MAYERS STARTS THE SEASON AT NUMBER ONE

Roger Mayers will carry start number 1 on the Trivial Pursuit Ford Focus WRC when the Barbados Rally Club's (BRC) 2005 season kicks off with the BRC Gravel Sprint at the Black Bess Plantation in St Peter on Sunday (February 20).
The opening round of the Virgin Atlantic BRC Driver's Championship is scheduled for an 8.00am start after early scrutineering; there will be one practice run, followed by three timed runs, using most elements of the usual course - for this event, it will start at the top of the hill, run westward down to the grass section, around the trees, then back to the tarmac, the grass hairpin and down to the finish line.
An exciting start to the season is guaranteed; in the last gravel sprint held at Black Bess in September 2003, Mayers defeated Trevor Manning in his former Mitsubishi Lancer Evo V by less than half-a-second. On Sunday, Manning will start at number 2, competing at one of his favourite venues for the first time at the wheel of his current Shell/Courts/Automotive Art/Garbage Master Simpson Motors Rally Team Evo VIII.
Since then, Black Bess has twice been used as part of a gravel rally; Mayers was victorious in 2003, while Roger Hill won last October's event in the Mobil 1/Nassco/Michelin/Motormac Toyota Celica GT4. On Sunday, Hill starts at number 3.
Always a front-runner on this popular course - second to Mayers, then third behind Hill and Barry Gale in the last two gravel rallies - is Sean Dowding (Globe Finance Mitsubishi Evo V), who will be keen to stay ahead of the Sunbeach Communications Inc Subaru Impreza WRC of Harold Morley.
Fireworks are expected in the classes, too: on the rear-wheel-drive front, the spectacular Mark Hamilton (McEnearney Quality Inc/Consolidated Finance/Automotive Art Ford Escort MkII) and Jonathan Still (Philips Lighting/Castrol/Crane & Equipment BMW M3) will go head to head in Modified Open.
Meanwhile, among the front-wheel-drive entries, Sean Gill will be seeking to maintain his dominance of Modified 6 in the Shell/Courts/Automotive Art Simpson Motors Rally Team Suzuki Ignis JWRC, although Neil Armstrong (Bridgestone/Lubriguard/Nassco/Proauto Toyota Starlet) will be out to stop him.
In Modified 7, expect to see a close fight between Adrian Linton (Ravensden/Crane & Equipment/Garbage Gobbler Vauxhall Astra GTE) and Edward Corbin, whose Automotive Art/Kumho-backed Toyota Corolla SR has a fresh new look for 2005.
Also new for this year, at least to James Betts, is the ex-Neil Barnard Opel Corsa GSi. Betts has been a class-winner at this venue - and the car has won here, too, in the hands of its former owner - so Betts should be a front-runner in Modified 5, although his competition includes Wayne Manning (Black Bess Quarry Peugeot 205GTi), who should also be a strong contender.
Making his debut at a BRC event, having competed in the Vaucluse Raceway RallySprint Cup last year, is Joshua Delmas, who is now at the wheel of the ex-James Betts Toyota Corolla GTi.

BRC Gravel Sprint, February 20
Virgin Atlantic BRC Driver's Championship, round 1
Running order:

1 Roger Mayers (M9 Trivial Pursuit Ford Focus WRC)
2 Trevor Manning (M9 Shell/Courts/Automotive Art/Garbage Master Simpson Motors Rally Team Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VIII)
3 Roger Hill (M8 Mobil 1/Nassco/Michelin/Motormac Toyota Celica GT4)
4 Sean Dowding (M8 Globe Finance Mitsubishi Lancer Evo V)
5 Harold Morley (M9 Sunbeach Communications Inc Subaru Impreza WRC)
6 Sean Gill (M6 Shell/Courts/Automotive Art Simpson Motors Rally Team Suzuki Ignis JWRC)
7 Neil Armstrong (M6 Bridgestone/Lubriguard/Nassco/Proauto Toyota Starlet)
8 Jonathan Still (MO Philips Lighting/Castrol/Crane & Equipment BMW M3)
9 Mark Hamilton (MO McEnearney Quality Inc/Consolidated Finance/Automotive Art Ford Escort MkII)
10 Adrian Linton (M7 Ravensden/Crane & Equipment/Garbage Gobbler Vauxhall Astra GTE)
11 Freddie Gale (P3 Nassco/Gale's Hatcheries/Castrol Toyota Starlet Turbo) *
12 Stuart White (M5 Toyota Corolla) **
13 James Betts (M5 Champion Auto/KG Enterprises/Venture Marble/Hankook/Bridgestone/L & N Workshop Opel Corsa GSi)
14 Edward Corbin (M7 Automotive Art/Kumho Tyres Toyota Corolla SR)
15 John Corbin (M7 Automotive Art/Corbins Garage/Klark-Odio Toyota Corolla)
16 Wayne Manning (M5 Black Bess Quarry Peugeot 205 XS)
17 Andrew Jones (MO Total Sport/A P Jones Pharmacy/Southern Surf Hotel Ford Escort MkII)
18 Reggie Gill (MO SDRR Opel Manta B)
19 David Brewster (M7 Peugeot 205 GTi)
20 Shaun Alleyne (MO Rent-A-Tool/Autolink/Friendly Signs/Champion Auto/PhotoBarbados Toyota Starlet)
21 A Neil Corbin (MO Toyota Starlet)
22 Joshua Delmas (M6 Toyota Corolla)
23 Lindsay Farmer (P3 Nassco/Gale's Hatcheries/Castrol Toyota Starlet Turbo) *
24 Matthew Staffner (M5 Toyota Corolla) **
* Gale/Farmer sharing; ** White/Staffner sharing

For further information, robin@bradfax.com

Drivers: 

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