HOME TEAM RALLY CARS UNDER SCRUTINY

Final preparations for Barbados Rally Carnival under way

Preparations for the fifth annual Barbados Rally Carnival change up another gear on Saturday (May 14) when local competitors gather for pre-event scrutineering at the premises of McEnearney Quality in Wildey . . . the final check before the Vaucluse Raceway International RallySprint (May 21/22) and Rally Barbados 2005 (May 28/29).

More than 50 local crews are entered for RB'05, the Barbados Rally Club's (BRC) premier event, the entry list for which is scheduled for publication on Friday (May 13). For two days at the end of the month the cream of Barbados rallying will face some strong challenges from Europe, led by Englishman Trevor Procter in his Ford Puma Evo 4 x 4, and the region, headed by Gary Gregg at the wheel of his ex-works Ford Focus WRC.

As local motor sport enthusiasts are fully aware, the 'home team' includes a number of cars which have not yet seen competition this season, so Saturday represents the first chance to see some of these, perhaps with new paint jobs or running in a new technical specification. And there are even one or two surprises promised by those that have seen action this season.

As last year, each Group classification has been given a scheduled arrival time, to allow Chief Scrutineer Adrian Linton and his team to move steadily from the Production classes through the Modified and Super Modified cars and on up to four-wheel-drive machines of Modified 8 & 9; it is anticipated that scrutineering will last until early evening.

Once each car has completed the scrutineering formalities, it will be on display for a time, allowing fans the chance to mingle with their favourite competitors and listen to some driver interviews. Refreshments will also be on sale, along with a wide range of motor sport merchandise.

The BRC's Spectator Prize 05, a Ford Focus valued at more than $50,000, will also be on display, supported by a sales team. Tickets for this first-ever Spectator Prize Draw have been on sale since the start of the 2005 motor sport season . . . but it is not too late to buy, since the draw does not take place until the BRC's Annual Prize-giving, slated for November 26, 2005.

The Spectator Prize is a 1600cc Ford Focus Sedan, fully loaded with features including power steering, power windows, central locking, air bag and four-speaker cd system; the competition is a joint venture between the BRC, McEnearney Quality, and Aqua Pur water, represented by Atlantic Marketing. Tickets sell for $2.00 each, and are perforated to allow a $1.00 redemption coupon on the purchase of any case of Aqua Pur Product.

With the European entries scheduled to emerge from the Bridgetown Port any day now, and the cars from Jamaica now on their way, the countdown for Barbados Rally Carnival 2005 is truly under way.