Finlayson calls Barbados Rally Carnival "un-missable"
crowd favourite Martin Stockdale returns from England on a Virgin
Atlantic Boeing 747-400 packed with European rally teams next
Wednesday, he will become the only overseas driver to have contested
the Barbados Rally Carnival every year since its launch in 2001.
And 'Mad-dale', as he's known to local enthusiasts, has a little
surprise in store for the opposition . . . under the bonnet of his
self-built BMW M3GTR is a new, more powerful, engine. Stockdale already
has a good pedigree in Barbados, having won his class twice on Rally
Barbados, and taken home the DMS Distributors.Com Sunday Cup last year.
From the first time he arrived on these shores, he has been one of
the most popular Carnival regulars: the personable Englishman has
entered fully into the spirit of Rally Carnival . . . and, of course,
he drives a BMW! Stockdale says: "The first Beemer was a great car,
which created a lot of interest wherever we went . . . especially in
Barbados. We replaced the original 2.5-litre engine with a 3-litre M3
unit, but sold that car, and decided on something more extravagant.
"My latest creation started life with a 4-litre V8, but that engine
has now been replaced with one slightly larger in capacity - 4.9 litres
- that develops approximately 400bhp. We do all the work on the car
ourselves and, without Julian's fantastic help, I wouldn't have the car
ready for Barbados."
Stockdale enjoys an intense rivalry, and close friendship, with
Bajan BMW ace Jonathan Still, who enjoyed the experience of shaving
Stockdale's moustache at the RB04 prize-giving after the Englishman
lost his bet with the local man as to who would achieve the better
overall result. The Plasterland/Drive-a-Matic BMW will again have Mark
Swallow as co-driver.
And Stockdale is not the only British driver to return with an
upgrade in equipment. His team-mate Hugh Peat, back for his third
visit, has a whole new car for Rally Carnival 2005! His Mark II Escort,
which he drove with great gusto here for the past two years, has been
set aside in favour of the more modern Plasterland/Jordan Road
Surfacing Ford Escort Cosworth.
Peat explains: "It was originally built by Dome Motorsport as a
Group N four-wheel-drive car, which competed in the RAC Rally in the
mid-1990s; now it has been modified as a rear-wheel-drive car, with the
engine developing around 270bhp. I've only had the car a short while,
but am really looking forward to coming back to Barbados to share some
white rum . . . oh, and to do some rallying as well!"
Peat has a new co-driver this year in Tom Jordan, whose younger
brother Richard and their father Barry competed in last year's Rally
Carnival in an ex-Roger Clark Mark I Escort.
Another of Rally Carnival's British regulars - Graeme Finlayson -
has also been fiddling with the specification of his GCR
Communications/Red Line Oils Fluke WR1C, the lightweight
motorcycle-engined open two-seater in which he achieved a finish in
Rally Barbados last year at the third attempt; respected local
co-driver Jamal Brathwaite will again co-drive.
Scottish-born Finlayson says: "The event has become a welcome
addiction, the mix of fantastic competition, sun and rum makes it
un-missable each year. The locals ensure that all the competitors are
completely at home and also keep them on their toes in the driving
Many changes have been made to the car, including short gearing, an
updated Mistral Yamaha R1 engine - producing 190bhp - bespoke exhaust
by bike specialists Promotive and a Pro-Shift auto-throttle-blip
downshift system, which completes the car's semi-automatic gearbox
And it has better lights, too. Finlayson added: "The lighting
system was woefully underpowered, despite running a pod of
ultra-xenons, but the Bajan nights were so dark that we were losing
time hand over fist at night."
All three cars will be competing in the Super Modified classes, the
former Open Modified classification now split into four, as will
another returnee, back for his third Rally Carnival, Andrew
Costin-Hurley. The former Andrew Hurley, whose name change reflects his
marriage last September to Melissa Costin - they got engaged during
Barbados Rally Carnival 2003 - returns with no major changes to his
300bhp Cosworth-powered CA-Automotive/Earl's/Post Paintworks Ford Puma
Evo, in which he finished second in Group B in RB04. Co-driver this
year will be experienced Englishman Bryan Hull, another regular