REGIONAL CREWS SUPPORT SOL RALLY BARBADOS

Saturday, 14th January 2012

On-line Overseas Competitor Information document now available

For the third year in a row, the Turks & Caicos Islands will be represented in Sol Rally Barbados . . . but with a difference. For the 2012 running of the Caribbean¹s biggest annual motor sport international on June 9/10, Paul Horton is shipping his Ford Escort MkI, to replace the Honda Civic which he has driven for the past two seasons.

  Based in TCI, British-born Horton was the first regional entry received via the event¹s official web site, www.rallybarbados.bb, which is now displaying the current entry list under the Competitor heading; this will be updated regularly, although the organisers may hold back some entries for promotional reasons. With the closing date for entries ­ Monday, May 14 ­ still four months away, the total currently stands at 44, including 18 from overseas.

  Horton so enjoyed his 2010 debut that the Civic stayed in the island, contesting other rounds of the Barbados Rally Club¹s (BRC) Virgin Atlantic-sponsored Championship in 2011. He has also competed successfully in recent years in Targa Newfoundland in North America; in 2008, he won his class in the Civic, 24th overall, then moved up the order in 2009 to fifth, with another class win, in the Java Island/H Racing/Sky Motor Sport Escort, which is already on its way to Barbados to be readied for competition this year.

  In 2010, he finished 55th overall and sixth in Modified 6 in Shell V-Power King of the Hill, but retired from Sol RB10 with mechanical problems; last year, he was 42nd overall, fourth in M6 in King of the Hill, but gearbox problems from stage one of Sol RB11 dropped him out of contention, as he and co-driver Kristian Yearwood missed many stages. On Sunday morning, however, Horton set the fastest M6 time on the opening stage of the day, only for further gearbox issues to result in their retirement.

  The other regional entries so far confirmed are both from Trinidad & Tobago, and run in Group N, known locally as Production 4. Stuart Johnson will drive his Mitco Water Laboratories-backed Subaru Impreza N12, co-driven by Lee Quesnel, while David Coelho and James Harris are entered in the Subway/Total Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX.

  Of the two, Johnson fared better on Sol RB11, his first attempt as a driver, having failed to finish RB03 as co-driver for Wayne Persad. He finished fourth in P4 last year, with an old school friend, Barbados restaurateur Chris Hoad, as his co-driver. Regularly in the top 20 overall stage times, their best came mid-way through day two, when they were 10th, with Geoff Noel (Evo IX) the only local Group N driver ahead of them.

  Coelho, who had failed to finish Sol RB10, suffered another weekend of dramas last year, missing a number of Saturday stages, then retiring with an Œoff¹ just four stages into Sunday. His best stage results were 11th overall on Saturday, then 15th on Sunday, with eventual winner Mark Hamilton (Evo

IX) the only local Group N driver to beat him.

On-line Overseas Competitor Information document now available

Additional detailed information is now available for international competitors, with the publication on the official web site - www.rallybarbados.bb ­ of the Overseas Competitor Information Document; available as a pdf download, it can be found by scrolling down from the Competitor heading and clicking on Event Information.

  This document not only outlines the entry package on offer, including the discounts available for returning competitors ­ up to nearly 40 per cent for competitors who have participated four or more times ­ but also provides details of flights, accommodation and vehicle rental.

  Competing cars from Europe will be shipped from Portsmouth on the English south coast on a Geest Line freighter, while Virgin Atlantic Airways is the event¹s Official Airline Partner and Stoute¹s Car Rental the Official Vehicle Rental Partner. The Divi Southwinds Beach Resort in St Lawrence Gap, Christ Church, is the Official Hotel Partner and will also provide facilities for the Rally HQ office and a number of key official and social events during the two weeks surrounding Sol RB12.

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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