Newcomer Andrew Graham will compete in Sol Rally Barbados in his Land Rover TD5

Record-breaking anniversary trip for the Spencers

A Land Rover is an unlikely inclusion in an eclectic trio of British entries for Group B in Sol Rally Barbados 2022. Andrew Graham will add the Caribbean to countries where he has rallied, from Iceland to Morocco, when he competes against returning competitors Andrew Costin-Hurley and Stuart Deeley in Ford Puma Cosworth and Toyota Celica GT4 respectively. As the Barbados Rally Club (BRC) celebrates its 65th Anniversary, Sol RB22 is scheduled for the weekend of June 4 & 5, with King of the Hill on the previous Sunday (May 29).
  Graham learned to drive as a youngster in his father’s 1948 Land Rover, then started competing in 1988 in a V8-engined mid-fifties Land Rover. He was All Wheel Drive Club Class Champion in 2004 and acquired the diesel-fuelled AlliSport 90TD5 he will drive in Barbados in 2009, by which time it had already been used as a stage rally car for some years. His co-driver will be Gavin Neate, a double British Hillclimb Championship Class Winner (2018 & ’21) and Regional Club Speed Champion (2015).
  Looking back, Graham says: “I entered a few gravel rallies with a Rover V8 fitted, then changed engine to a tuned 5-cylinder 2.5 litre turbo diesel, fitted 9ins further back in the chassis. This conversion took around four years, as the project ended up as a complete rebuild - the usual ‘while we’re at it’ list grew and included a sequential gearbox, Fox long travel coil over shocks and Discovery axles with AP racing brakes. I wanted to create an all-purpose motor sport car that can enter anything and have fun. Other than gravel stage rallies including Wales Rally GB, and tarmac events, I have run the car at Goodwood Festival of Speed and Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb.”
  For experienced Indy car and F1 engineer Costin-Hurley, who will be competing for the 17th time, Barbados is a second home, having proposed to wife Melissa on a catamaran cruise during one of their early trips. Five times a class-winner, he returns with one of his favourite co-drivers, Rob Brook of Clubman Motorsport, in his self-built Puma with 300bhp 2-litre turbo, rear-wheel drive, Sierra running gear and Escort WRC suspension. The car’s ongoing development has continued since Costin-Hurley last competed in Barbados in 2019: “During the lockdowns, I found time for further weight reductions, significantly revised suspension geometry and substantially improved cooling - which was already more than adequate, but now it's even better and highly effective cooling means more a more efficient intercooler so hopefully more speed!”
  This will be micro-brewer Stuart Deeley’s fifth trip to compete in Barbados, having replaced the Celica 205 he drove on his previous two visit driving a new-to-him 165 formerly owned by Swedish rally driver Ove Andersson, who was the first head of Toyota’s F1 programme. With three Association of North West Car Clubs (ANWCC) titles under his belt, in 2000, 2002 (Ford Escort MkII) and 2011 (Lotus 62S), Deeley first visited Rally Barbados in 2007, travelling to help John Hardman out. In Sol RB12, he finished 35th overall, winning M5 in one of Hardman’s Nissan Micras, crashed out in the Lotus the following year, then finished both events in the Celica. His co-driver will be Andy Doano, a family friend who is ticking Sol Rally Barbados off his bucket list.

Record-breaking anniversary trip for the Spencers

Britain’s Cheryl Spencer will chalk up her seventh trip to compete in Barbados this year, when she and husband Barry field their Vauxhall Astra GSi in Modified 2 . . . and mark the 14th anniversary of their beachfront wedding in the process. A record among overseas women drivers – only co-driver Fenny Wesselink of the Netherlands has competed more times – Spencer’s latest visit will pitch her against the island’s Natya Soodeen in a tussle for the highest-placed female driver award.
  After a holiday in the island for Rally Barbados 2007, the Spencers decided to return and compete, a bit of a challenge, as they didn’t even own a rally car! Determination won through and, after some rally school tuition, they acquired the Vauxhall Astra GSi driven by Jeff Benstock to win the South West Tarmac Championship. They have since finished Sol Rally Barbados on five of their six attempts, their only failure being the first, in 2008, when the wiring loom burned out. Following those years of success, the Astra is currently undergoing a major rebuild ahead of shipping at the end of April.
  Cheryl and Barry were married at The Boatyard in 2008, then renewed their vows at the Fish Fry and Pig Roast Welcome Party at Bushy Park a decade later, having made many friends in the island in the intervening years. Cheryl, who celebrated her 60th birthday in January, says: “We are fortunate to have so many Bajan sponsors and support from the UK and are looking forward to returning, it seems so long since last time. How much longer will I rally? As long as I can put pedal to the metal!”
  In addition to Dover Beach Hotel, Marco Polo Bar & Grill, SRG Engineering and Stoutes Car Rentals, which have supported the Spencers in the past, their campaign this year is also supported by island businesses Niven Distribution Barbados, Niven Eco Oil and Harrogate Water Barbados.

Sol Rally Barbados and Flow King of the Hill are organised by the Barbados Rally Club, which celebrated its 60th Anniversary in 2017; Sol RB20 marks the 13th year of title sponsorship by the Sol Group, the Caribbean’s largest independent oil company, and the fifth by communications provider Flow.

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