Richard Cummins

Richard Cummins

A consummate all-rounder, whatever he chose to drive.

Equally at home on hillclimb, racetrack or rally stage, Richard Cummins first came to prominence in the 1960s, when he competed across the board in Club events. His hallmark became the wide variety of cars he drove, from Volkswagen Beetle, Vauxhall Viva and Ford Cortina GT, in which he contested events on Spa Hill, to the Riley Elf, in which he finished second overall to Michael Gill in the Third Goodyear Motor Sport Meeting in 1969, having won the autocross element of the competition.

His partnership with Richard Rose, whose skill as a navigator complemented perfectly his own talents as a driver, produced a string of memorable results; interviewed at the time, Cummins described their teamwork as “75 per cent good navigation and 25 per cent driving ability.”

In 1968, they won the June Rally in an automatic Holden Special; this was their second attempt, having tackled the first 500-miler in what Cummins described as “a Volkswagen of uncertain ancestry.” They went on to win their class in the Mobil Mileage Rally later the same year, this time in a Toyota 1500.

They were by far the most consistent crew of the time, despite the regular changes of car – they finished third in the 1969 June Rally (Morris Mini Countryman), then claimed their second victory in 1970 in the Singer Vogue pictured below; after three more top four finishes during the 1970s, they became the first crew to win the event three times, in 1982 in a Volkswagen GOL, while Rose went on to win a fourth, with Basil Watkins.

In parallel with these successes, Cummins was also extremely competitive on the racetrack; he was among Club members to race at South Dakota in Guyana - he also served on the Barbados Motor Racing Team committee - and was immediately on the pace when Bushy Park opened in 1971. A regular race-winner, he also held lap records in a Datsun 1200 Coupe and MG Midget.

He continued in competition into the 1990s, returning to race at the reopened Bushy Park – one of only a few drivers from the 1970s to do so - also winning his class on the 1995 Texaco International All-Stage Rally in a Daihatsu Charade GTti.

Cummins was another to put his wealth of experience to the service of the Club, once his own competition career had ended; as Competition Secretary in the years around the Millennium, he was directly involved in the early years of the Barbados Rally Carnival and was Clerk of the Course during the first season of RallySprint competition at the Vaucluse Raceway

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