courtesy Image Vault, Stan Hartling has only competed once in his unliveried Ford Fiesta R5, atn the BRC Double-Header Sprint in June 2021

Four-car Turks & Caicos Rally Team confirmed

The Turks & Caicos Rally Team today (March 10) confirms a four-car entry for Sol Rally Barbados 2022, with preparations already well in hand. Following varying degrees of down time caused by the pandemic, Pierre Beswick, Stan Hartling, his son Ben and Paul Horton spent two days in the island last month getting back up to speed with their rally cars, two of which will be new to the island’s premier event. As the Barbados Rally Club (BRC) marks its 65th Anniversary, Sol RB22 is scheduled for the weekend of June 4 & 5, with King of the Hill on the previous Sunday (May 29).
  While Horton’s Java Island/HO2 Construction/Sky Motorsport Ford Fiesta R5 is already familiar to island fans, Hartling has now joined the growing number of R5s with his Bambarra Rum-sponsored Fiesta, having previously campaigned a Lotus Exige and BMW M3. The Fiesta was acquired in readiness for Sol RB20, but remained unused, along with Beswick’s new mount, a Peugeot 208 R2, which will run in Modified 1. Hartling’s son Ben returns in the same class with the Hartling Group Citroen C2 R2 MAX, in which he finished second in the Sunday Cup in Sol RB19, the enthusiastic team’s most successful campaign to date in the island’s premier event.
  They were weighed down with trophies three years ago. With co-driver Jeremy Croney, Hartling finished 13th overall, comfortably his best result on the event, second in 2wd and winners of Modified 3; they also won the BMW Challenge Trophy from local dealer MQI and the highest-placed Non-national rwd award. Horton and Kris Yearwood (Citroen DS 3 R3 MAX) finished second in M2 and nabbed the highest Non-national fwd award, while Beswick and Leslie Evanson (Citroen C2 R2 MAX) finished third in M1. Hartling’s other son Sam and Kevin-Jon Manning (BMW 318ti Compact) also collected Finishers Caps for 46th overall.
  Of their recent foray to Barbados, where all their cars are based, Horton reports: “The first day was at the Vaucluse Raceway, where we did a session in the morning, then joined the other guys from the club doing a practice session. I got some good runs and some much-needed seat time back in the R5; once back in the saddle I felt comfortable within a few runs, but I did smoke through some tyres!
  “Then on Sunday, we had the whole Bushy Park track for testing. The guys had set up a small stage and we had all our cars lined up by Brett Judd and his team at Pro Auto Works: we had our two Fiestas, Pierre’s Peugeot, Ben’s Citroen and also Stan’s BMW. It was a blast! We all tried each other’s car during the day and got some great seat time, really important for the guys that had not been out for a long time. A great time was had by all and the Beamer was wild – it is now known as ‘El Toro’.”
  Among the Turks & Caicos contingent, Horton has the longest history with rallying in Barbados, having first competed there in 2010 in a Honda Civic; while he finished King of the Hill each year, he first finished Sol RB in 2013, by which time he had switched to a Ford Escort MkI, then won M2 in Sol RB17, finishing 18th overall in his first Citroen DS 3 R3 MAX. For his first outing in four-wheel-drive, after campaigning both fwd and rwd cars, he recruited the services of three-time British Rally Champion Matt Edwards, with driver coaching in Wales and then as co-driver for the Motoring Club Barbados Inc’s (MCBI) HammerTime20 and Sol RB20, in which they finished seventh. No decision has yet been made on a co-driver for this year.
  While the pandemic resulted in Hartling being unable to tackle Sol RB20, the Canadian did finally get to use his Fiesta in competition last year, in the BRC’s Double-Header Sprint at Bushy Park in June, the island’s first action for six months. On his debut in the car, he finished 10th in the first direction, his best run just two-tenths off Horton’s, but was nudged out of the top 10 in the reverse direction by the 2wd winner Josh Read’s Toyota Starlet.
  Jamaican-born Beswick will be tackling Sol RB for the third time; he and Barbadian co-driver Leslie Evanson recorded a dnf in Sol RB17, then missed Sol RB18 as neither he nor his car were fully recovered from an accident in an MCBI event earlier in the season. Third in M1 and 36th overall in Sol RB19 is their best result together, although Evanson had finished 36th once before, with British visitor Steve Wood, winning the Historic class in a Mini Cooper in Sol RB08.

Sol Rally Barbados and King of the Hill are organised by the Barbados Rally Club, which celebrates its 65th Anniversary in 2022; Sol RB22 marks the 15th year of title sponsorship by the Sol Group, the Caribbean’s largest independent oil company.

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