at Black Bess, is keen to see one final event staged there and has agreed to fund the necessary repairs to what has become a very popular stage in recent years.
BRC competition secretary Barry Gale said: “The Club is very keen to regenerate loose-surface rallying, which has suffered in popularity in recent years. Our October rally will be a mixed surface event, combining some loose action at Black Bess with a combination of tarmac and loose at Vaucluse.
“Our plan for Vaucluse is to use a combination of Hangman's Hill and Vaucluse Raceway - the idea is that we will start at the traditional Hangman's Hill start line, proceed to the south gate of VRW and into the track, do a lap in reverse, exit through the pits and straight out onto the main road again, to finish shortly after.
“The Black Bess property has been sold, and the Club is very grateful to Bacassa, the new owners, for their enthusiastic help in enabling the venue to have one final blast before it closes forever to motor sport competition.”
The course at Black Bess will be much the same as it has been in the recent past, including the grass hairpin at the Pear Grove end (just before the downhill finish) and the ‘loop’, which repeats part of the course and allows for a longer stage.
The detailed timetable for the event was still in preparation Monday, but the Vaucluse stage is scheduled to run four times – in one direction only – starting at a little after 8.00am. The entire event will then switch to Black Bess, with a period allowed for service, and to enable emergency crews and marshals to move venues. The start at Black Bess is likely to be at around 10.30 to 11.00am.
Urging as many island competitors as possible to enjoy this final crack at Black Bess enabled by the developers, Gale said: “Come out and support the beginning of a revival to the loose season - we have taken every effort possible to choose courses that are smooth and fun to drive, down to the inclusion of tarmac sections to get the stage mileage up. It should be a great event.”
The BRC will not be finished with competition once Sunday’s event is over, however, as the final round of the Ruf 'n' Tuf Navigational Championship will follow on Sunday, November 7.

BRC Drivers’ Championship
Overall positions after seven rounds:
1st Edward Corbin (M7 Automotive Art/Corbins Garage/Klark-Odio Toyota Corolla), 112 pts
2nd Barry Gale (P4 Automotive Art/Courts/Kerridge/Yokohama/Simpson Motors Rally Team Mitsubishi Evo VI), 108 pts
3rd Sean Gill (M6 Automotive Art/Courts/Kerridge/Yokohama/Simpson Motors Rally Team Suzuki Ignis), 83 pts
4th Paul Bourne (M9 Banks/Havoline/Williams Industries/Pirelli Subaru Impreza WRC), 80 pts
5th Neil Barnard (M5 Automotive Art/Courts/Kerridge/Yokohama/Simpson Motors Rally Team Opel Corsa), 74 pts
6th Jonathan Still (MO Nescafe/Philips Lighting/Castrol/Crane & Equipment BMW M3), 63 pts
etc

For further information, robin@bradfax.com

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