REVISED CALENDAR FOR BARBADOS MOTOR SPORT SEASON

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Nigel Worswick, captured by sidewaysmedia.co.uk, testing his Ford Fiesta S2000T ahead of a planned trip to Sol Rally Barbados 2021

REVISED CALENDAR FOR BARBADOS MOTOR SPORT SEASON

Class win for Worswick on first outing in new Ford Fiesta

The Barbados Motoring Federation (BMF) this week published a provisional calendar for the rest of 2021, signalling the return of island motor sport, while discussions continue with Government’s Covid-19 Monitoring Unit to clarify when spectators might return. Sol Rally Barbados is still scheduled for September 25/26, with King of the Hill the previous Sunday, those dates to be confirmed by the Barbados Rally Club (BRC) given sufficient further progress in the global fight against Covid-19.
  The revised BMF calendar lists 36 events, the first of which ran last weekend, with all seven of the island’s organising clubs intending to run points-scoring events counting towards a 2021 Championship, although some will feature fewer rounds than is customary. Having made practical use of the down time caused by the pandemic, the BMF has also developed a new web site, details of which were announced this week.
  Rally Club PRO Neil Barnard said: “When we announced the revised dates back in March, we set a cut-off date of June 1st for a final decision. We remain optimistic about the prospects, but that date might just slip by a few days, as there are decisions due to be announced at the end of the month in terms of travel and quarantine requirements in important source markets, while we will now also be preparing for our first event.”
  For the first time, the BRC’s blue riband event will be a round of the FIA Regional Rally Championship for the NACAM zone (North America, Central America, the Caribbean and the north of South America). As usual, it will form two qualifying rounds of the annual BRC Championship, which is now scheduled to start on June 6 with a double-header Sprint at Bushy Park, organised jointly with the Motoring Club of Barbados Inc (MCBI).
  In publishing the revised calendar, BMF Vice-President Mark Hamilton said: “While the coronavirus pandemic means the situation remains very fluid and this calendar is still provisional, we are optimistic that things are easing, as Government protocols allow more activity. We are in regular discussions with Government’s Covid-19 Monitoring Unit at the Ministry of Health and Wellness and hope to meet them soon to clarify what protocols will need to be place to allow us to welcome spectators to events. Further announcements will be made in due course, but we felt it was important to publish the calendar now to give our competitors time to prepare.”
  The BMF’s new web site, which can be found at https://bmf-fia.com/ will grow into a comprehensive source of information on the work of the BMF and the FIA (Federation Internationale de l’Automobile), the world governing body. Section headings include the 2021 BMF Calendar, Sport, with background on the island’s seven organising clubs, and Mobility, an important aspect of the FIA’s work, represented locally by the Barbados Automobile Association.
  Hamilton added: “The investment we have made in the web site is for the benefit of all of the island’s clubs and competitors, whose interests we serve, and will provide a focal point for our activities. While the site is still a work in progress and we are fine-tuning some of the detail, I would urge everyone involved in motor sport in Barbados to visit regularly for updates and essential background.”

Class win for Worswick on first outing in new Ford Fiesta

Two weeks after fellow Sol Rally Barbados regulars including Kevin Procter and Andy Scott returned to action in the Snetterton Stages, it was Nigel Worswick’s turn to end the prolonged break from rallying caused by the coronavirus pandemic as part of his planned build-up to Sol RB21, scheduled for September 25/26. With a best result of eighth overall and second in Modified 4 in Sol RB19 in his Ford Escort WRC, Worswick is keen to return for his 10th visit once everything falls into place.
  Like Procter and Scott, he has acquired an ex-M Sport Ford Fiesta S2000T, in which he finished fourth overall and class-winner in last Sunday’s (May 9) CompBrake Motorsport Stages, a single-venue event at the Three Sisters Circuit in the north-west of England. Apart from one test late last year, Worswick has had very little seat time in his new car, which had been campaigned by Yorkshire’s Steve Petch since 2015.
  He said: “This was my first rally for nearly two years (Sol Rally Barbados 2019 was my last), the first in this car, the first driving a left-hand-drive car and the first left foot braking, so I was expecting a bit of a learning day. I had the car set with too tail-happy diff settings to start with; we gradually optimised the diff settings and, around the same time, I started to drive a bit better – this was about two-thirds of the way through, unfortunately, but I was second-fastest of the last stage. As always, Paula Swinscoe did a perfect job co-driving and the service crew, Clive Molyneux, Philip Burton and Chris Thomas, did terrific work improving the car throughout the day.”
  Worswick’s next outing is the Neil Howard Stages at Oulton Park in Cheshire on Bank Holiday Monday, May 31. Sponsored by Graham Coffey, another Barbados top 10 finisher – and another now equipped with a Fiesta S2000T – the event is the opening round of this year’s British Rally Championship and, as Worswick put it: “is rammed full with all the best cars and drivers from the UK and Ireland. There is just over two weeks, so I was pleased that the car ran faultlessly; with a couple of adjustments (launch settings and anti-roll bar), we should be good to go and hopefully get up to speed.”

Sol Rally Barbados is a tarmac rally, with around 24 special stages run on the island’s intricate network of public roads; the results of King of the Hill - four timed runs on a roughly four-kilometre stage – are used to seed the running order for the main event. Both events are organised by the Barbados Rally Club, which celebrated its 60th Anniversary in 2017; Sol RB21 marks the 14th year of title sponsorship by the Sol Group.

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