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Cumbrian driver Frank Bird retured to rally action this weekend with a superb performance to claim third place on the First Citizens King of the Hill which marked the opening action of 2022 Sol Rally Barbados festival.

The Penrith-born ace was making his debut on the Caribbean island where his dad Paul had so much success over the years, including winning the King of the Hill twice, and constituted the first event back since 2019 whereby 87 international crews had assembled to tackle four runs of the course around Vaucluse Raceway in the south east of the island.

In the Frank Bird Poultry-backed Ford Fiesta R5 with support from MCE Insurance, Hager, Vodiac, PBM, MAC Tools and Dragon Energy, and prepared as always by Dom Buckley Motorsport, Frank and Lake District-based co-driver Jack Morton were up against crews with plenty of experience of the event.

Not to be outdone, Frank made a great start, despite rain showers making the roads slippery, and by the halfway point, was up to second place behind fellow British driver Rob Swann, but it was in the afternoon when he had to pull out all the stops. Bird edged ahead of Swann when he suffered problems but couldn’t manage to keep locals Zane Maloney and his uncle Stuart Maloney at bay so had to settle for an impressive third place, ahead of double winner Dane Skeet.

More importantly, the results determine the seeding for Sol Rally Barbados which gets underway on Friday and continues over the weekend.

Frank Bird: “What a great start to Sol Rally Barbados by claiming third in the King of the Hill competition which is a quality event. That means we will be third on the road for next weekend which is a good position. I was very happy with the day, it’s the first time I’ve seen the stages and felt comfortable straight away, and I think that showed in the times we set. It’s going to be a great battle next weekend so I’m really looking forward to it. Thanks to Jack on the notes and the team for doing a great job as well as a massive thanks to my dad and all our sponsors.”

For further information, please visit https://rallybarbados.net and the Paul Bird Motorsport (PBM) website http://www.pbmuk.net

Picture credit: Image Vault/Nicholas Bhajan

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