Thanks to his winning performance on last month’s Rally Barbados 2005, Roger Mayers has pushed Trevor Manning off the top of the standings in the Texaco Barbados Rally Club (BRC) Rally Championship; with one round remaining, Mayers has a narrow advantage of four points.
Manning had thrown down the gauntlet in the new-for-2005 championship’s opening round in February, with a 25-second victory in the BRC Gravel Stages Rally at the wheel of the Shell Helix/Courts/Automotive Art/Kerridge/Simpson Motors/Garbage Master Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VIII. Roger Hill (Mobil 1/Nassco/Motormac/Michelin Toyota Celica GT4) finished second, with Geoff Noel (Irving Oil/Max Meyer/AutoZone/Mix 96.9/ESSCO/Automotive Art Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI) third.
With points awarded only for overall position, and all rounds counting, any driver who missed one of the five rounds would surely be at a disadvantage, so the absence of Mayers weighed heavily on the minds of his fans.
In the second round of the championship, the BRC Tarmac Stages Rally in April, Mayers was back in action . . . and on flying form. At the wheel of the Trivial Pursuit/McEnearney Quality Ford Focus WRC, he finished 22secs ahead of Manning, with Roger Skeete third on his first outing with the new Havoline/McEnearney Quality Ford Focus WRC.
Although no additional points are awarded, there are separate trophies for the highest-placed driver of a two-wheel-drive car, these claimed by Sean Gill (Shell Helix/Courts/Automotive Art/Kerridge/Simpson Motors Suzuki Ignis JWRC) and Barry Mayers (Trivial Pursuit/Nassco Toyota Starlet) in the opening two events.
Going in to RB’05, therefore, Manning’s score of 27 points put him in a strong position, eight ahead of Hill, and 12 ahead of Mayers, whose April victory had catapulted him into third place, ahead of Noel and Jonathan Still (Hitachi Power Tools/Philips Lighting/Warrens Motors/Crane & Equipment BMW M3), who were tied on 14 points.
Each day of RB’05 counted as a separate round of the Texaco BRC Rally Championship, and only registered competitors would be able to score points; this meant all but two of the overseas drivers would be discounted . . . only Jamaica’s John Powell (Intercontinental Shipping/Trinidad Mooring & Launch Services/Toyota Trinidad Toyota Corolla WRC) and St Vincent’s Steve Ollivierre (ECMIL/Empire Cigarettes Mitsubishi Mirage) are full BRC members and registered to compete.
By the end of Saturday, Mayers had narrowed the gap to Manning to just three points; the 15 points gained from winning day 1 of RB’05 – compared with Manning’s six from seventh place among the registered runners – meant that Manning would need to beat Mayers on Sunday to stay on top, or finish second to at least tie for the lead.
And the other leading positions were being shaken up, too: despite finishing fourth on Saturday, Hill slipped to third in the standings, while Still held on to fourth place with an excellent Saturday run. On the move was the Jamaican Powell, who was up to fifth, just a point behind Still, thanks to his impressive second place in the Corolla overnight.
For the past two years, Mayers has been absent from the Sunday morning restart of Rally Barbados, but not in 2005 . . . and he was on much the same form as the day before. As it turned out, he did not ‘win’ the Sunday of RB’05, but finished second to Paul Bourne (Banks/Pirelli Subaru Impreza WRC); luckily for Mayers, however, Bourne had only taken out temporary membership of the BRC to enjoy his one-off return to the sport following retirement at the end of last season, so was not eligible for championship points!
His second maximum of the weekend, therefore, launched Mayers into the championship lead, Manning collected eight points for fifth place – he’s now four points behind Mayers – while another reliable finish for Hill means he remains third in the standings. A repeat of his Saturday second place promoted Powell to fourth, while the remarkable giant-killing acts on both days of the younger Mayers brother, Barry, moved him up to fifth.
After failing to finish on the Sunday, Still is now tied for sixth place with Noel, the top 10 completed by Gill, Sean Dowding – he had an excellent RB’05 weekend in the Pro Pac/Globe Finance/Xypex Mitsubishi Lancer Evo V - and Skeete, who failed to score on either day.
Barry Mayers collected the trophies as highest-placed driver of a two-wheel-drive car for both days, while Tricia Gittens collected her second and third trophies as highest-placed female competitor, co-driving for Derek Roach (Magna/PHD/Dupont/Sargento/Warrens Motors Mini Cooper S).
At each round of the championship, a Texaco Star of the Rally Award is presented, so there were two for RB’05 weekend; for Saturday, the award went to Josh Read, for his mature and determined performance in his first rally as a driver, while Sunday’s award was received by John Powell for playing his part in facilitating the visit to Barbados by 1994 World Rally Champion Didier Auriol as guest of honour of the BRC.
The final round of the Texaco BRC Rally Championship will be the BRC Tarmac Stage Rally on Sunday, October 16.

Texaco BRC Rally Championship
Positions after four of five rounds
1st Roger Mayers, 45 points
2nd Trevor Manning, 41pts
3rd Roger Hill, 37pts
4th John Powell, 33pts
5th Barry Mayers, 28pts
6th equal Jonathan Still and Geoffrey Noel, 22pts
8th equal Sean Gill and Sean Dowding, 17pts
10th Roger Skeete (Havoline/McEnearney Quality/Michelin Ford Focus WRC), 10pts

Round 3 - results
Rally Barbados 2005, day 1
1st Roger Mayers/Max Ferri (Trivial Pursuit/McEnearney Quality Ford Focus WRC), 31m 48.19s
2nd John Powell - JAM/Michael March - JAM (Intercontinental Shipping/Trinidad Mooring & Launch Services Toyota Corolla WRC), 32m 18.89s
3rd Barry Mayers/Adam Hart (Trivial Pursuit/Nassco Toyota Starlet), 33m 10.36s
4th Roger Hill/Graham Gittens (Mobil 1/Nassco/Motormac/Michelin Toyota Celica GT4), 33m 25.87s
5th Jonathan Still/Heath Hazell (Hitachi Power Tools/Philips Lighting/Warrens Motors/Crane & Equipment BMW M3), 33m 55.14s
6th Sean Dowding/Jason Cozier (Pro Pac/Globe Finance/Xypex Mitsubishi Lancer Evo V), 34m 33.01s
7th Trevor Manning/James Betts (Shell Helix/Courts/Automotive Art/Kerridge/Simpson Motors/Garbage Master Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VIII), 34m 36.17s
8th Sean Gill/Michael Cummins (Shell Helix/Courts/Automotive Art/Kerridge/Simpson Motors Suzuki Ignis JWRC), 34m 52.51s
9th Geoffrey Noel/Kreigg Yearwood (Irving Oil/Max Meyer/AutoZone/Mix 96.9/ESSCO/Automotive Art Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI), 35m 03.99s
10th Harold Morley - ENG/Geoffrey Goddard (Sunbeach Communications Inc/Tyra Lee Appeal Subaru Impreza WRC), 35m 12.91s

Round 4 - results
Rally Barbados 2005, day 2
1st Mayers/Ferri, 26m 58.80s
2nd Powell/March, 27m 20.84s
3rd Mayers/Hart, 28m 02.40s
4th Hill/Gittens, 28m 09.51s
5th Manning/Betts, 28m 15.30s
6th Barry Gale/Ryan Rodriguez (Shell Helix/Courts/Automotive Art/Kerridge/Simpson Motors/Nishikoi Fish Food Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI), 28m 42.63s
7th Morley/Goddard, 29m 06.60s
8th Dowding/Cozier, 29m 22.05s
9th Noel/Yearwood, 29m 26.73s
10th Gill/Cummins, 30m 05.31s

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