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BARBADOS - Paul "The Surfer" Bourne
Compliments of the Barbados Nation News
Date July 21, 2007 by Clifton Henry
PAUL "THE SURFER" BOURNE is on course to become the double-crown champion in the 2007 Barbados Rally Club (BRC) and the Motoring Club Barbados Incorporated (MCBI) racing season, barring no major problems for the remainder of the year.
Last Sunday Bourne drove flawlessly to cement himself as clear favourite for both titles when he dismissed the opposition to take full points in the fourth consecutive Motoring Club PowerAde-sponsored event which came off on the Mapps to Stewart Hill, St John course.
Last Sunday's event saw the largest field of competitors - 29 - begin the event after the usual very late start. Surely something can be done to avoid these late starts which are sometimes by as much as two hours.
Bourne's victory was however made even easier after the mechanical problems encountered by Jamaican John "Penti" Powell and Roger Skeete robbed spectators of a more exciting finish. These were the two who posed the stiffest opposition to Bourne all season.
Skeete, in a Ford Escort, and Powell, in a WRC Toyota Corolla, both developed mechanical problems during their first official qualifying run that kept them out of contention for the remainder of the event.
It was all left up to Roger "The Ninja" Hill in his WRC Toyota GT4 Celica, nicknamed the "Tank", to see if he could have stopped the rampaging Bourne from his advance, but that was to no avail as Bourne's time of 1:55.87 seconds in group MC-M8 WRC was about three seconds faster than Hill who was clocked at one minute 58.97 seconds for second place overall.
Third was Barry Gale in his Mitsubishi Evo V1 in a time of two minutes 91 seconds, Neil Armstrong in an Evo V1 was fourth in a time of two minutes, 1.75 seconds in group MC-M8 and in fifth place was Cliff Roett in a Toyota Starlet with a time of two minutes, 3.28 seconds in group MC-B10 to round off the top five.
There were several other good performances from the lower groups. The young sensation Daryl Clarke in a Honda Civic was again in ripping form.
Continuing from where he left off in the just concluded Barbados Auto Racing League Sol International race meet at Bushy Park, Clarke dominated group MC-M6 to take top honours beating second-placed Justin Campbell and third-placed Danny Williams by nine and 20 seconds respectively.
Adrian Linton took the honours in group MC-M7. His time of two minutes, 08.23 seconds was over three seconds faster than second-placed Freddie Gale and third-placed John Corbin with 2: 1.99 and 2: 17.33 seconds respectively.
Josh Reid took care of MC-B9 competitors with a fastest time of 2:10.49 seconds, Cliff Roett was back to his old form taking care of the Logan brothers by as many as 11 seconds between the two in group MC-B10.
Jonathan Still in the M3 BMW got the better of Nicholas Gill in his Mazda 3 and Mark Hamilton in a Ford Escort.
Double delight for 'Surfer' Compliments
of the Nation
PAUL "THE SURFER" BOURNE has created history in Barbadian motor sport by being the first driver to win three overall titles simultaneously in two clubs.
When the curtain came down on the final event of the year - the Barbados Rally Club (BRC) Texaco Gravel Rally at Yorkshire, Christ Church - it was all Bourne as he took the top honour in a time of 33 minutes, 07.066 seconds, ahead of second place finisher Roger "The Sheriff" Skeete in a time of 34.05.40 minutes.
Third was Roger "The Ninja" Hill in 35.32.30 minutes and fourth was Sean Dowding in a time of 37.12.93 minutes. This latest victory capped a remarkable year for Bourne as he has the distinction of winning every event he entered in both the Barbados Rally Club and The Motoring Club of Barbados Inc.
When NATIONSPORTS spoke with Bourne after the recent awards function, he said he never expected to have achieved what he did at the beginning of the year.
"I started the year like any other year, was just trying to see how best I could do and just take one race at a time."
However, Bourne readily agreed that he did not have a lot of competition in some of the events.
He said there were some easy races and some very tough ones like Rally Barbados and a few others in which John Powell, and to a lesser extent Roger Skeete, made him work very hard to stave off their strong challenges.
"I was really looking forward to a keen battle with "Micey", but his car developed problems which kept him out of competition. Had he been in competition all year with his car in top shape, I could safely say I could not have won all the events that I did.
"Hopefully, next year his team would finally get it right and we would resume our battles. It is something I know the public wants to see," Bourne said.
As to his tremendous showing, Bourne credited much of his success to his sponsors as well as his technical team.
Bourne now has his eyes set on Rally Jamaica which roars off in December.
"I have not driven in Jamaica for about four years and am really looking forward to it this year. Hopefully, I can take my present form and add Rally Jamaica to my list of wins for this year. That would be a fantastic achievement as no Bajan or foreign competitor has ever won Rally Jamaica," he said.
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