10th Rally Wedding set for Rally Barbados

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10th Rally Wedding set for Rally Barbados


Family values on Sol Rally Barbados 2008


Runner-up in the British Rally Championship in 2006, and one of the UK's leading contenders in Sol Rally Barbados 2008 (May 31/June 1), Ryan Champion, will have more than just rallying to think about when he arrives in the Caribbean island - he's agreed to officiate at the 10th 'rally wedding' since the inaugural Barbados Rally Carnival in 2001.


Cheryl Bell and Barry Spencer, from Portchester in Hampshire on England's south coast, are getting married at The Boatyard, a beach bar in the island's capital Bridgetown, just two days before they join the 88 other crews competing in the region's biggest annual international motor sport event. They enjoyed a holiday in Barbados last year, coinciding with Rally Barbados - as Cheryl explains: "We met a lot of very friendly people and when someone suggested we come back and enter the rally ourselves, Barry and I just looked at one another, and instantly decided that's exactly what we'd do."

Cheryl and Barry with their rally car at Portsmouth.


Despite having no previous competition experience, the determined couple bought a rally car and set about learning the ropes; driver Cheryl and co-driver Barry went through a course of instruction with Paul Alexander at the famous Bill Gwynne Rally School. Since then, they have entered a couple of events in Britain to gain some experience, and are looking forward to their 'big day' . . . well, both of their 'big days'.


Cheryl added: "Barry and I met on the internet about four-and-a-half years ago, chatted for a time, then met in June 2006. Here we are two years on, entering Rally Barbados and getting married there. It's a dream come true . . . unfortunately, my parents can't be with us, and to have Ryan agree to give me away is just the icing on the cake."


The couple have gathered support fom a number of businesses local to them in the UK. Cheryl said: "In particular, we must thank Scott McNicol of Eden Vauxhall Fareham for all his interest and financial support towards this event, and Paul Alexander and the guys for their hard work and patience, getting us through our training and car shakedown." They are also backed by the Old Castle B & B in Wales, AWS Racewear, Eberhardt Signs from Portsmouth and ABS Embroidery.


Their 2-litre Vauxhall Astra GSi places them in the Modified 7 category, where they will be in good company, competing against two other married couples! Twice Barbados Rally Club Driver's Champion Adrian Linton has wife Jackie as co-driver in their similar Ravensden-sponsored Astra GSi, while Ron and Giselle Layne will also be in action in the SDRR Nissan Sunny. Although not in the same Group, the fourth husband and wife on the entry list were married shortly after Rally Barbados 2007 - regular visitor from Ireland, Martin Taylor, has had to change the co-driver name stickers on his Production 2 Dublin Crystal Proton Satria from Janet Brown to Janet Taylor!


Family has always played a major role in island rallying. This year's entry also includes three father and son crews - Brett and father Garry Clarke (M8-WRC Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI), St Vincent's Steve Ollivierre and son Dominic (Group N Evo VIII) and St Elmo and Owen Cumberbatch (BMW E36), while Owen's brother Sammy will be driving his own BMW M3. Talking of brothers, Rhett and Logan Watson are entered in the family Ford Escort MkI and Jason and Mario Clermont in a BMW M3, while the Yearwood brothers are both co-drivers, Kreigg for Geoff Noel (Evo IX) and Kristian for David Williams (Toyota Starlet).


Freddie Gale (Toyota RunX) and son Barry (Evo VI) are not only competing, but have connections throughout the 18-year history of the event as organisers, Freddie a former BRC Competitions Secretary and Barry the present Rally Chairman. Freddie's opposition in M7 includes John Corbin (Toyota Corolla), whose son Edwards competes in M6 in a Daihatsu Charmant. Of course, if you start taking into account cousins or those related by marriage, then even more competitors would be listed.


Sol Rally Barbados and Shell V-Power King of the Hill are elements of the eighth Barbados Rally Carnival. Each day of Sol Rally Barbados, organised by the Barbados Rally Club, is a separate qualifying round of the BRC Rally Championship. The title sponsor is Sol and associate sponsors and marketing partners are McEnearney Quality, Simpson Motors, Automotive Art, Banks Holdings, DaCosta Mannings Auto Centre, Digicel, Nassco, Consolidated Finance, Virgin Atlantic Airways, Crane & Equipments, Little Switzerland, Armag, the Barbados Hotel & Tourism Association and the Barbados Tourism Authority.


Programme of key events


Friday, May 23 - 4.00pm to approx 8.00pm

Scrutineering at Sir Garfield Sobers Gymnasium, Wildey, St Michael

Saturday, May 24 - 11.30am to approx 6.00pm

Shell V-Power King of the Hill, Turner's Hall, St Andrew

Monday to Friday, May 26 to May 30 - 4.00 to 6.00pm each day

Meet the Drivers at Shell Warrens (Mon-Weds) and Shell Banyans (Thurs-Fri)

Saturday, May 31 - Sol Rally Barbados 2008 - day 1

Start from Simpson Motors, Warrens, St Michael, at 9.30am

Twelve stages at three venues

Sunday, June 1 - Sol Rally Barbados 2008 - day 2

Restart from Bushy Park, St Philip, at 7.30am

Twelve stages at three venues

Shell V-Power SuperSpecial at Bushy Park

Monday, June 2 - approx 3.30pm - Sol Rally Barbados 2008 Prizegiving

The Boatyard, Bay Street, St Michael


For further media information - robin@bradfax.com

Web site - www.rallybarbados.bb

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