Jamaica’s Jeff Panton and Mike Fennell re-wrote the record books again yesterday (Sunday) with their fourth straight victory in Flow King of the Hill, the Barbados Rally Club’s (BRC) annual Sol Rally Barbados shakedown. Having trailed England’s Rob Swann for the first three runs, Panton made the final run count, to win by a margin of 12 hundredths of a second in the Rubis/Sandals Barbados/KIG Ford Focus WRC06.
With the car undergoing a total rebuild, Panton has seen no action since last year, as he explained at the finish: “The times today reflect how much I had to catch back up. All day I really thought Rob had it, right up to the last run when we put on a set of fresh tyres and just went for it. To come out on top is a major confidence boost for next weekend, when we need to be driving more like we did in the last run.”
Swann’s determination was evident from the first run in the Elegant Hotels/Blue Sky Luxury/RA Swann Ltd Subaru Impreza WRC S12B – at 2m 17.43s, he was 2secs quicker than Panton, despite giving local fan Amy Speede a passenger ride in co-driver Steve McNulty’s seat. Swann said: “It was my intention to be on full attack and I am sure Amy enjoyed it! With Steve back in the car, the second run was good and I had more to give. Unfortunately, I stalled on the line for run three, which should have been our quick one, so I aborted it. Then on the fourth, I made a couple of small mistakes on the loose part through Golden Grove and at this level you can’t afford any mistakes, however small.”