PROCTER CONFIRMS FIESTA FOR SOL RALLY BARBADOS

Following a successful shakedown in the UK yesterday (Tuesday), Sol Rally Barbados regular Kevin Procter has confirmed that he will drive a Ford Fiesta in Sol RB16. The car will arrive in the island by air next week, bringing to three the number of cars flown in for this year’s event, a new record for the Caribbean’s biggest annual motor sport International.
 
  The Barbados Rally Club’s (BRC) premier event runs from Friday to Sunday, June 3 to 5, with Simpson Motors Scrutineering and Flow King of the Hill this weekend. Procter will not compete at KotH, but will arrive in the island in time to spectate. For the past two years, KotH has clashed with the UK round of the World Rallycross Championship, so he did not expect to be here, but his rallycross car has engine problems, so he will miss out.
 
  Originally built by M-Sport as an S2000 car, the Fiesta was campaigned by Finland’s Janne Tuohino in the 2010 World Rally Championship, then subsequently by a number of fellow ‘Flying Finn’s until late 2014, when it was acquired by Scotland’s Euan Thorburn. The 2013 BTRDA and 2014 Scottish Champion drove the car in Wales Rally GB 2014, then selected rounds of the 2015 European Rally Championship before switching to a Peugeot 208 for his campaign in this year’s revamped British Championship.
 
  After the first test of the Fiesta with its new Mountune engine installed, Procter said: “We were not sure we could bring all this off, but thanks to a lot of hard work by ATM and David Mountain’s guys, I’m glad it has worked out. I bought the car from Euan last Christmas, and we have been modifying the car’s electronics to take the turbo engine.
 
  “It was tested by Neil my engineer only today (Tuesday) at an airfield close to the Mountune facility in Essex, as my family and I are on our way to the airport. I'm pleased to say that it went really well . . . I can't wait to have a go in it myself.”
 
  ATM Engineering will run the car, the same team who run Procter’s Subaru Impreza WRC S7 and his rallycross Fiesta Supercar. As last year, his co-driver will be Philip Hopkins, while the car carries sponsorship from Procters Coaches, Swift Signs, Compass Royston, Coach2.com and Corner House Hotel.
 
  Confirmation of Procter’s change of car brings to four the number of Fiestas entered in Sol RB16, one for each decade of the car’s existence – Ford is celebrating the car’s 40th Anniversary this year. Already confirmed are M-Sport driver Elfyn Evans in John Powell’s Fiesta R5 Evo, and locals Barry Mayers, who launched his new rwd Fiesta last week, and Jeremy Sisnett, who has been campaigning a Fiesta ST150 in recent years.
 
  This is Procter’s 11th trip to compete in the island, having claimed his seventh top 10 result last year, finally winning WRC-2, catering for World Cars built before the end of 2003. He had finished third to Britain’s Roger Duckworth (Impreza WRC S6) and local Toyota dealer Roger Hill (Corolla WRC) in Sol RB13, then second to Duckworth the following year. With a best overall result of fourth (RB09, Impreza), he has also been highest-placed European driver (RB05, Ford Puma Evo 4 x 4) and highest-placed overseas driver (RB04, Ford Escort Cosworth).
 

Scrutineering at Simpson Motors on Saturday

 
More than 20 rally cars so far unseen by the majority of island fans will go on show for the first time at Simpson Motors Scrutineering this Saturday (May 28). A huge turn-out is anticipated at the family-friendly fun day at the Warrens, St Michael, dealership where competitors, their service crews and sponsors will mingle with thousands of enthusiasts.
 
  Competition cars will start arriving to a pre-arranged schedule from 12.00pm, with the Clubman and Modified classes arriving first, WRC-1 and WRC-2 last. The scrutineers carry out their work in a secure area, after which all crews are mandated to remain on site between 3.30pm and 6.00pm, during which time driver interviews and other promotional activities will take place.
 
  Island fans will find much to interest them, particularly among the cars from overseas: from the Ford Fiesta R5 Evo to be campaigned by M-Sport driver Elfyn Evans, through regular visitor Nigel Worswick’s Ford Escort WRC to 18 examples of the iconic Ford Escort, almost half new to the island, including the state-of-the-art MkII to be driven by local ace Neil Armstrong, which arrived at Grantley Adams International Airport on yesterday’s (Tuesday) Virgin Atlantic flight from London Gatwick.
 
 
 
Sol Rally Barbados (June 3-5) and Flow King of the Hill (May 29) are organised and promoted by the Barbados Rally Club, which will celebrate its 60th Anniversary in 2017; title sponsors are the Sol Group and Flow. Marketing partners are Simpson Motors, Automotive Art and Banks; official partners are Accra Beach Hotel & Spa, the Barbados Hotel & Tourism Association, Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc, Geest Line and the Tourism Development Corporation; associate sponsors are Chefette and Stoute’s Car Rental.