Turner’s Hall to Apes Hill stage returns after 10 years

The final round of the Barbados Rally Club (BRC) Driver’s and Class Championships, the Winter Rally on October a27, will be sponsored by the Turks & Caicos Islands-based business HO2 Construction. With a return to a stage venue not used in 10 or more years and the customary year-end enhanced points system – 28 points for a class win, compared with the usual 20 – the season’s final event looks set to be a thriller.
 Company boss Paul Horton’s first visit to compete in Barbados a decade ago kick-started the TCI Rally Team, which has grown to five competitors and an involvement which now brings up to 50 friends and family to the island regularly throughout the season. Established by Horton and Jose Ovando Rodriguez – the partners have more than 35 years of industry experience between them - HO2 Construction has operations throughout the TCI, as well as projects in Cayman Island, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and St Vincent.
 Horton commented: “I decided to sponsor the event for number of reasons, first in return for the support the Turks & Caicos Rally Team has had over the years from the Club and its marshals, officials, response teams and volunteers, as well as the competitors. But also as a thank-you for the commitment so many people showed to getting me back on the road in time for Rally Barbados after the incident we had this year; it wouldn’t have been possible without a massive joint effort from the Rally Club’s Jeanne Crawford and Mark Hamilton, Brett Judd at Pro Auto Works and of course my team and one of my best friends, Stan Hartling, who sponsored the flight costs for the new machine through Hartling Group Luxury Resorts. This seemed a fitting way to give something back to everyone concerned.”
 Slated for an 8.45am start from Hopewell Plantation in St Thomas on Sunday, October 27, the HO2 Construction Winter Rally will comprise 10 stages, five each before and after a lunch break at Hopewell, which will also be the Service Park for the day. In the morning, three runs through the 4.50-kilometre HO2 Construction Dark Hole stage, running towards Spring Vale, will alternate with two downhill runs of the Java Island Lion Castle stage (4.00km). After lunch, there will be two runs from Spring Vale to Dark Hole, mixed with three through the 3.50km Java Island Apes Hill stage, which will represent a first-time challenge for many competitors.
 Rally Club PRO Neil Barnard explained: “We are returning to a stage venue not used in over a decade, Turner’s Hall to Apes Hill, although it will not be exactly the same; the last time it ran in competition, it used the original Turner’s Hall hillclimb. Unfortunately, that road has been abandoned and is no longer passable, but the ‘bypass road’ is; so, we are starting the stage on the ridge half-way along that stretch of road, then continuing up the hill and turning right towards Apes Hill. It is 3.5 kilometres and quite a technically challenging stage.”
 Entries opened today (Monday) at Motorsport Services in Haggatt Hall and will close next Wednesday (October 23), and the running order will be published after the following evening’s Briefing Meeting at the Barbados Clay Target Shooting Association Clubhouse, Searles, Christ Church.