Kris Meeke enjoyed a successful trip to the Caribbean for the second successive year after defending his title on Sol Rally Barbados.

Taking time out from his Intercontinental Rally Challenge campaign with the Peugeot UK team, Meeke and co-driver Paul Nagle successfully came through the event without any major issues, with his only problem coming during the eleventh stage when he was forced to turn off the anti-lag on his Subaru Impreza due to a suspected exhaust problem.

Meeke had faced pressure from local driver Roger Skeete on the opening day before the local driver was forced to retire, which allowed Meeke to lead a British 1-2 ahead of Paul Bird - the pair repeating their performance from twelve months ago.

"It's absolutely fantastic to win the event again," Meeke said at the finish. "I don't think many drivers outside the country win very often, so it's a fantastic feeling and a fantastic event."

Meeke's winning margin at the end was a little under 17 seconds over Bird, who admitted he was having the 'time of his life' at the wheel of his Ford Focus WRC.

The former ANCRO Champion, treating the event like a holiday, admitted at the finish that he had loved being involved in a battle with Meeke and said he had no problems with losing to the IRC points leader.

"The car was mega and it was a close rally," he said. "I don't mind losing out to Kris Meeke; he's a star. It was a fantastic rally and a great weekend."

Local driver Paul Bourne completed the podium, although his hopes of challenging the British duo for victory were ended by damper problems on the opening day.

Having rectified the problem overnight, he was on the pace through the second day and was able to see off the challenge of Kevin Proctor to claim third.

"We struggled all day yesterday with the burst damper," he said. "We couldn't work out where the time was being lost, but when the damper was changed we were up to a good pace. We were driving for third as we couldn't catch Meeke and Bird."

Elsewhere the was disappointment for Steve Perez, who lost eleven minutes on stage four with a throttle issue and spent the rest of the rally focused on entertaining the huge crowds, admitting afterwards it was 'just a shame we missed out on fighting for the podium'.

There was also disappointment for Ryan Champion in his ex-works Subaru Impreza 555 after engine failure put him out following stage five, while BRC regular Rob Swann missed out on Group N honours on the penultimate stage after picking up a puncture - his second of the event.


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