WORSWICK’S FAMILY TRIBUTE AT SOL RALLY BARBADOS 2022
Confirming his entry for Sol Rally Barbados 2022 this weekend, Britain’s Nigel Worswick joins an exclusive ‘club’ of just 13 international participants who have competed in the Barbados Rally Club’s (BRC) premier event 10 or more times. As the 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).
Of the more than 400 international competitors who have been hosted by the BRC in recent years, Martin Stockdale is at the top with 19 visits so far. The list of repeat European visitors also includes Andrew Costin-Hurley (16), Kevin Procter (14), Peter Gallagher and Rob Swann, both of whom have been 13 times, Swann also a regular competitor in the BRC Driver’s Championship in recent years.
Worswick’s 10th visit may have come later than planned, thanks to the pandemic, but the delay has enabled him to pay tribute to his parents, by campaigning his Ford Fiesta S2000T in the island for the first time.
Worswick says: “Thanks to waiting for nearly three years to get my 10th done, I’m now able to bring this amazing car, which I was only able to purchase thanks to my parents’ legacy, which is why the car is running a tribute to Alan and Edythe on the front bumper as it really is ‘their‘ car.”
Entered in the WRC class, Worswick’s co-driver will be Rebecca Kirsch, who last visited the island in 2017. The Worswick Engineering/Rallytech Composites/Ullyetts Machine Shop Service Fiesta, in which Nasser Al-Attiyah won the Dubai International Rally in 2011, has since been campaigned in the UK by Stephen Petch and is now powered by a turbocharged 2-litre engine. With rallying in the UK limited by the pandemic since Worswick acquired the car, he is short on seat time: “I’ve shaken the car down at Anglesey and Three Sisters, then the Legend Fires North West Stages recently, where a problem with a faulty spark plug slowed progress, but I’m gradually getting used to the car and will hopefully be ready to put on a good show in Barbados.”
Worswick’s rallying achievements date back many years. In the 1990s, he was a regular competitor on Britain’s round of the World Rally Championship (the Network Q RAC Rally), missing out on a top 10 finish by just one second in 1996 in a Ford Sierra Cosworth 4×4, having finished in the top seven on the last five of 26 special stages. In Barbados, his best result is eighth overall and second in Modified 4 in Sol RB19 at the wheel of his Ford Escort WRC.
The original plan for Worswick’s entry in Sol RB20 had been a fun trip to compete in similar cars with his old friend Philip Burton. Although they have known each other for years, they had only once competed against one another in like machinery, in the 2017 Greystoke Stages, when Burton beat Worswick to the class win after a close fight.
Harking back to a 1989 TV commercial for the chocolate bar Milky Way, it was dubbed ‘The Red Car and the Blue Car had a race‘ and a re-run had been planned in Barbados.
Although that is now in the past, Burton will still be entering SuperModified 2 in Sol RB22 in his BDS Fuels and Bio Mass/SBG Construction/Kirkby Lonsdale Brewery Ford Escort MkII. Since first rallying in 1988, he has won a number of class and overall championship titles, most significantly the West Wales Rally Spares RAC Historic title in 2015; he went on to finish second overall in both the 2017 BTRDA Silver Star and 2018 Rally 2 Championships. Burton’s co-driver will be returnee Dylan Thomas (the Welshman has previously competed in Barbados alongside Brandon Smith), who is himself a former regional Champion.