Cumbrian rally driver Paul Bird got his Sol Rally Barbados 2014 campaign off to a perfect start when he won this weekend's Scotiabank King of the Hill competition beating a top quality international field in the process.
After finishing second last year on the annual event which traditionally precedes the main two day event, which the MotoGP and British Superbike team boss has won for the past two years, Bird was determined to make it count after crashing out of the Manx National Rally earlier this month.
With local companies Rubis Petroleum and Cockspur Rum backing the former ANCRO National champion in the Ford Focus WRC08 he was sharing with regular Welsh co driver Aled Davies, the Langwathby, Penrith driver took the hillclimb win ahead of local Caribbean aces Roger Skeete and Jeffrey Panton with British driver Rob Swann in fourth and top Bajan driver Paul Bourne down in fifth.
"The King of the Hill is always a good event to kick things off with and we managed to pull it off today after finishing second last year. Thanks must go to the Dom Buckley IRS team for sorting the car as it was the best it has ever been and all bodes well for next weekend's SOL Rally Barbados. I'm suffering with my ribs as I'm in a lot of pain but despite a spin on the final run, we nailed it. I'm going to treat the boys to couple of glasses of Cockspur rum as thanks to them and all our sponsors for making this happen."
Scotiabank King of the Hill
1 Paul Bird/Aled Davies (Rubis/Cockspur Ford Focus WRC08) 1m 57.68s
2 Roger Skeete/Louis Venezia (Subaru Impreza WRC 1m 57.80s
3 Jeffrey Panton/Michael Fennell Jnr (Ford Focus WRC06) 1m 59.42s
4 Rob Swann/Darren Garrod (Subaru Impreza WRC S11) 1m 59.67s
5 Paul Bourne/Damien Bourne (Ford Focus WRC07) 2m 00.03s
6 John Powell/Nicholas Telfer Jnr (Ford Focus WRC08) 2m 02.25s
7 Roger Duckworth/Mark Broomfield (Subaru Impreza WRC S6) 2m 03.32s
Picture courtesy of Himal Reece: Paul Bird/Aled Davies in action