Former British Historic Rally Championship Class Champions Chris Shooter and Bev LeGood took some years to give in to pressure from friends before they made their Caribbean debut on Sol Rally Barbados 2014, but returning for the 25th Anniversary of the Barbados Rally Club’s (BRC) premier event “was an easy
decision to make.”
The BRC’s blue riband event has grown from small beginnings as the International All-Stage Rally in 1990 into the region’s biggest annual motor sport International. It is scheduled for May 29 to 31, with Simpson Motors Scrutineering and the King of the Hill shakedown event the previous weekend, May 23 and 24.
Co-driver LeGood said: “Since coming home, we’ve been caught up in work, so rallying has taken a back seat, but if we only competed once this year there was just one event in all our minds. We had such a fabulous time both on the event and with the hospitality from everyone involved, it was a very easy decision to make.”
More than that, one of last year’s group of supporters, former circuit racer and car enthusiast Antony Pownall, enjoyed the event and the island so much that he went home determined to return as a competitor. He acquired a Group N Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX and, after a successful shakedown at a single-venue event at the Oulton Park race circuit close to his home, posted his entry on the official web site -www.rallybarbados.net.
Motor trader Shooter built his Sparrow Hill Cars Ford Escort MkII in 2005, to MSA Historic specification and powered by a 2-litre 195bhp Pinto engine; from Loughborough in Leicestershire, he and LeGood were regular competitors in the British Historic Rally Championship (BHRC) from 2006 to 2011, winning their
class in 2008.
They finished 28th overall and won the International Historic class in Sol RB14, but the class was not well-supported, so Shooter’s task may be more difficult in 2015, with six entries already received. That doesn’t phase the British team, however, as LeGood noted: “Knowing that the others may have a lot more ‘grunt’ than us, it will be foot to the floor, as he already has a competitor he
wishes to beat.”
Their good friend Pownall, who had already visited Barbados on holiday before last year’s rally, travelled back with them for Sol Rally Barbados 2014. Formerly a hill-climb and circuit racer – he was a regular in the manufacturer-supported Renault 5 Turbo Championship – he is also a collector of veteran cars, including a 1901 De-Dion Bouton, in which he and Shooter have regularly finished the world-famous London to Brighton Veteran Car Run.
For Sol Rally Barbados 2015, Pownall’s co-driver will be another very experienced British enthusiast, Malcolm Clark, who has been involved in a wide range of motor sport since his early teens, as a competitor – on both sides of a rally car – mechanic, team manager, event organiser and display driver.
In National Autotests (the equivalent of Autocross in Barbados), he won his class in the BTRDA Championship in 1993 and 1999 and represented England on 10 occasions in international competitions. In service and management, he worked with many leading British teams, including David Sutton Cars and works teams such as Lada and Skoda, also won the Ford Faberge Fiesta Championship in 1979 with Guenda Eadie and the 1988 MG Maestro Challenge with Jenny Birrell.