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Four Islands Send Cars for Sol Rally Barbados
Link with Targa Newfoundland reinforced

Island rally fans will enjoy their first chance to see one of the new overseas entries for Sol Rally Barbados 2010 in action this coming weekend, when Paul Horton from Turks & Caicos joins local crews for the Automotive Art Shakedown Stages on Sunday (April 25).

His entry for Sol RB 2010 (May 29/30), which marks the 20th Anniversary of the inaugural running of the Barbados Rally Club's (BRC) International All-Stage Rally, brings to four for the first time in more than 10 years the number of other regional territories represented, as Turks & Caicos joins Jamaica, St Vincent & The Grenadines and Trinidad & Tobago.

Horton is no stranger to rallying overseas, having competed successfully for the past two years in Targa Newfoundland in North America; in 2008, he won his class in the Honda Civic in which he'll be competing in Barbados – the car, which is prepared by Sky Rally Sport and backed by H Racing, Horizon Construction and SHEK Investments, arrived at the Bridgetown Port last week. In 2009, he moved up the order, finishing fifth overall – and again a class-winner - in a 1968 Mk1 Ford Escort.

Targa Newfoundland is unique in North American motor sport, with a route of 2200-plus kilometres – that's around 1,400 miles - on the paved, open roads of eastern and central Newfoundland. The timed stages represented around 20 per cent of the distance, but the event is not all about the competition.

As the official web site states: "Yes, we have winners, but our prize isn't money – its bragging rights and personal fulfilment. To that end, completing or just participating in Targa Newfoundland is reward enough and beyond anything you have ever experienced. Our return competitor rate of 55 per cent attests to this!"

And Horton agrees with this wholeheartedly. Asked what he would list as his major rallying achievements, he said: "Finishing Targa Newfoundland two years in a row, and in different cars. It lasts five days, covers something like 2000 kilometres of transit to link up about 500 kilometres of special stages . . . and I'm definitely going back for another go this year!"

British-born Horton started rallying in a small way the early 1980s, when he was serving in the British Army in Germany; after a long break, he took the sport up again in 2007, and aims to continue in regional and North American events.

Sol Rally Barbados link with Targa Newfoundland reinforced

The link between Sol Rally Barbados and Targa Newfoundland initiated last year is being reinforced in 2010. While Sol RB 2010 Chairman Barry Gale travelled to the North American event last year as a Steward, each event offered a reciprocal deal whereby the 2009 winner would enjoy free entry to the next running of the other event.

Gale says: "Targa Newfoundland offered a prize last year to the overall winners of Sol RB09, and we offered a reciprocal prize to the winners of Targa Newfoundland; so far neither crew has been able to take up the prize, but we are keen to work towards further developing the relationship."

This year, Targa Newfoundland President Robert Giannou and his partner Alexandra will be guests of Sol RB2010; they will arrive in time for Scrutineering, so will enjoy the action at Shell V-Power King of the Hill as well Sol RB2010 itself, and will remain for the Prizegiving.

With increased interest in his event being shown by crews from around the Caribbean, Giannou introduced an additional competition at Targa Newfoundland last year, the Atlantic Rum Run Challenge. As Gale explains: "Robert counts Newfoundland as an island, so each island visitor brought a sample of their finest local rum to be put into a pot from which the highest-placed islander would taste them all. Newfoundland has a monster of a rum called Screech – rather aptly named, once you've tasted it, to be honest - but Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago and the Turks & Caicos all have fine rums, too, not forgetting St Vincent and its brand Sunset!

"It was very interesting at the awards ceremony to watch a gathering of people drinking the rum prizes neat out of a glass. Mount Gay Extra Old was by far the favourite!" Ironically, Paul Horton was the inaugural winner of the Atlantic Rum Run Challenge in Newfoundland last September.

Sol Rally Barbados (May 29/30) and Shell V-Power King of the Hill (May 23) are organised by the Barbados Rally Club, which celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2007; Sol RB2010 marks the 20th Anniversary of the inaugural running of the Club's International All-Stage Rally.