SOL RALLY BARBADOS BACKS ROGER ALBERT CLARK

Wednesday, 16th November 2011

The Barbados Rally Club (BRC) has made an early start on its International promotion for Sol Rally Barbados 2012 (June 9/10) by announcing that the winners of next month¹s Roger Albert Clark Rally, Britain¹s most demanding historic event, will receive an expenses-paid trip, valued at US $9,000 (around £5,600), to compete in the Caribbean¹s biggest annual motor sport international.

  The prize includes free entry to Sol RB12 and the previous weekend's Shell V-Power King of the Hill 'shakedown' and free shipping for the rally car on the Geest Line. The driver and co-driver will enjoy free return flights on Virgin Atlantic, accommodation for 14 nights at the Divi Southwinds Beach Resort Rally HQ, and a rental vehicle for the duration, which can double as a service barge for the two weekends.

  Colin Heppenstall, Rally Manager of the Roger Albert Clark, said: ³We are pleased to partner with the Barbados Rally Club, and I am looking forward to working with them. It is an excellent prize, which I¹m sure will find a worthy winner.²

  Sol Rally Barbados Chairman Barry Gale said: ³The Roger Albert Clark is an iconic event that attracts the pick of the crop in historic rallying circles, many of whom are already familiar with our event. Having heard of the incredible lengths that Colin and his team went to last year to keep the event running in some of the worst weather in living memory, I just hope the winners will not be disappointed that the rallying mix in Barbados offers sun, sea, sand and special stages . . . but no snow!²

  There is already a link between the two events, as both are rounds of the G-WRC ­ Gentleman's World Rally Class - an informal competition between island regular Steve Perez and fellow historic rallying enthusiasts, South African Geoff Bell and Britain¹s Andrew Siddall. After visiting Spain, Barbados, Belgium and Sweden, the Roger Albert Clark (December 2-5) will host the final showdown, back-to-back with the previous weekend¹s East African Safari Classic.

  Perez, who finished 17th last year, will drive his Lancia Stratos, while Siddall, who was 12th, will be aiming for back-to-back class wins in the Ford Escort MkI, in which he also had a debut class win on Sol RB11. Bell (Escort MkII) is new to the Roger Albert Clark.

  Among more than 60 entries already received are the winning crews from the past two years: in 2010, Belgium¹s Stefaan Stouff and Joris Erard (Escort

MkI) prevented Gwyndaf Evans and John Millington claiming two consecutive wins. Third last year were Andrew Haddon and Mark Crisp in the famous ex-Ari Vatanen MkII DKP 191T.

 

From Wales to the Caribbean . . . via Dubai and Spain!

 

Adding four more names to the list of international first-timers entered for Sol Rally Barbados 2012, the Bettinson brothers from Wales are busy preparing cars specifically for the event . . . at their A2B Garage premises in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

  Younger brother Lloyd (21), who saw TV coverage of the Caribbean¹s biggest annual motor sport international on Sky Sports, is currently re-shelling a former Renault Clio Cup race car, while Gareth (27) is building a Ford Escort MkII from the ground up. Both cars will be sponsored by A2B Garage and Motor Sport Wheels Dubai.

  Both started rallying in Wales, Gareth in a Talbot Sunbeam in 2005 before moving to MkII Escorts; his recent competition experience, however, has been racing a BMW M1 at Yas Marina, the venue for last weekend¹s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, and Dubai Autodrome. Gareth says: ³Over the last few years I have been competing on the track, due to lack of rallying in the UAE. We hope to have the new car completed in our workshops before year-end, to give us a few months testing and set-up time.² Adding even more International flavour to their trip to the Caribbean, Gareth¹s Welsh co-driver, marine service engineer Edwin Venville, now lives in Spain.

  Although Lloyd only started competing last year, in a Peugeot 106XSi, he has already claimed a hillclimb record in the rally car class and been the best young driver on a National B road rally. Completing the Welsh quartet is co-driver Christian Coleman.

 

Sol Rally Barbados and Shell V-Power King of the Hill are organised by the Barbados Rally Club, which celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2007; Sol RB12 is the 23rd running of the Club¹s annual International All-Stage Rally and marks the fifth year of title sponsorship by the Sol Group, the Caribbean¹s largest independent oil company.

 

For further media information: e-mail - robin@bradfax.com web sites: www.rallybarbados.bb; www.barbadosrallyclub.com

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