Chairman presents positive report at Rally Club AGM

Tim Pearcey and Neil Shanks, who finished second in last December’s Roger Albert Clark Rally, will enjoy an all expenses-paid trip to Sol Rally Barbados 2012 (June 9/10), the Caribbean’s biggest annual motor sport international. The prize includes free entry and shipping for the rally car, return flights and accommodation for 14 nights for driver and co-driver, plus a rental vehicle for the duration.

Valued at US $9,000 (around 5,600 pounds), the prize was offered to the winners of Britain’s most demanding historic event by the Barbados Rally Club (BRC) and the island’s private-sector Tourism Development Corporation. Gwyndaf Evans and John Millington were unable to make the trip, however, despite a major effort by Viking Motorsport boss Phil Mills to ensure the availability of the winning Pirelli Ford Escort MkII.

BRC Vice-Chairman Mark Hamilton explained: “Phil had been working with us on the logistics for some weeks, looking at cars and schedules. Sadly, he simply could not get a car for the period of time necessary, so had to turn down the prize. We are sorry that it didn’t work out, particularly as Gwyndaf has something of a following in Barbados… but we look forward to welcoming Tim and Neil and making sure they have a good time in the island, with some serious motor sport in between for good measure.”

Pearcey and Shanks also compete in a MkII Escort, sponsored by Willowgreen Homes, Dunlop and German company Ravenol, which recently became Official Oil and Lubricant Partner to the MSA British Rally Championship as part of a move into the UK market. Pearcey started rallying around 15 years ago in a self-built Davrian kit car, then progressed to a Vauxhall-engined MkII Escort, in which he won the Kuhmo Tyres Clubman’s title in the 2004 ANCRO National Rally Championship.

His major achievements also include a double win on the 2005 Trackrod Rally in his native Yorkshire in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI: with co-driver Ian Windress – he sat with Paul Bird on his first two visits to Barbados – Pearcey won the National Rally on Saturday, then the Clubman’s Trophy on Sunday, beating John Bannister (Subaru Impreza) by more than 50secs on Saturday, but by less than four on Sunday.

In 2007, the same event did not go so well, explains Pearcey: “I misheard a pacenote at the end of a 120mph straight, the car hit a bank and launched into a tree, roof first. It took two hours to cut us out and I was airlifted to hospital with a broken neck. Without the skill and care of the crews on the scene, I don’t think I would still be here – it made me realise the dangers of our sport.” Four months later, however, Pearcey was fit enough to win his local event, the Riponian Stages, with Seb Marshall in an Evo IX.

Pearcey’s co-driver, Scotland’s Neil Shanks, is also an accomplished competitor: in 2001, he won the Scottish International Rally with Dave Weston, then the British Rally Championship Production Cup with Barry Clark (2005) and the British Junior Rally Championship (2007) with Darren Gass, who was also the first Pirelli Star Driver.

In the 2011 Roger Albert Clark, a faltering start left the pair 13th and playing catch-up after stage one; by SS4, they were fourth, where they remained until the retirement of third-place Paul Griffiths. A stage win on the event’s final 17.27-mile test saw them take nearly two minutes out of David Stokes, for a second-place finish behind Evans.

Chairman presents positive report at Rally Club AGM

Members of the Barbados Rally Club (BRC), which celebrates its 55th Anniversary in 2012, heard a positive report from Chairman Geoff Noel at the AGM on Monday (February 27); the Club posted a profit, despite the prevailing economic climate, while Sol Rally Barbados played a major role in promoting the island worldwide.

“Among the targets we set ourselves for 2011 was to continue to be proactive in our approach to getting sponsorship for the Club. This is on-going and our success is evident in the continued commercial arrangements with our long-term partners.

“We also significantly improved on our existing marketing plans in Europe by partnering with the Tourism Development Corporation. The International TV coverage provided by GreenlightTV, with a total viewership of 771 million homes across the world, resulted in unprecedented exposure for our island and the rally – this achievement is truly phenomenal!”

Sol Rally Barbados and Shell V-Power King of the Hill are organised and promoted by the Barbados Rally Club, which celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2007; Sol RB12 is the 23rd running of the Club’s annual International All-Stage Rally and marks the fifth year of title sponsorship by the Sol Group, the Caribbean’s largest independent oil company.

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Tim Pearcey/Neil Shanks on the 2011 Roger Albert Clark Rally – Photo by Simon Clarke



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