FINLAYSON TO RETURN WITH A CAR WITH A ROOF

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FINLAYSON TO RETURN WITH A CAR WITH A ROOF

Returnee Finlayson goes for

A Geest Line freighter out of Southampton on England's south coast is heading towards Barbados carrying rally cars from Europe. Their crews will compete in the Red Bull International RallySprint at the Vaucluse Raceway on Saturday, May 19, followed by Rally Barbados (May 26/27), one of the key events in the Barbados Rally Club's (BRC) 50th Anniversary celebrations.

Since its creation, the Barbados Rally Carnival has attracted nearly 160 overseas competitors, followed by more than 4,000 supporters over the years; while the majority of those visitors have been British, the list of nations represented also includes Austria, Finland, Holland, New Zealand and Turkey, joining the regional competition, particularly from Jamaica, St Vincent and Trinidad & Tobago. Each year, Rally Carnival injects around Bds $2 million into the island's economy, much of it in valuable foreign exchange.

Among those whose cars are in the first group is popular Carnival regular Graeme Finlayson, who made a big impact on local crowds with his lightweight Fluke WR1C sports car, in which he has been a Group winner at both Bushy Park and Vaucluse; the Scottish-born driver replaced it last year with a Peugeot 205, but it was not a success. Of this year's visit, he says: "After two completely forgettable years, thanks to elusive reliability and a lot of last-minute rushing around, which was misery for all concerned, I've gone for something a little more sensible - a tidy Group N Mitsubishi Evo III RS. It is a different learning curve from the previous 15 years of rear-wheel-drive work I've undertaken, but in testing it has been great fun.

"For a four-wheel-drive car it's light, putting out good power and the diffs seem set up more akin to a tail-out rear-wheel-drive car than your usual four-wheel-drive." Finlayson will have Bajan Martin Atwell as co-driver on Rally Barbados and the two will share the www.GCR.net Communications-sponsored Evo at Vaucluse.

Andrew Johnson from North Yorkshire enjoyed his first visit to the Barbados Rally Carnival last year so much that he is another making the return trip, along with co-driver Tony Walker. Last year, he ran his North Yorkshire Homes-backed Subaru Impreza WRX STi in Group N, but is moving up to Modified 8-A for 2007. He remarked: "I'm happy to be coming back to Barbados for the rally, fun, sun and hospitality - what could be better?

"I'm a lot happier with the car now. I had problems with the brakes last year, so had no confidence in them, and we're running a revised set-up, giving a bit more power. Although the car is still basically a Group N car, we're running the larger restrictor, so are moving up a group."

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The Red Bull International RallySprint is the third and final round of the Vaucluse Raceway RallySprint Cup and a round of the BRC Driver's Championship. It is organised by the Vaucluse Raceway Motor Sport Club and sponsored by Red Bull.

Rally Barbados is organised by the Barbados Rally Club; each day is a separate qualifying round of the Texaco BRC Rally Championship and the BRC Driver's Championship. Principal sponsors are Automotive Art, Banks Holdings Ltd, Dacosta Mannings Auto Centre, Digicel, McEnearney Quality, Simpson Motors, Texaco and Williams Industries. Associate sponsors are Armag, the Barbados Hotel & Tourism Association, Crane & Equipment, Essco, Harris Paints, Nassco and SOL.

Key dates for Barbados Rally Carnival 2007
Friday, May 18 - scrutineering for all competitors
- Sir Garfield Sobers Gymnasium, Wildey
Saturday, May 16 - Red Bull International RallySprint
- Vaucluse Raceway, St Thomas
Thursday, May 24 - Rally Barbados 2007 shakedown
Saturday, May 26 - Rally Barbados 2007, day 1
Sunday, May 27 - Rally Barbados 2007, day 2
Monday, May 28 - Rally Barbados 2007 prize-giving
- The Boatyard

For further information, robin@bradfax.com - web site: rallybarbados.bb

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