Celebration time for UK family at Rally Barbados

courtesy Barbados Rallu Club/Gerrard Wilson, Mark Chandler has built this Ford Escort MkII specially for Rally Barbados, where he will compete for the first time in 17 years

The Chandler family from the UK are preparing to make Rally Barbados 2024 (May 31-June 2) a major celebration. Father Mark returns to compete in the event for the first time in 17 years, this time with stepdaughter and birthday girl Charlotte ‘Lottie’ McGlashan as his co-driver, while son Michael and new bride Rachel will be mechanics on honeymoon, having married just days before flying across the Atlantic.
  RB24 is the 34th edition of the Barbados Rally Club’s (BRC) premier event which has its roots in the International All-Stage Rally of 1990; since then, the event has grown in stature to become the Caribbean’s biggest annual motor sport International and a key component in the promotion of ‘Motorsport Island’. The Rally Show and King of the Hill (KotH), the final shakedown and seeding event, will be staged on May 25 and 26.
  Chandler, from Goole in East Yorkshire, has been away from rallying since RB07, when he entered SuperModified 10 in his former Ford Escort MkII. He returns with a new Escort he has built specially for RB24, helped by Michael and Dave Hawkins, and backed by Gaimster Properties, Clubman Motorsport and Pickard Garage Service. It is entered in Modified 3, where he will face the BMW M3s of island aces Justin Campbell, brothers Ahmed and Suleman Esuf and Jonathan Still among others.
  Lottie has celebrated her birthday in the island many times and will reach 17 on the day of the RB24 Prizegiving. Chandler says: “As a family, we are really looking forward to the trip. This will be Charlotte’s first event competing and, if all goes well, once she has passed her test, she will be back in Barbados driving. Michael and Rachel got engaged in the island last year, so there is a lot for us to celebrate.”
  To prepare for her co-driver role, Lottie has sat with David Brown in his ex-works MkII Escort and 2023 BTRDA Champion Elliott Payne (Ford Fiesta Rally2) at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, where Payne finished fourth in the Forest Rally Stage Shoot-Out; she has also been tarmac testing at Blyton in Nigel Worswick's Fiesta S2000.
  And Worswick is preparing to return as well, for his 12th trip to compete, aiming finally to repeat the head-to-head battle with old friend Philip Burton known as ‘The Red Car and the Blue Car had a race’, the title harking back to a 1989 UK television commercial for the chocolate bar Milky Way. On the 2017 Greystoke Stages, the only time they have competed against each other in similar cars, Burton (red) beat Worswick (blue) to the class win after a close fight in which their MkII Escorts were so well matched they even clocked identical times on one 10-kilometre stage.
  The re-run was planned for RB20 but the pandemic intervened and, when Burton finally made it to the island in 2022, Worswick was driving his Fiesta. All did not go well for Burton, when a delaminating rear tyre started a sequence of events that included a rear end spin into an electricity sub-station, with bodywork and axle damage, followed by a broken propshaft and dampers. Burton says: “Once back at Bushy Park, with the help of Norman Catwell, repairs started and we were good to go for Sunday, which was a good day's rallying.” Burton and co-driver Dylan Thomas finished fourth in the Sunday Cup, since when rallying has taken a back seat for the driver.
  Burton has won a number of class and overall championship titles since first rallying in 1988, most significantly the West Wales Rally Spares RAC Historic crown in 2015; he was second overall in both the 2017 BTRDA Silver Star and 2018 Rally 2 Championships. Worswick, who will have Sophie Louise Buckland as co-driver, was a regular on Britain’s round of the World Rally Championship in the 1990s, missing out on a top 10 finish by just one second in 1996 in a Ford Sierra Cosworth 4 x 4; his best result in Barbados is eighth overall in his Fiesta in 2019, while the best for his Escort is 15th in RB14.
  Both Escorts are entered in SM2, Burton’s sponsored by Westgate Tyres, BDS Fuels & Bio Mass, Westgate Tyres, 1 Media TV, Kirkby Lonsdale Brewery, SBG Construction, Wenning Surfacing and NSN Construction. In addition to his regular support from Worswick Engineering and Ullyetts Machine Shop, Worswick is backed this year by Benchmark Consultancy Inc.

Rally Barbados is a tarmac rally with around 20 special stages run on the island’s intricate network of public roads, under road closure orders granted by the Ministry of Transport, Works & Water Resources; the previous Sunday’s King of the Hill sprint, run under a similar arrangement, features four timed runs on a roughly four-kilometre stage, the results of which are used to seed the running order for the main event.

For media information only. No regulatory value.

For further media information: e-mail - robin@bradfax.com
Facebook/BarbadosRallyClub; instagram/@barbadosrallyclub

barbados website development and hosting by caribbeannewmedia.com