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Britain’s Andrew Costin-Hurley and wife Melissa are planning a triple celebration at Sol Rally Barbados 2014, their 11th visit to the Caribbean’s biggest annual motor sport international. Since their first trip in 2003, when they got engaged during a west coast catamaran cruise, the annual Barbados expedition has become “the beacon of our year”, says the double Group B winner.

  The Barbados Rally Club (BRC) celebrates the 25th running of its premier event this year - Sol RB14 is scheduled for May 31/June 1, with Scrutineering and Scotiabank King of the Hill the previous weekend (May 24/25). Entries are flowing in steadily on the official web site,, with the total now more than half-way to the entry cap of 100.

  Both Costin-Hurley and his wife turn 50 this year – Andrew’s birthday is on the day before Scrutineering, Friday, May 22 – while they also celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary. Costin-Hurley says: “The event really has become the beacon of our year and we structure everything else to fit around it! Having got engaged on Tiami and frequently had the pleasure of experiencing my birthdays in Barbados, all these events seem inextricably linked to the rally. I’m going to be trying very hard in King of the Hill to get that rally start number of 50!”

  It will be the 11th Rally Barbados for former Indy car and F1 engineer Costin-Hurley’s self-built rear-wheel-drive Earl’s Performance Hoses Ford Puma, in which he won Group B in RB07 and ’08. Rob Brook will co-drive for the third year in a row, having previously competed in the island as co-driver (four times, in four different cars) and driver (once), and also acted as International Steward.

  Costin-Hurley adds: “I'm very pleased to have Rob sit with me again, as we get on well and he's very thorough and commendably meticulous in his preparation, which is very re-assuring. Meanwhile, the car seems like a whole new machine since I installed the sequential gearbox last year, and I can't wait to drive it again. It's come a long way since the over-sprung, harshly-damped, bump-steering, skittish car that I first brought out in 2003; the Barbados roads have been a tough, but very rewarding, test venue!”

  The car has not been rallied since Sol RB13, largely thanks to pressure of work for Costin-Hurley, whose skills have been in demand at McLaren Automotive and, more recently, at Integral Powertrain, the company run by fellow UK regular Roger Duckworth, where he has been working on Formula 1 developments for 2015.

  Last year, the British pair started well, running 50th after the first two stages, but a major ‘off’ into the scenery on stage three cost a lot of time . . . and, with it, any chance of a class win. Costin-Hurley says: “A finish in this rally is a triumph in itself, this year only 55 cars could claim this achievement. After our excursion, we made up ground to finish 45th overall and second in class. A class win is the target this year, on a rally that is testing, challenging, exciting, satisfying and addictive beyond measure.”


Shipping date confirmed; updated FAQ document published


Two more pieces of the Sol Rally Barbados 2014 jigsaw puzzle dropped into place this week, with confirmation of shipping arrangements for European crews from the UK, also details of preferential room rates and concessions being offered by the event’s new Rally HQ Hotel Partner, the Accra Beach Hotel & Spa.

   As before, the Official Shipping Partner is Geest Line, with up to 30 cars booked to set sail from Portsmouth on Tuesday, May 6, aboard the freighter Agulhas Stream. The trans-Atlantic voyage to the Bridgetown Port in Barbados takes 10 days, allowing ample time for Barbados Rally Club (BRC) officials to clear cars through Customs and arrange their transportation to secure storage to await the arrival of their owners. The return trip is scheduled for June 6, the Friday following Sol RB14.

  Competitors who have registered for Sol RB14 have already received all the necessary documentation direct from the Rally Office, but others interested in seeing how the system works can find the documents by clicking on Event Information in the Competitor drawdown on the web site.

  An updated version of the event’s FAQ document has also been posted to the official web site – – and can be found on the home page or under Event Information. Available as a pdf download, it details travel arrangements, accommodation and car rental for competitors, shipping and safe storage of their vehicles, fuel regulations and includes an outline of the schedule of activities.

  The latest update covers the move of Rally HQ to the Accra Beach Hotel & Spa, Rockley, Christ Church ( Preferential room rates (room only, or an attractive bed & breakfast package) are on offer, along with a 15 per cent beverage discount for guests booked under the group rates.

  In addition to providing accommodation for overseas competitors, the Rally HQ hotel will also host a number of key Sol Rally Barbados functions, including the Briefing Meeting and Welcome Party.


Sol Rally Barbados and Scotiabank King of the Hill are organised by the Barbados Rally Club, which celebrated its 55th Anniversary in 2012; Sol RB14 is the 25th running of the Club’s annual International All-Stage Rally and marks the seventh year of title sponsorship by the Sol Group, the Caribbean’s largest independent oil company.


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