Bird Seals Barbados Double
Winning Rally Barbados has been an ambition of Paul Bird's for some years now and having finished in the top 3 for the last 3 years was he beginning to wonder if he would ever achieve his ambition? In the warm up event the week before he showed his intent on winning by winning the King of The Hill. He followed that up with a great driving display and won the main event by 12 seconds over Paul Bourne.
Driving his Frank Bird Poultry sponsored and Dom Buckley Motorsport prepared Ford Focus WRC, Paul was made to come from behind to earn victory. On the first day he encountered 4 punctures and a spin, having 2 punctures on one stage. On stage 2 when he spun he dropped 17 seconds and found himself in 6th place overall and with alot of work to do. But driving with incredible control and a cool head he worked his way back up the leaderboard and took the lead on the 2nd stage of the 2nd day and he would stay in the lead until the end of the rally. Not even a couple more punctures on Sunday could stop Paul on what seemed to be the only result he was going to settle for.
Second overall for a 3rd year in a row was 2 time Rally Barbados winner Paul Bourne in another Dom Buckley supported Focus WRC. Never dropping out the top 3 in the event Paul was consistently fast and was challenging Bird all the way until an engine belt problem caused his car to overheat one the 2nd day. Our team fitted new belts to the car for the last batch of stages and Paul managed to guide the car home.
The 3rd of our Focus WRC was guided to the last spot on the podium by Jeffrey Panton, having a great battle with Brit Steve Perez all rally. Sometimes seperated by tenths of seconds Panton, in his first Tarmac rally in his new car, set fastest time on the final stage to secure 3rd overall. Rob Swann was provided with support in his B13 Subaru Impreza. He had a good run on the event and finished 7th overall. Disappointingly, John Powell retired his Subaru S14 WRC after the first batch of stages when he picked up a puncture and damaged the suspension.