Saturday, April 13, 2024

McRae leading overseas charge


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FIVE-TIME British Rally champion Jimmy McRae is among no fewer than 40 drivers entered for tomorrow’s Subaru International Rally Sprint at Bushy Park, starting at 1 p.m.McRae, who is also a seven-time winner of the Circuit Of Ireland, will be at the wheel of a Porsche 911. He will not only have to hold off the local drivers, but also the challenges of another former international star, Francis Tuthill, a car preparation expert who will also be driving a Porsche 911; Graham ‘Grum’ Wilcock, Nick Cook, and Ding Boston who is fresh from taking part in the recently-contested Sol Rally Barbados.Tuthill will drive the 911 which he used to win the 1993 London-Sydney Marathon, while Cook will compete in his 1973 Mk I Escort, and Wilcock in his ’78 Opel Manta. Cook and Wilcock are both three-time veterans of previous Rally Carnivals and are addicted to the carnival’s 14 days of happy social atmosphere.Organiser Greg “Hotty” Cozier said that the Post-historic Class would be pretty hot in the over two-litre category and it would be the start of something big in Barbados this year.He said too that the move was also in keeping with international standards and the entire exercise would begin with scrutineering at Lord Willoughby’s Tavern, Bagatelle, today at 5 p.m. after which would be the welcome party.“The format is much the same as what was done at Vaucluse: two cars racing side-by-side to ultimately decide a class winner,” Cozier said.He added that the organisers had turned Bushy Park into a rally sprint track, in which two cars will start together but go off in different directions on separate tracks to form the rally sprint circuit and then come back together to determine a winner.The Rally Sprint should set the tone for next week’s Karcher Summer Stages Rally which will start at mid-day on July 24.Running at the back of the modern rally, the Historic Rally will extend into the night, and passing over the dauntingly fast and varied surface on the Pickerings special stage in the dark will provide a truly historic opportunity for the “men” to be separated from the “boys”.The local entries will include around 20 Barbadian Historic Rally cars and crews who are expected to mix it with the European cars competing for the richest prize in Caribbean motorsport, the King Of The Carnival prize for best overall class performances.

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