Watson motivated for step up to FIA R5 class

courtesy of BRC/Image Vault, Logan Watson testing at Bushy Park Barbados

Former Barbados Rally Club (BRC) 2wd Champion Logan Watson is buzzing about his step up to the FIA R5 class in 2024, as he becomes the first local entry confirmed for Rally Barbados 2024 (May 31-June 2). The new owner of the Skoda Fabia Rally2 evo driven by Zane Maloney in Sol RB23 says: “I feel good about this new chapter. This car has really brought the motivation level back up to the top.”
  Watson’s move to join the steadily growing R5 ranks comes after winning back-to-back titles in the BRC’s Modified 3 class in his BMW M3 over the past two seasons. The 37-year-old St Philip resident says: "I started competing as a driver 21 years ago and it has always been a dream to compete at the very top of the sport to see how I weigh up against the likes of Jeff Panton, the Maloneys . . . and now Kyle Gregg.”
  RB24 is the 34th edition of the BRC’s premier event which has its roots in the International All-Stage Rally of 1990; since then, the event has grown in stature to become the Caribbean’s biggest annual motor sport International and a key component in the promotion of ‘Motorsport Island’. The Rally Show and King of the Hill (KotH), the final shakedown and seeding event, will be staged on May 25 and 26.
  Watson has tested the Fabia twice at Bushy Park, with a further outing scheduled for the Vaucluse Raceway tomorrow (Saturday) and is happy with what he has learned so far: “I was shocked at how easy it was to drive, and how comfortable I felt so quickly. I thought it being left-hand drive as well as four-wheel drive would be the hardest parts to wrap my head around.
  “I’ve never driven a 4wd car before, not even as a daily driver, but the left-hand drive felt no different in all honesty, maybe due to me driving one on the road for a few years. But there is more to learn. I’m looking forward to Saturday at Vaucluse as I’ll be able to feel the car move a lot more underneath me, which should be closer to the road conditions which we rally on.”
  Watson and elder brother Rhett have been a fixture of island motor sport for more than 20 years, each at the wheel of a BMW since 2011, when Logan won his first class title (in what was then SuperModified 11) but lost out by two points to Neil Armstrong in the first year of the BRC’s 2wd Championship. He put that right the following year, winning SM11 again, before heading to study in Canada, where he was injured in a non-motorsport accident from which his recovery was a long process.
  He returned to action in 2017 in SuperModified 3, winning the class in 2018 in the BRC Driver’s and Class Championships and the Flow Sprint Championship, before switching to Modified 3 for 2019; he has won the class for the past two years, adding a second 2wd title in 2022. While he has four King of the Hill class wins to his credit, Rally Barbados has been less kind with axle failures a particular issue, his best overall result being 10th in 2012, when he also won SM11.
  RB24 Rally Director Neil Barnard said: "It’s fantastic to see an accomplished driver like Logan continuing to commit to and compete in local motorsport at a high level. That's one seriously competitive class that he'll be in this year!"

Rally Barbados is a tarmac rally with around 20 special stages run on the island’s intricate network of public roads, under road closure orders granted by the Ministry of Transport, Works & Water Resources; the previous Sunday’s King of the Hill sprint, run under a similar arrangement, features four timed runs on a roughly four-kilometre stage, the results of which are used to seed the running order for the main event.

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