'What to do on a night like this? Music sweet, I can't resist', sang Arrow in that famous Caribbean song.
Next August, there's plenty of tropical partying and relaxation time for competitors, family and friends on the Barbados Historic Rally Carnival.
Those Carib rhythms change tone on two Saturdays, 22 and 29 August, when the beautiful Barbados tropical countryside will echo to the evocative sounds of Weber carburettors, BDAs and the distinctive bark of flat-six Porsches; the wide-ranging cacophony of pedal-to-the-metal historic rallying machinery. Music sweet indeed.
The International Rallysprint and its prizegiving are on the first Saturday, followed on Sunday by the Ian Grindrod Invitational 20/20 cricket match and hog roast, which - before being so-named for 2015 - produced some tremendous entertainment for players and spectators alike in previous years.
The following week sees free recceing and more social activities, then the 55 stage-mile Historic Rally on Saturday 29, which runs in daylight and dark until midnight.
After some well-earned rest, competitors will gather the next day on the infamous Jolly Roger pirate ship at Bridgetown Careenage, to collect prizes and drown sorrows, before continuing the festivities during a Jolly Roger cruise along the Barbados West coast.
Bargain inclusive entry fee
Thirteen days of fun in the sun plus proper historic motor sport are attractive in themselves, but - thanks to the Carnival organiser's collaboration with Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. and the BTMI's generous wisdom - a bargain inclusive entry deal has been secured for the 2015 event.
Representing stunning value for competitors, the US$4,900 entry fee includes: return shipping of one rally car from Portsmouth UK to Barbados, entry to the Historic Rally and Rallysprint, two return flights from London, one self-catering suite for 12 nights and free entry to all Carnival social events. Yes, you read it correctly: all that for US$4,900. Bargain indeed.
Families, friends and rally fans can also take the opportunity to catch some great historic rallying action, mix with the rallyists and have a fun-filled, relaxing Caribbean holiday with a proper party atmosphere; there's room for everyone and it's the type of event the wife and kids won't want to miss.
Winner in Killarney gets free entry in Barbados
The Barbados Historic Rally Carnival organisers have teamed up with the Killarney Historic Rally and the official launch will be in Killarney during the weekend of 29/30 November. Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. has generously donated a free full entry deal to the 2015 Barbados Historic Rally Carnival, to be presented to the fastest pukka historic rally car in Killarney; possibly the richest prize in the Irish rally calendar.
Conversely, the winner of the 2015 Barbados Historic Rally Carnival gets a paid trip to Killarney if he or she is a Barbadian local and a free trip back to Barbados in 2016 if not. What's not to like?
Multiple rally champion already entered
The first two entries to this Caribbean historic rallying spectacular are already in place. After podium finishes and fully enjoying the experience of competing in 2010 and 2011, Jimmy McRae will be back next year.
In the days when the British Rally Championship was proper, manufacturer-supported international motorsport, Jim won that Championship no fewer than five times. He also won the Circuit of Ireland seven times, when the event included over 1,000 miles of special stages over five days.
His is a strong rallying heritage and the Scot has ever been a long-term supporter of historic rallying. As he enters his seventh decade, McRae Senior is still enjoying the sport which made him famous. And Jim knows what he likes: to celebrate an ages-old anniversary of his first and only Tour of Mull, Jim took his 44-year-old Mk1 Escort and his co-driver of old, Ian Grindrod - a legendary pairing - to the Scottish island this year.
Sadly, fuel delivery problems scuppered their rally, but Jim explained: "Aye, definitely we'll be in Barbados next year; Grinnie's looking forward to it; he's already pencilled it in. When we got back down from Mull on the Sunday; after we'd had a few drams we put the world to rights and [one of those rights is] we're definitely going to do the Barbados Historic Rally Carnival next year.
"But, ha-ha; I'll have to get my glasses polished-up again," said Jim, in a reference to the natural reduction in visual acuity experienced by drivers of a certain age on night stages.
The other Historic Carnival stalwart already entered is also of an age at which this condition can exist. In 2010 and 2011, Francis Tuthill of renowned Porsche rally car preparation firm Tuthill Porsche shipped his own Historic 911 rally car, and one for McRae Senior to Barbados for the Historic Rally Carnival. He agrees with Jim on the night stage issue: "Somehow we're going to have to get two sets of good lights, so we can see in the dark. He got the good lights last time and I got the good engine.
"But we'll try and give him something fast enough, so that he can beat me round the track.
"Anyway, we'll have a great time, so I'm looking forward to it."
Vehicle regulations at a glance
There are five classes competing for awards in Barbados:
'Historic' for cars marketed before 31 December 1967
'Post-Historic' for cars marketed between 1 January 1968 and 31 December 1974
'Classic' for cars marketed between 1 January 1975 and 31 December 1981
Group A for two-wheel-drive cars marketed between 1 Jan 1982 and 31 Dec 1985.
Group B is for FIA-homologated Group B cars marketed between 1 Jan 1982 and 31 Dec 1986, as well as cars of Groups 1, 2, 3 and 4 which do not conform to the Barbados technical regulations. Group B and non-conforming Group 1, 2, 3 and 4 cars are eligible for class position only, and will not be included in the overall results.
Full details and key Carnival dates are on: www.barbadosrallycarnival.com.
If you wish to register an interest and/or have any questions, please email the Rally Carnival organiser Greg Cozier at: email@example.com