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Rally car arrives after topsy-turvy journey

sportsmichaelolearysmitsubishilancerevoxNew York-based Irish businessman Michael O’Leary’s Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X emerged from the Bridgetown Port today, more than 12 months after he first decided to compete in Sol Rally Barbados 2013.

His determination to do so, despite numerous potential barriers being put in his way, has finally been rewarded.

After he was unable to resolve some issues with shipping the car last year, Sol Rally Barbados office manager Jeanne Crawford started to investigate options as soon as he placed an entry for Sol RB13 in the first week of January. Shipping was arranged direct from New York to Barbados, the car loaded into a container with spares and delivered to the New York Port on May 7, to sail on May 11, arriving in Barbados on May 25.

Two days before sailing, however, O’Leary discovered that the transit time to Barbados had changed: instead of 14 days, it would take at least 19 days, with the car arriving on Friday this week (May 31) . . . or possibly later.

Crawford explained: “Panic took over. Much of that Friday was spent confirming the transit, as it seems the schedule had changed that week, also keeping Mike advised and eventually getting his permission to have the car removed from the load list. With the container held back, it then became a question of how to get it to Barbados in time, and the only option was to ship from Miami.

“Thanks to Warren Barnes at Schumacher Cargo Logistics, who was in California, co-ordinating this, we achieved what seemed impossible. He had the container removed from the Port and transported to their warehouse, where the car and spares were unpacked and loaded into a transporter, which he had also sourced.

“The car then set off to the Port of Palm Beach, where it arrived as scheduled at 8 a.m. last Monday (May 20). It was met by Charles Gittens of Express Consolidation Systems to prepare customs paperwork and pack it ready for sailing last Thursday on the Tropic Carib. The Evo was out of the container, and on Barbados soil at 9 a.m. Tuesday.”

Crawford then summed it all up: “Words don’t really tell the whole story of the calls, the e-mails and the commitment of everyone involved in ensuring that the car would arrive in Barbados in time. Through all of this, Mike has remained committed to doing Sol Rally Barbados and we look forward to seeing him and brother John competing after what has been a rather stressful couple of weeks.” (RB)

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