Two Subaru Imprezas new to Sol Rally Barbados are confirmed on the growing list of overseas entries for the Barbados Rally Club’s 25th running of its premier event.
They bring to 15 the cars already listed for the event’s four-wheel-drive classes on the official web site, www.rallybarbados.net.
Oxfordshire realtor Tim Green has entered his Green & Company Estate Agents Subaru Impreza in Group N, fulfilling a long-held ambition.
“I’ve been wanting to compete in Sol Rally Barbados for years, it is one of those events you have on your ‘to do’ list and, finally, here we are!”
Green has been competing for 31 years without a break, initially as a co-driver. He was Skoda Trophy Champion Driver in 1998, then twice won his class in the BTRDA National Championship in 2000 and 2001 in a Group N Proton Satria. His Swindon-based co-driver Rob Smith, a senior technician for Ferrari and Maserati, started his career as a driver, but has been co-driving for Green since 1997 and shared his three title wins.
Green, who has already attended Sol Rally Barbados to check out the event, added: “The car has been competing for 11 years now so the least it deserved was a nice holiday in Barbados.”
The car is currently undergoing a complete rebuild in readiness for its Caribbean trip, but Green is hoping to fit in a shakedown event before shipping.
His co-driver is the second Rob Smith from the United Kingdom on this year’s entry list – the other will be driving the Weir Laundry Equipment Impreza in WRC-2.
“We know of the other Rob Smith, having competed against him, but don’t know him to chat to . . . yet! We had a bad crash on the Red Dragon Stages in South Wales in 2003, retiring on the same stage as Rob, so I’m sure we’ll find lots to talk about,” Green said.
Among the entries joining Rob Smith and co-driver Ross Weir in WRC-2 – the category caters for pre-2004 World Rally Cars – is Ray Brammer’s Impreza WRC S8. While this ex-prodrive car is new to Barbados, HGV repair company boss Brammer isn’t, having competed twice before, with 15th overall and fifth in Modified 8 the better of his two finishes in 2004 and 2005.
Then, he was competing in an ex-Kenny McKinstry Impreza and the link with the Ulsterman remains, as the current S8, which was driven by former World Champions Tommi Makinen and Petter Solberg in 2002, is prepared by McKinstry Motorsport. Brammer has also been competing against McKinstry, having concentrated on tarmac events in Ireland in recent years, with a number of top 10 finishes.
Brammer’s co-driver is Irish, too, Donegal car salesman Gary McElhinney, three-time winner of the Entertainer of the Rally Award at the Donegal Rally, which suggests he will enjoy Barbados. He started competing in 1998 and is another who is comfortable on both sides of the car, winning driver in the 2010 Enniskillen Clubmans Stages, having been winning co-driver in the Isle of Man Challenge Rally the year before.
In recent years, his co-driving expertise has taken him from European events in Belgium, Hungary and Spain across to the United States in a wide variety of machinery, from Clubman to WRC cars. He also sat with multiple Rallycross Champion, Irish legend Dermot Carnegie, when he ran as Zero Car at WRC Rally Ireland in 2009.