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Jamaica’s Jeffrey Panton led an overseas lock-out of the Sol Rally Barbados 2015 podium, as the Barbados Rally Club (BRC) celebrated the 25th Anniversary of its premier event with a record-breaking entry. In the Panton Motorsport and Pro Auto Works-supported Ford Focus WRC06, he beat double European Champion Simon Jean-Joseph by just 2.09 seconds, with former winner Paul Bird third, both in Focus WRC08s.
Panton and co-driver Mike Fennell Jnr received their awards at a packed Prizegiving at The Boatyard beach bar in the island’s capital, Bridgetown, on the Monday after the event. As well as trophies for first place, victory in WRC-1 and highest-placed overseas 4wd, they each received a Tissot watch from Little Switzerland. Rhett Watson and James Hutchinson (BMW M3) were highest-placed 2wd for the second year in a row.
Panton said: “It was by far the most difficult rally to win that I have ever competed in. The pace was absolutely on the limit from start to end with mere hundredths separating the top three on each stage. To win against such a quality field means a lot.”
The BRC had more than one reason to celebrate its landmark event: records broken included the number of overseas entries (45), overseas participants (89), first-time overseas participants (43), cars in the 4wd classes (28) and female competitors (16). Thousands of fans lined the route, particularly at the Friday evening Start and Sunday SuperSpecial at Bushy Park Barbados and Saturday’s LIME/Banks/Automotive Art party stage at the Vaucluse Raceway.
Planning will be under way shortly for Sol Rally Barbados 2016 – visit us again to learn more!