McRae heads star-studded field
- 18th June 2010, 8:23am
Jimmy McRae's five British Championship victories (from 1981 to 1988) and two Irish Tarmac Championships (in 1980 and 1981), plus a thoroughly astounding seven Circuit of Ireland wins) are unrivalled and, co-driven by rallying expert Campbell Roy, the 911 for Barbados carries formidable talent, experience and success to the Caribbean. "I've been wanting to compete in Barbados for many years now, but car preparation delays always held us back," explained Jim.
"Now we're properly equipped with a good car, I'm really looking forward to what promises to be a fantastic experience. I've heard the roads are a bit like the lanes of Ireland or the Isle of Man, but bumpier - just the ticket!"
The Tuthill team's legendary experience of preparing and running historic Porsches in rallies will be deployed extensively in next month's (14-28 July) tenth anniversary celebration of this unique Caribbean Rally Carnival. As well as the McRae car, 2009 British Historic Rally Champion Dessie Nutt is entered in a 1972 Tuthill 911, while team founder, historic rallying stalwart and Porsche preparation wizard Francis Tuthill is looking forward to attacking the Barbados Carnival RallySprint and the Historic Rally special stages in his famous 1993 London-Sydney Marathon-winning 1969 911.
Others making the trip from the UK for this (inaugural historic) Rally Carnival anniversary include Nick Cook, who brings his 1973 Mk1 Escort and Graham 'Grum' Wilcock, bringing his 1978 Opel Manta. Cook and Wilcock are staunch advocates of the Barbados Rally Carnival; each is a three-time veteran of previous events and both are addicted fans of the happy social atmosphere prevailing during the Carnival's 14 days.
Also of note is Bernard Northmore's 1972 Renault 12 Gordini, on his first visit both to the event and to the island. Oxford University Motorsport Federation's [OUMF] 1965 Riley 1.5 is now a welcome favourite among Barbadian fans. It has 'rested' on the island since contesting Rally Barbados last May - its second international outing on the Caribbean island - and driver Ding Boston is bringing the University crew of petrolhead students out there again for the Historic Rally Carnival.
The first event - on the weekend after overseas crews arrive on Wednesday - is the RallySprint at Barbados' Bushy Park Raceway. Rally Carnival officials have reviewed entirely the track layout, installing new roads to create a proper rallysprint course; "wicked" is how one official describes the course's consequent challenge. Local Barbadian rally competitors will join the Historic crews for an exciting day of motor sport action.
Then there's a week of fun in the sun - with recceing for some - and the Carnival's BRC Summer Stages Rally starts at mid-day the following Saturday (24 July). The Historics run after the modern classes on the Summer Stages Rally, held over 75km of closed public asphalt roads through the north of the island. It runs into Saturday night, for a true taste of historic rallying!
Historic Rally Carnival organisers have also arranged to promote the 2011 Barbados Historic Rally Carnival at the Killarney Historic Stages next December: if Barbadians win this year's Historic Carnival, they also win an entry for Killarney this year; if an overseas crew wins in Barbados, they get an entry back on the island in 2011.
Barbados Rally Carnival founder and instigator of this Historic Carnival initiative, Greg Cozier said: "We're excited about this re-launch as an historic event, which seems to be gathering some momentum locally as well as internationally. I think once local competitors realise why the international rallying world is going over to historic rallying, we'll see a big swing here. Fixing car specifications at a 1982 cut-off date levels the playing field substantially in terms of car build and running costs."
Full details are at: http://www.barbadosrallycarnival.com.
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