Saturday, April 20, 2024

Britain’s Swann ready to let it rip

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Britain’s Rob Swann is the first entry for next year’s Barbados Rally Club (BRC) Sol Rally Barbados.
And his entry, the first as the club opened its official web site www.rallybarbados.net last week shows that he is pointed to take on the opposition in WRC-I, moving up from WRC-2, as the club celebrates the 25th running of its blue riband event.
It would be the Brit’s seventh visit, and he is entered with his recently-acquired ex-works Waves Hotel and Spa Barbados/Cygnet Plant Ltd, Subaru Impreza WRC S11; a car previously driven by Petter Solberg in three events towards the end of 2005.
Since then, the car has been driven in Ireland, mostly by Kevin Barrett, along with Derek McGarrity, and Kenny McKinstry who has seen action in Barbados.
Buoyed by the experience of the Tour of Flanders last month, Swann is delighted at the prospect of competing in Barbados next year.
 “The car is amazing and we had a brilliant time – I started slowly, as my first drive in it was the opening stage, which was dark and damp. We were setting top four times by the next morning, then broke a rear shaft, just one of those things.
Having lost ten minutes or so sorting that out, we just carried on to get some seat time in the car. Sensible driving was producing top three times, so I’m very pleased and think a podium might have been on,” Swann noted.
Swann will be busy in the run-up to Sol Rally Bravados next year starting with the Tempest Rally next month, before trying to become the first driver in its 30-year history to claim a hat-trick of wins on the Premier Rally three weeks later, in the company of co-driver Aled Edwards, who has partnered drivers such as Harold ‘Doc’ Morley and Andrew Mallalieu in 2011 and 2012.
Fifth in Sol RB11 in an Impreza WRC S12, Swann’s record shows a Group N title win in 2010 at the wheel of a Subaru Impreza N14, a result repeated in Rally Jamaica six months later, making him the first driver to do the double in the same year.
Subject to final ratification by the Barbados Motoring Federation (BMF), Sol Rally Barbados will run on Saturday and Sunday, May 31 & June 1, with Scrutineering and Scotiabank King of the Hill the previous weekend, May 24/25.

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