Four lucky UK motor sport fans will shortly cross the Atlantic for the holiday of a lifetime as VIP guests of the Barbados Rally Club (BRC). Tom Hall from East Sussex in England and Mark Hughes from Armagh in Northern Ireland each won a trip for two to Sol Rally Barbados (June 4/5), the Caribbean’s biggest annual motor sport international.
The prize for each winner comprises return flights on Virgin Atlantic from London Gatwick, 12 days accommodation and rental car; the ‘Rally to Barbados’ competition was an integral part of a major promotion in Europe, supported by the Tourism Development Corporation (TDC), which brought Sol RB2011 - and the island - to the attention of nearly 1.5 million readers, a large percentage in affluent market sectors.
 The London-based Runwild Media Group ran the competition and a rally feature in its free circulation luxury lifestyle publications, Canary Wharf, City Magazine and Vantage, which enjoy a combined readership approaching 700,000; the prize-winner is acknowledged in the May issue, with a rally report to follow in August.
 Based in Ireland, PaceNotes Rally Magazine is sold on subscription and in High Street newsagents; in addition to the competition, it has carried two pages on Sol RB2011 in its last three issues, with a page announcing the winner in May and a rally report to follow.
 Journalists from both publishing houses are also making the trip, courtesy of the BRC and the TDC, augmenting the already extensive international coverage of the event.
 Hall will be travelling with his good friend Alex Wilmott . . . and the trip is timely, as Hall’s 26th birthday is on May 30, the Monday after they land in Barbados! A team supervisor working for Credit Suisse in Canary Wharf, Hall says: “I must admit, I generally follow Formula 1, but get stuck into watching most types of motor sport on television, with rallying a close second to the grands prix. I've never been to the Caribbean, but it certainly looks like a good place to celebrate your birthday.
 “I don’t enter competitions, but saw it in the magazine in the train on the way home, and the mixture of hot weather and rallying seemed ideal, so I entered there and then. I never thought I'd win . . . and now I have, it still doesn't seem real. Bring on the sand and the cars”.
 Hughes agrees: “I don’t think it will sink in until I’m on the plane!” Once Hughes’s name had been randomly selected, the Club’s PRO Neil Barnard tried to ‘phone him, without success, so resorted to e-mail and a message on Facebook. Hughes adds: “I said to myself this must be a scam, then looked at the terms and it said I would be contacted directly from Barbados. So I phoned the Pacenotes editor at nearly 11pm that evening, and he confirmed that it was true. I had intended doing some dvd work that night, but I spent until about two o'clock looking Barbados up on the internet!”
 A huge rally fan, Hughes will travel with elder brother Richard. The Ulster Rally passed close to their home when Mark was young, and he got hooked on the sport; he is known for the video clips which he uploads to YouTube under the guise of MRH-Motorsport. The brothers also compete in the ANICC Navigation Rally Championship, in which they finished second in class last year in a 1200cc Vauxhall Corsa.
Class win in ‘Killer Kielder’ sets Siddall up for Caribbean adventure
Andrew Siddall won his class in Saturday’s (April 30) Pirelli Historic Rally, run in the giant Kielder Forest complex in the north of England, a timely boost ahead of his first trip to Sol Rally Barbados; driving the Siddall and Hilton Products/Sidhil Ford Escort RS2000 MkI in which he will compete in the Caribbean, Siddall won by a margin of 48.6 seconds.
The renowned stages are collectively known as ‘Killer Kielder’, because of their reputation for catching out even world-class drivers; Saturday’s six stages totalled just under 50 miles – the longest was 13.4 miles – and Siddall was beaten on only one.
 Since posting his entry on the official Sol RB2011 web site (, Siddall has a different co-driver, Carl Williamson, who was with him on Saturday; twice Welsh Road Rally Champion, Williamson has around 30 World Rally Championship starts to his credit . . . and an entry in the Guinness Book of Records! He co-drove for Finland’s Jari-Matti Latvala, when he became the youngest finisher on a WRC event, 17th on his debut in Wales Rally GB 2002 at the age of 17 in a Group A Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI.
 In 2003, Latvala contested the British Rally Championship and four WRC rounds in a Ford Focus WRC02; he finished 10th on the Acropolis Rally, with Williamson co-driving, but their partnership ended shortly after, as Williamson explains: “We had a big accident on the Jim Clark Rally, which smashed my pelvis to smithereens, and it was six months before I could walk again.”
Sol Rally Barbados (June 4/5, 2011) and Shell V-Power King of the Hill (May 29) are organised by the Barbados Rally Club, which celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2007; Sol RB2011 is the 22nd running of the Club’s annual International All-Stage Rally and marks the start of a second three-year term of title sponsorship by the Sol Group, the Caribbean’s largest independent oil company.
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