Two families from the British Midlands have a special reason to look forward to Sol Rally Barbados this year. Legendary BMW driver, Worksop & District Motor Club President Martin Stockdale, and fellow Club member Hugh Peat will both joined by offspring who have been travelling and working on the other side of the world to enjoy a family reunion in the island.
  This year marks Stockdale’s record 16th consecutive appearance in the Caribbean’s biggest annual motor sport International and he returns again at the head of the ‘Worksop Warriors’, who last year became the largest-ever group to contest the event from a single UK motor club. Stockdale and Peat are again joined by Ray Clough and Stuart Tomlinson, with more than 20 family and friends in tow.
  The Barbados Rally Club’s (BRC) blue riband event, Sol RB16 will run from Friday to Sunday, June 3 to 5, with Scrutineering at Simpson Motors and Flow King of the Hill the previous weekend (May 28/29). Sol RB16 Chairman Mark Hamilton said: “Having families organise reunions like this around our event is a great example of the success of the island’s sports-tourism product.”
  Stockdale returns with the Drive-a-Matic/Divi Southwinds/Canems Engine Management/Quarry Motors BMW 1M Coupe, which he debuted last year; he finished 21st overall, third in SuperModified 12, adding to his impressive record since 2001, including four class wins. His co-driver for Sol RB16 will be Mark Swallow, but daughter Laura-Jo will sit in for Flow King of the Hill: “Mark can't get there until the day after KotH, so my stand-in co-pilot will be Laura-Jo; Glenis and I have not seen her since November 2014, as she and her boyfriend Tom have been travelling and working in Asia and Australia. They are spending three weeks with us in Barbados, along with Tom's mum and dad, before returning to Oz. We’re looking forward to another fantastic event.”
  A similar situation prevails for Peat and wife Shirley, who returned to the event last year for the first time since 2005, after taking a break from the sport; he finished seventh in the Sunday Cup in his Subaru Impreza N11, but this year brings a Harry Hockley-built BMW M3 Compact, backed by All in (a skills-based gambling app for iPhones, developed by his sons Mark and Stephen) and Wemix Concrete Ltd. Stockdale, who has just rebuilt the engine, said: “It is a very nice car, I think it should go well.”
  Last year, both Mark and Stephen were living and working in Australia, meeting up in Barbados. This year, as mum Shirley explains: “It’s going to be a family affair again, Mark sitting with Hugh for King of the Hill, Stephen the co-driver for the rally itself. Mark is still travelling the world - he has now been to a total of 51 countries - and will be spending a few months in America with his partner Gabi and Ste after the rally.”
  Clough, a former sponsor of both Peat and Stockdale, returned to rallying last year, having first competed in the late 1970s; he returns with the same Saint-Gobain Weber Ford Escort MkI in which he finished 42nd and fourth in the International Historic class last year, and will again be joined by local co-driver Stephen Bell.
  The final Worksop crew are Tomlinson and WDMC Competition Secretary Nick Taylor. They suffered mechanical problems last year, leaving them ninth in the Sunday Cup in the 2.1-litre Cosworth-engined Escort MkII in which they have previously won the East Midlands Rally Championship. Already treated a bare shell rebuild last year, the car has been further re-prepped with fuel injection installed to cure its carburettor issues.
  Taylor co-drove in the Stockdale BMW in the Dukeries Rally in March, finishing eighth overall and third in class, as Taylor says: “the only drama being a collision with a hare which decided to play chicken with us and smashed the front bumper.”
Calvel joins Negre to represent the French Caribbean
Reigning Martinique Hillclimb Champion Pascal Calvel, already familiar to motor sport fans in Barbados as a driver in the Suzuki Challenge Series Swift Cup, is joining Guadeloupe’s Pierre Negre to increase the presence of the French Caribbean in Sol Rally Barbados 2016 (June 3-5).
  With co-driver Jean-Marc Verrier, Calvel will campaign a Citroen C2 R2 Max, supported by ABC Depannage, SODIVA, Pro ROC and Tilo. A regular front-runner in the C2, Calvel won the hillclimb series in a Suzuki-powered Jema G30GT, and expanded his horizons with an outing in the Fun Cup Dubai for Volkswagen Beetles in March this year.
  Negre returns to Barbados with co-driver Gilles Gaussens in the Office du Tourisme Region Gaudeloupe-supported Group A Ford Escort Cosworth, which has been to Dom Buckley Motorsport in the UK for refresh during the winter. Last year, he was lying 31st, when he retired on Sunday morning. The Guadeloupe Champion in 1994 and ’96, Negre has won the island’s Rallye des Grand Fonds more than 10 times, most recently with a hat-trick in 2011 to ’13, and has also competed on the French mainland.
Sol Rally Barbados is a tarmac rally, with around 22 special stages run on the island’s intricate network of public roads, under road closure orders granted by the Ministry of Transport & Works; Sol RB16 and Flow King of the Hill are organised and promoted by the Barbados Rally Club, which will celebrate its 60th Anniversary in 2017. Sol RB16 marks the ninth year of title sponsorship by the Sol Group, the Caribbean’s largest independent oil company.
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