It was Zane Maloney’s night under the floodlights as the 19-year-old finished with the fastest time in the 2023 Sol Rally Barbados’ Sol Super Special on Friday night at the Bushy Park Raceway.
Zane, alongside co-driver Kreigg Yearwood in their Skoda Fabia, set the standard for the second day of the rally after effectively winning the stage, which was held as a head-to-head competition on the famous track.
The Formula 2 racer took on seasoned veteran and four-time champion Jeffrey Panton, and circled the track in 1 minute 40.75 seconds, almost three seconds faster than Panton’s 1:43.19, also set in his Skoda Fabia Rally2 Evo.
While there were some who still questioned the organisers’ decision to host the special stage to officially start the rally, the idea proved to be a massive hit with the scores of motorsport fans who arrived from as early as 5 p.m.
Defending Rally Barbados champion Dane Skeete ruled the WRC class in his Subaru Impreza WRC and received a standing ovation from the adoring crowd at the end of his battle with recently crowned King of the Hill, Hayden Paddon.
The New Zealander got a sharp start, but Skeete remained hot on his heels through the first three turns. Skeete was a second slower than Maloney with his finishing time of 1:41.75 minutes while Paddon was third fastest overall and just two-tenths of a second slower in his Hyundai i20.
Stuart Maloney was third in the FIA R5 class and fourth overall in his Skoda Fabia Rally2 Evo going head-to-head with Roger Mayers, winner of the Super Modified 2 class in his Toyota WR Starlet. Stuart completed the stage in 1:42.41 minutes, shades faster than brother Mark, who was fifth fastest overall in 1:42.74.
Panton was sixth, Josh Read’s Ford Fiesta was seventh overall while Mayers was eighth and his brother Barry, tenth. British driver Kevin Procter was ninth in his Ford Fiesta. (NM)