‘You can’t keep a good man down’ may be an idiom – and song lyric – but it perfectly sums-up the tenacious Scot Jimmy McRae. When the British Rally Championship was proper works-supported international motorsport, Jim won that championship on no fewer than five occasions. He also won the Circuit of Ireland seven times when the event included over 1,000 miles of stages over five days; that shouts tenacity if anything does.
McRae Senior has contested two previous Barbados Historic Rally Carnivals, blitzing his class in each and finishing runner-up overall both times. From 15 to 28 August this year, Jim will once again test his persistent determination to improve on his previous overall performances, while savouring the laid-back social atmosphere surrounding the – very – serious competitive motorsport of the Rally Carnival: “The event is fantastic; the atmosphere is like rallying used be in the UK 30 years ago,” Jim says.
Jim received the 2012 Gregor Grant Award in recognition of his achievements in motorsport, many during the heady 1980s days of the British Rally Championship, which McRae likens to world rallying today: “It was a fantastic era, I’m glad I didn’t miss it.”
Three of Jim’s five British Championship wins came with Ian Grindrod sitting next to him as co-driver. A slender Yorkshireman, Grindrod has sat with many of the best, but the McRae/Grindrod partnership is legendary. Ian co-drove Jim on the 2011 Rally Carnival, and really enjoyed the experience. He had to be back this year, sitting next to Jim in the rally car, on bar stools, at parties; sometimes even on beaches.
Ian: “We were all made to feel very welcome and the organising team made it a truly memorable trip. Relaxed, to say the least. We also made many new friends, and that always helps to make an event special. I’m hooked.”
Jim and Ian will be aiming for the top in an historic Porsche 911 prepared by renowned UK specialists Tuthill Porsche. Francis Tuthill, founder of the company, will be on hand to ensure that the car continues the admirable Tuthill record of faultless event performances and is also sending another Tuthill 911 to the Caribbean island for himself to drive, thereby forming another McRae/Tuthill 911 two-car team to continue the onslaught for the third year.
The McRae/Grindrod entry is supported by RUBIS, a French international brand with over 20 years’ experience distributing petroleum, aviation fuels, LPG and lubricants throughout Europe, Africa and the Caribbean. RUBIS’ support of the Barbados Historic Rally Carnival is part of their firm commitment to the communities in which they operate, as well as sports in the region.
Fourteen days of fun in the sun plus proper historic motor sport is attractive in itself, but the £5,500 [US$8,800] inclusive entry deal represents stunning value for competitors. Included are the cost of return shipping of one rally car from Portsmouth to Barbados, entry to the Historic Rally and RallySprint, two return flights from London, one double hotel room for 12 nights and free entry to all Carnival social events.
Families, friends and rally fans can also catch some great historic rallying action, mix with the rallyists and have a fun-filled relaxing Caribbean holiday with a proper party atmosphere. All deal details and entry forms can be found on www.barbadosrallycarnival.com, in the 2013 section.Barbados Historic Rally, Classic Cars, Classic Rallying