Sport News

Nine crews entered for final R5 Championship weekend

Nine crews from home and overseas, equalling the biggest entry list for the year, are preparing for what have today (Tuesday) been confirmed as the final three rounds of the 2023 R5 Rally Championship presented by First Citizens. On Saturday (October 21), they will tackle the Motoring Club Barbados Inc (MCBI) Hammertime Double-Header Sprint in the north of the island, with the action switching to the south-east for Sunday’s Barbados Rally Club (BRC) Winter Rally.
  In a statement issued this morning, David Williams, Vice-President of the Barbados Motoring Federation (BMF), which administers the island’s first-ever national motor sport series, said: "In discussions with the Championship Promotors, we have confirmed that Sunday's BRC Winter Rally will be the last round of the championship. This is due to a number of reasons beyond our control, plus we also feel that it is better for our overseas drivers not to have to return to the island once again for a single day event."
  As the second season draws to a close, it is already known that the Championship will have a new Champion, as last year’s winner Stuart Maloney is no longer involved in the title race, having sold his Skoda Fabia Rally2 evo to Sol Esuf just ahead of last month’s Rally of the Sun & Stars (September 9). Removing Maloney from the reckoning leaves the top four in the standings covered by just 30 points, with this weekend’s three rounds offering 42. With season-end cash prizes awarded to the top three drivers to hand over to their nominated charities, competition will be intense.
  Jamaicans Jeff Panton and Kyle Gregg are second and third to Maloney, with 78 and 63 points respectively. Panton and regular co-driver Mike Fennell Jnr have won three of the five points-scoring events so far in their Fabia Rally2 evo, briefly leading Maloney in the standings mid-way through Sol Rally Barbados, while Gregg and Bajan Orry Hunte have had three podium finishes in their Ford Fiesta Rally2.
  Roger Hill has 56 points, with Britain’s Rob Swann next up on 48, each campaigning a Fabia R5. After losing in a tie-break, Hill finished third in the standings last year with regular co-driver Graham Gittens but has found this season more challenging since finishing second in the opening round, the Shakedown Stages in April. As his long-term co-driver Darren Garrod has taken time to recover from injuries sustained at the start of the season, Swann’s passenger seat has been occupied by a changing cast, with Geoff Goddard sitting in this weekend in the absence of his regular chauffeur Andrew Mallalieu, who is on duty at the Austin Grand Prix as an FIA Steward.
  While Maloney is no longer driving, he will co-drive for brother Mark (Fabia Rally2 evo) as he did in the Rally of the Sun & Stars. Mark’s best result has been second on the final day of Sol RB23, which might have been repeated in the Sun & Stars but for a puncture later in the day. Just three points behind Maloney is Josh Read, who was the beneficiary of last year’s tie-break to claim the runner-up spot in his Fiesta R5 from Hill. This year has not gone so well for Read, who will be hoping that his third place in last month’s Rally of the Sun & Stars will kick-start a stronger end to the season; another whose regular co-driver is not available this weekend, he will be accompanied by Calem Maloney, who impressed him during the Sun & Stars.
  The Turks & Caicos Rally Team will be complete for the first time this year, as Stan and Ben Hartling return to the championship in their Fiesta R5s, after date clashes prevented their earlier participation; father Stan has regular co-driver Jeremy Croney, while Kreigg Yearwood will sit with son Ben for the first time. Paul Horton, who has been a classified finisher in only two rounds in his Citroen C3 Rally 2, once again has triple British Rally Champion Matt Edwards as co-driver.
  On Saturday, Hammertime will be contested between Luke Hill, St Peter, and Pickering, St Lucy, with three runs in each direction, starting at 2.00pm. Sunday’s Winter Rally, scheduled to start at 10.30am, will have nine stages at two venues in St John and St Joseph: Blackmans to Tappy Pond will run in one direction only, while Society to Cherry Grove will also run in the reverse; organisers expect the event to finish by 6.00pm.

R5 Rally Championship presented by First Citizens
Rounds 8 & 9 – MCBI Hammertime, October 21
Round 10 – BRC Winter Rally, October 22
Provisional entry list at October 17
Kyle Gregg -JAM/Orry Hunte (Ford Fiesta Rally2)
Ben Hartling - CDN/Kreigg Yearwood (Ford Fiesta R5)
Stan Hartling - CDN/Jeremy Croney (Ford Fiesta R5)
Roger Hill/Graham Gittens (Skoda Fabia R5)
Paul Horton – TCI/Matt Edwards - WAL (Citroen C3 Rally2)
Mark Maloney/Stuart Maloney (Skoda Fabia Rally2 evo)
Jeff Panton – JAM/Mike Fennell Jnr - JAM (Skoda Fabia Rally2 evo)
Josh Read/Calem Maloney (Ford Fiesta R5)
Rob Swann – ENG/Geoffrey Goddard (Skoda Fabia R5)

Championship points, after round 7: 1st Stuart Maloney, 85 points; 2nd Jeff Panton – JAM, 78pts; 3rd Kyle Gregg – JAM, 63pts; 4th Roger Hill, 56pts; 5th Rob Swann – ENG, 48pts; 6th Mark Maloney, 38pts; 7th Josh Read, 35pts; 8th Andrew Mallalieu, 33pts; 9th Paul Horton – TCI, 15pts

For media information only. No regulatory value.

For further information:
please contact BMF Vice-President, David Williams - e-mail:
web site: