Left – right Kim Jones receiving her autographed rally poster from Jeff Panton. Looking on are Combermere students Ishonia Ellis and David Scott
Team Rubis rally drivers Jeff Panton and Mike Fennell Jr, winners of the SOL Rally Barbados 2105, recently visited several schools as Rubis celebrated the team’s achievements.
With their Ford Focus WRC06 in tow, the champions fielded questions from the students of St Cyprian’s Preparatory Boy’s, St. Pauls Primary, Parkinson Memorial and Combermere School as well as some mechanic students from the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic. Over 300 students, who ranged in age from 5 to 25 years, kept the drivers busy. An amused Jeff Panton explained, “The group kept us on our toes with a range of questions about the car and rallying. They wanted to know about its ultimate speed, the fuel consumption of the vehicle, the number of mufflers we carried and even the cost of the car!” He added, “Many, even the younger ones were very knowledgeable about the local rally scene and this bodes well for its future.” Many of the students also took the opportunity to have their TeamRUBIS Rally winners posters signed by the drivers.
Combermere’s guidance counsellor Kim Jones explained, “Experiences such as this, where students are able to meet successful people and ask them questions in real time, are very important to their development and Jeff Panton and Mike Fennell were very encouraging.”
Andrea Gooding, Marketing Manager, Rubis confirmed the school visits were the second event in a series of activities to celebrate the success of the team. Celebrations started with a prize giving and go-karting session at Bushy Park on Sunday as well as a chance for some lucky customers to go for a lap on the track with the winning rally driver. The events concluded with a meet and greet at Kendal Hill Rubis service station on Tuesday, allowing the public to get a closer view of the rally cars driven by Panton and Neil Armstrong. Ms Gooding added, “The drivers also popped into our office to say hello to TeamRUBIS. This was important to our staff, as this year Rubis sponsored drivers, Jeff Panton, Mike Fennel, Paul Bird and Neil Armstrong, collectively delivered our most successful rally year to date.”