Home / Cars / Motorsports / News / Finlayson Shipping Early For Barbados


Finlayson Shipping Early For Barbados
New date for Shell V-Power King of the Hill

Photo Compliments

Local fans will not have to wait until scrutineering for Sol Rally Barbados 2009 to see the first of this year's international visitors, as event regular Graeme Finlayson this week confirmed he is shipping his car early from the UK. His recently-acquired Mitsubishi Lancer Evo III will be in the island in time to contest the Automotive Art Shakedown Stages on Sunday, May 3.

As entries continue to flow in, an updated version of the Overseas Competitor Information document has been posted on the official web site,; this includes notification of a change of date for Shell V-Power King of the Hill to Sunday, May 24, plus confirmation that the event ASRs are now available as a pdf download.

Scottish by birth, Finlayson has a great affection for the Caribbean, having grown up in Belize when his father was stationed there; he first appeared in Barbados in 2002, when his self-built motorcycle-engined Fluke WR1C was the Zero Car (although it failed to finish), and has not missed Rally Barbados since.

After four years in the Fluke, an unsuccessful outing in a rear- wheel-drive Peugeot 205 decided him to re-think the project, and he returned in 2007 with a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo III RS - a "proper rally car", as he called it - in which he and local co-driver Martin Atwell finished second in Group N. With the car upgraded to Group A last year, they shared driving duties to finish third in class, the highlight of the weekend being Atwell's impressive top six overall on Saturday's two night stages, ahead of the Ford Focus WRC of former UK National Champion Steve Perez . . . and this year's car is even better.

Finlayson says: "Sounds silly this early, but everything is in a mad rush now, as I'm shipping the car out early. As ever we're out on a giant-killing mission - being Scottish, we're probably on one of the tightest budgets in the rally and looking forward to seeing who we can annoy with our meagre finances!

"The new car has plenty power, double the torque of last year's car, a proper gearbox and actually has brakes; its very light . . . old school raw mechanical rallying. Can we put a £12,000 car into the top 10? I don't know, but we'll give it a good go!"

Originally built by respected British preparation company Quick Motorsport, the Evo III has recently made a habit of annoying World Rally Cars in the capable hands of 'Mad' Mick Jones; as Finlayson says: "with a full Phil Marks Group A engine running a Ralliart turbo and nice old-school fire-breathing anti-lag, it should be a big grin." Neither Finlayson nor Atwell has competed since Sol Rally Barbados 2008. Finlayson says: "The Shakedown Stages will literally be that, then followed by intense further testing, as this car is plenty quick and given the competition, we need to be".

Already confirmed in Group A are Sol RB08 Group N winners, Britain's Ryan Champion and Craig Thorley, in an ex-works Subaru Impreza 555, while the overseas crews can expect a tough defence of local honour from Neil Armstrong; recently returned from promoting Sol RB09 with a successful outing on Rallye Sunseeker in the UK, he has been snapping at the heels of locally-owned World Cars in island events in his Evo VI.

Overseas Competitor Information updated, ASRs posted

Version two of the Sol Rally Barbados Overseas Competitor Information document has been posted on the official web site, Important updates for competitors to note include: + a change in date for Shell V-Power King of the Hill, which will now run on Sunday, May 24, with a scheduled start time of 10.00am + confirmation of shipping dates from Geest Line - the outbound voyage from Portsmouth is listed as Tuesday, April 28, and the return from the Bridgetown Port in Barbados scheduled for Tuesday, June 16 + notification of the posting of the event's Additional Supplementary Regulations, which all competitors, local and overseas, are urged to download as a pdf document and read!

Sol Rally Barbados 2009 (May 29-31) and Shell V-Power King of the Hill (May 24) are organised by the Barbados Rally Club, which celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2007; title sponsor is the Sol Group, the Caribbean's largest independent oil company, and both events are rounds of the Virgin Atlantic BRC Driver's and Class Championships. Associate sponsors include the Barbados Hotel & Tourism Association.