Trevor Micey Manning is back.
The former winner of the island’s premier event and popular with fans for his flamboyant driving style, Manning will compete in Sol Rally Barbados 2013 for the first time since 2009. He replaces the injured Logan Watson in his BMW M3, nick-named Crackers, a rear-wheel-drive car that ideally suits Manning’s persona.
With co-driver Derek Edwards, Manning will also contest the Scotiabank King of the Hill on May 26 and at least one other event in preparation for the Caribbean’s biggest annual motor sport International on June 1 & 2. The arrangement was agreed to at the weekend and Manning was all smiles after his first brief test in the car yesterday.
“I think it will be an exciting challenge and I’m looking forward to getting back on the stages,” he said.
The M3 is one of two being run in support of the Little Pink Gift Foundation. Watson’s brother Rhett has taken over the two-door car campaigned by Logan last year – that one’s nick-named Cookies, with principal sponsors Oreo and Chips Ahoy! – for a concerted championship campaign, while Logan was set on a different course.
Still recuperating in Canada, reigning Barbados Rally Club two-wheel drive champion Logan said: “This year, the car was to be going sideways and driven very flamboyantly, so Crackers was a name to suit. I was lying in bed all bandaged up, thinking of what to do as I wouldn’t be able to drive, so the sponsors and, more important, the Little Pink Gift Foundation would get less coverage than they were supposed to. So I came up with the idea of speaking to Micey. Trevor is an A class driver and one who would definitely be able to go along with our theme of Crackers and have the crowd screaming for more with the sideways driving.”
Brother Rhett agrees: “Trev will not only bring value to the team and the charity but also to the events he competes in. Micey was one of the most flamboyant drivers when I was growing up watching rallies and I think the sponsors and fans will be extremely excited when they learn Micey is driving the car.”
On making first acquaintance with the ride, Manning said: “I’ve already complained to Rhett that there was too much grip, and I couldn’t get the back out too much. But we were on some pretty grippy tarmac, so that didn’t help. I think it’s going to be exciting, and Derek and I are certainly looking forward to it.”
As before Sean Lashley will be crew chief – as Micey remarked: “I walk with my team.”
There will be an official team launch in aid of the Little Pink Gift Foundation at the Carlton Supermarket car park, Black Rock, St. Michael this Friday at 5 p.m, with Rhett, Micey, Cookies and Crackers all scheduled to appear, and Logan hoping that he will get the all-clear to fly back in time. The cars are now visible in supermarkets around the island, on ingenious end cap displays for the products identified on the cars – Chips Ahoy!, Oreo, Ritz, Club Social. Five per cent of all sales of these selected products will be donated to the Little Pink Gift Foundation.
Eleven times a top 10 finisher in the island’s premier event, Manning won in 1999 in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo V, having tied for third (Evo III) with Jamaica’s Doug Gore the previous year. He has a further four further podium finishes to his credit – second in 2000 and 2001 (Evo V), third in 2004 and 2006 (Evo VIII) – as well as class wins in 1996 (Lancer Turbo) and 2002 (Evo V). (RB)†