Although the battle for outright victory in Sol Rally Barbados 2010 (May 29/30), which marks the 20th Anniversary of the inaugural running of the Barbados Rally Club’s (BRC) International All-Stage Rally, may make the headlines, there will be action right through the 90-car field, with 12 more classes to be won or lost.
Despite only four entries, Modified 8-A has a good mix of crews, with drivers of four nationalities. Michael Worme and Brian Gibson defend home honour in the Cot Media Group/Dingolay/Speedline Performance Auto/Ullyetts Machine Shop Service/Slowboy Racing Subaru Impreza STi, hoping to improve on last year’s second place.
While ’09 winner Neil Armstrong has moved on, they will still be made to work hard, particularly by Barbados-based Scot Graeme Finlayson, one of the most enthusiastic overseas supporters of island rallying in recent years; he is co-driven by Bajan Darnley Rayside in the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo III RS he has previously shared with Martin Atwell.
The class is completed by St Vincent’s Steve and Dominic Ollivierre (St Vincent Distillers/East Caribbean Metal Industries Ltd/Digicel/Empire Cigarettes Evo VIII), regular Barbados competitors, and Rob Whitehouse. Before moving to Europe, New Zealander Whitehouse lived in Barbados; his Lancia Delta Integrale is more Group N than Group A, so may not pose a strong challenge, but he and co-driver Yvonne Mehta, twice a podium finisher in the World Rally Championship as co-driver to her late husband, the legendary five-time Safari Rally winner Shekhar Mehta, will certainly be looking to enjoy the Sol Rally Barbados experience.
Group N – known as Production 4 in the island – should produce some fireworks, with another healthy mix of local, regional and international crews. There is already a stirring national championship battle going on between the Evo IXs of Barry Gale/Cherie Edghill (Autolink/Weetabix/ Beauty Supply/Metal Craft Works) and Geoffrey Noel/Kreigg Yearwood (Globe Finance Inc/Mix 96.9/Sentry Insurance Brokers/Dewalt Tools/Automotive Art/Ezone), but they may well suspend hostilities to ensure the trophies stay at home!
They will be helped Dean Serrao, back in his Amalgamated Security Evo IX after his Impreza WRC S9 was destroyed by fire in Trinidad, and Terry Sealy/Rommel Coppin (Premier World Cargo/Speedline Performance Auto/Caribbean Alliance Insurance Impreza WRX STi).
Leading the overseas charge are Brits Rob Swann and Darren Garrod (Automate CGI/Waves Hotel and Spa/Revolution Wheels/R A Swann Ltd Impreza N14); they will not want to finish second again this year, especially as a first-place trophy would make a nice extra present for co-driver Garrod and fiancee Steph, who are getting married at host sponsor Waves Hotel and Spa on the west coast a few days before the event.
Fellow Brit Simon Wallis, a regular visitor, is another with something to celebrate . . . his 40th birthday, and he did it in style by treating himself to an Impreza N10, supported by Wallis Performance Ltd and co-driven by Louise Hay. Trinidad’s David Coelho and James Harris (Total/Subway Evo IX) are first timers, so may need to settle in.
While there is no Group B in national rallies in the island, there is in Sol Rally Barbados, although competitors are not eligible for overall position. It provides a home for cars which won’t make the weight in the SuperModified classes, also encourages the sort of creative engineering that Geoffrey Ullyett will be displaying with the debut of his new turbo-charged 2-litre Ullyett’s Machine Shop Service Datsun, co-driven by Jason King.
In common with Stuart McChlery/Julian Goddard, whose Lubriguard/TeleBarbados Mark I Escort is one of the oldest rally cars on the island with a continuous competition history, Ullyett’s aim is entertainment. Duane Johnson/Summer Lewis (Johnsons Autos Mitsubishi Lancer Turbo) complete the local entries.
Twice Group B winner, England’s Andrew Costin-Hurley returns for his seventh Rally Barbados in the Earl’s Performance Hoses Ford Puma, co-driven again by Shaun Mellett, while Holland’s Frans Verbaas/Mascha Corvers are aiming for a Group win in the Verbaas Preparations/Koni/Holland Huis/Hoewijk Special Paint Austin Mini Cooper, which debuted in Sol RB09 in celebration of the Mini’s 50th Anniversary.

Sol Rally Barbados 2010 (May 29/30) and Shell V-Power King of the Hill (May 23) are organised by the Barbados Rally Club, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2007; title sponsor is the Sol Group. Marketing partners are Simpson Motors, LIME, Automotive Art, Banks and Karcher; official partners are the Barbados Hotel & Tourism Association, Barbados Tourism Authority, Divi Southwinds Beach Resort, Geest Line and Virgin Atlantic Airways; associate sponsors are Stoute’s Car Rental, Glacial Pure and Chefette.

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