Leaving the on/off spring weather of the UK for the glorious sun of Barbados, Roger Duckworth and co-driver Ross Weir, together with Andrew Costin-Hurley and Stuart Andrews flew in for a week of hard racing.
With 90 crews representing 15 nations, SOL Rally Barbados (29th -31st May) is the biggest annual international motor sport event in the Caribbean and a magnet for the very best teams.
Prior to the main rally, competitors raced in the Lime ‘King of the Hill’; a warm-up for the rally which throws down a marker for the following week-end and sets the starting line-up.
With the enthusiasm of a regular supporter and competitor in this event, Roger, in his Intrinsys sponsored Subaru Impreza WRC S6 took top spot in his class (WRC-2) and earned an auspicious seventh start in the main rally. Whilst the WRC-1 lead position was taken by 5s, Roger managed a 3.49s margin over his closest rival in the WRC-2 class. Clearing the cobwebs after a lay-off from driving, Andrew completed the event 35th quickest and was placed second in class.
With only a few days to prepare for the rally, it was a busy time for the teams including several briefing sessions amongst an air of celebration as the rally chalked up its 25th year of racing. The commitment of overseas competitors who had supported the rally for many years was recognised with mementoes presented to several participants including Andrew who was competing in his 12th Barbados event.
Sadly a finish was not on the cards for Roger and Ross. After a solid start in the early stages (running between 4th and 7th overall) gearbox failure forced the Impreza S6’s retirement at stage 9 of 21.
Andrew Costin-Hurley, driving his rear wheel drive, turbocharged Ford Puma Evo, completed the rally and secured a Class win in Group B and 32nd position overall.