Further evidence of the links between Barbados and Ireland comes with confirmation that Peter Gallagher will compete in Sol Rally Barbados for the eighth time this year, while British rally engineer John Hardman will clock up his sixth appearance.
Gallagher’s early visits were as co-driver to long-term Irish rallying buddy, Martin Taylor; they finished 37th overall and won Production 2 in 2004, after which Gallagher drove a variety of Peugeots, claiming another class win, in P3, in a 306 in 2008. Last year, he took the Talbot Samba in which he won class and overall Group A titles in the Irish National Championship in the 1980s out of storage, where it had lain since 1997.
For 2013, he reverts to the Dublin Crystal/Greenspeed R & D/Sam Andrew Jewellers Peugeot 206 in which he finished 39th overall and fifth in Modified 6 in 2010. He will have local co-driver Rene Forde on the notes.
“I always have a great time in Barbados, and look forward to returning to the Jewel of the Caribbean,” Gallagher said.
For his sixth crack at the island’s premier event, Hardman will drive the Nissan Micra campaigned in Barbados last year by England’s Stuart Deeley and backed by Chicken Pen Racing/PEC Tyres. Hardman will have Trinidad’s Vishal Dhanraj as co-driver.
Hardman, born in Northern Ireland but based in Wales, won Group B on his debut in Rally Barbados 2004 in his unusual self-built four-wheel-drive Ford Fiesta, but has had mixed results since. He has developed many long-term relationships with island competitors, however, not least those who compete under the wing of Chicken Pen Racing, Norman Catwell’s rallying collective, which has encouraged and helped a number of newcomers into the sport in recent years.