WORSWICK PREPARES FOR SOL RALLY BARBADOS

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WORSWICK PREPARES FOR SOL RALLY BARBADOS

Britain’s Nigel Worswick is stretching the legs of his Ford Escort WRC on the Live Rally Stage at this weekend’s Race Retro (February 26-28) as a final test in preparation for shipping it across the Atlantic Ocean to compete in Sol Rally Barbados 2016. Europe’s leading show for historic motor sport enthusiasts is staged annually at Stoneleigh Park in Kenilworth, a few miles outside Coventry, formerly one of the main manufacturing centres of the British motor industry.
 
The Barbados Rally Club’s (BRC) premier event and the Caribbean’s biggest annual motor sport International, Sol RB16 will run from Friday to Sunday, June 3 to 5, with Scrutineering and the King of the Hill ‘shakedown’ event the previous weekend, May 28 and 29. Worswick, one of more than 55 overseas entries received on-line through the official web site, www.rallybarbados.net, will be making his sixth consecutive visit.
 
His best result in his Worswick Engineering / Rallytech Composites / Rockwell Automation Ford Escort MkII was 15th overall in 2014, third in SuperModified 11, an achievement he was delighted with, particularly as it was the first major rally for co-driver Rebecca Kirsch. Worswick said: “I must highlight what a great job Rebecca has done these last two events, having done no rallies prior to being invited to make her co-driving debut two years ago.”
 
Although they slipped to 17th overall last year, they moved up to second in SM11 . . . but not without some much-appreciated assistance from the island’s rallying fraternity, as Worswick explains: “After the gearbox exploded at King of the Hill, it looked like curtains for us. But thanks to local Toyota Starlet driver Ralphie White, who loaned us a gearbox, then everyone at Ullyett’s Machine Shop, who worked most of the week to make it fit the Escort, we were ready for the Friday night start. It is that sort of attitude that makes Sol Rally Barbados so special. Nothing is too much for anyone.”
 
For Sol RB16, however, they will campaign Worswick’s Escort WRC, which he could not bring last year, as he was entered for the Manx National and the shipping dates clashed; built from a new shell in 1999/2000 by Worswick and his then co-driver, Clive Molyneux, the Escort has a factory roll cage, Tommy Field engine, full WRC-spec suspension and rear diff, plus an XTrac front diff. Since the car was finished, Worswick has alternated between the WRC and his MkII on rallies, while his WRC has become a firm favourite at spectator-focussed events such as the annual Rallyday at the high-speed Castle Combe race circuit in south-west England. 
 
Worswick’s record of success includes a string of victories on the Cambrian Rally, recognised as one of the UK’s toughest forest events; he won all four years he contested it, sharing the event’s Roll of Honour with the likes Mikko Hirvonen, Andreas Mikkelsen, Mads Ostberg and Steve Perez. In the Escort WRC, he finished third on the Jim Clark Rally in 2007, following a fourth-placed finish the previous year. 
 
 
Revised Vehicle Regulations come into force
 
Numerous changes in the Barbados Rally Club’s (BRC) class structure are confirmed in the revised Vehicle Regulations for the next three-year cycle, from 2016 to 2018, which were finalised at an Extraordinary General Meeting, which preceded the BRC’s AGM last Thursday (February 25). These will be available as a PDF download on the Sol Rally Barbados (www.rallybarbados.net) web site shortly.
 
In the four-wheel-drive classes, World Rally Cars will once again be combined in a single class, while Group A and Group N remain largely as before. The most noticeable changes come in the SuperModified and Modified classes: SM will now run as three classes (up to 1600cc, 1601-2500c, over 2500cc), M as two (up to 1600cc, 1601-2000cc), with a number of changes in the rules governing weight. In both Historic and Clubman, there will now be two classes, divided by engine capacity - up to 1600cc, and 1601 to 2000cc. Group B remains as before, with entries eligible for class awards only.
 
Barbados Rally Club Vehicle Regulations 2016 to 2018 – at-a-glance: WRC - previously WRC-1 & WRC-2; Group A – as before; Group N - as before; SuperModified 1 - up to 1600cc, previously SM9; SM2 – 1601-2500cc, previously SM10 & SM11; SM3 - over 2500cc, previously SM12; Modified 1 - up to 1600cc, previously M5 & M6; M2 – 1601-2000cc, previously M7; Historic 1 - up to 1600cc; H2 – 1601-2000cc (Historic, now split by capacity); Clubman 1 - up to 1600cc; C2 – 1601-2000cc (Clubman, now split by capacity); Group B - as before; these cars remain eligible for class awards only
 
Sol Rally Barbados is a tarmac rally, with around 22 special stages run on the island’s intricate network of public roads, under road closure orders granted by the Ministry of Transport & Works; Sol RB16 and the previous Sunday’s King of the Hill ‘shakedown’ event, are organised and promoted by the Barbados Rally Club, which will celebrate its 60th Anniversary in 2017. Sol RB16 marks the ninth year of title sponsorship by the Sol Group, the Caribbean’s largest independent oil company.
 
For media information only. No regulatory value.
 
For further media information: e-mail - robin@bradfax.com

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