Historic Motorsport: Barrett’s car saved by rivals

Paul Barrett has paid tribute to marshals and fellow competitors for saving his Ford Escort Mk2 and in turn his rally career after a recent fire

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Paul Barrett has said that the help of marshals and fellow competitors saved his rallying career when his Ford Escort Mk2 caught fire on the recent Carlisle Stages.

Northern Irishman Barrett and his Welsh co-driver Dai Roberts completed the opening stage on Friday evening and were at the start of the second stage when an engine fire started.

With help from the marshals and timekeepers as well as fire extinguishers loaned by other crews, the fire was finally contained although considerable damage was done. Barrett was later treated in hospital for burns to his hand.
'I really want to thank everyone who helped get the fire out,' said Barrett. 'Without their help the car would have been destroyed and that would have finished my rallying career.'

Barrett is currently facing a race against time to get the damage repaired in time for this weekend’s Red Kite Stages in South Wales, the fourth round of the Fuchs MSA British Historic Rally Championship.

'We’re flat out on it with the help of a lot of friends,' Barrett told MN. Having led the overall BHRC after two rounds, his non-finish in Carlisle cost Barrett the championship lead to Stuart Egglestone and so he can ill-afford to miss the Red Kite.

Provided the car is ready, Barrett will face a fantastic field for the Red Kite, which includes his younger brother Ryan, Osian Price, the Hillman Avenger of Ieuan Rowlands, as well as Joe Price and Alan Walker who both return after accidents on round two, the Pirelli Rally.

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Rowe plots return

Nelson Rowe is planning to return to the Historic Formula Ford Championship this year, after he was rescued from his burning car by two spectators and a fellow competitor at Cadwell Park last month.

Equine vet Rowe, Historic FF1600 champion in 2006/07, was pinned upside down in his Crossle 20F after somersaulting over Cameron Jackson’s Lola following contact. It was in a spot between two marshal posts, and two spectators vaulted the barriers to extricate him along with double champion Callum Grant, who stopped and ran back to help.

'We’re just in discussion with Crossle over making a chassis for it,' said Rowe. 'Once you get the chassis it won’t take long. We’re lucky Crossle still exists and has a jig, so the timescale depends on what else they have on.'

In the meantime Rowe can carry on racing with his FF2000 Reynard SF79.

Hadfield takes on F5000 thunder

James Hadfield, son of leading historic racer Simon, took on the biggest challenge of his racing career to date at Silverstone when he raced his father’s Formula 5000 Trojan T101 for the first time. He scored a fine second place in the Derek Bell Trophy.

'It’s a great bit of kit: it’s got warp speed,' said the former professional ice hockey player who now works alongside his father in the historic race preparation business.

'The car has not raced for several years and usually lives at the Donington Collection,' said Hadfield senior. James was due to demonstrate the car at the Goodwood Members’ Meeting, but those plans were thwarted by bad weather.

Ralli22 to kick off at Prescott

The new Ralli22 series of hillclimbs for period rally cars will start at Prescott on Saturday with a quality field headed by the ex-Sainz Ford Focus of Dave Wright.

The pilot three-event competition is titled to reflect the 22 years covered by cars from the Group A, Group B and WRC eras.

'Prescott will be a very good start with a nice mix of cars and we have bigger entries planned for Chateau Impney and Shelsley Walsh in July,' said series organiser Steve Davies.

Other Prescott entries include the Renault 5 Maxi Turbo of Kevin Jones, Jason Lepley’s Escort RS2000 and the Hyundai Accent WRC of Stephen Chamberlain.

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Sears to be honoured

The first season of the British Saloon Car Championship will be celebrated at the Goodwood Revival Meeting (7-9 September) with a new format for the Jack Sears Memorial Trophy.

The inaugural champion from 1958 will be honoured by a race contested by a grid of cars that would have been seen in action in that first year. The race will celebrate the 60th anniversary of the BTCC and its forerunner, the British Saloon Car Championship.

In action will be cars like the Riley 1.5, the Austin A105 as raced by Sears and the Jaguar Mk1 raced by his season-long rival Tommy Sopwith.

Ypres missed by Historic leaders

Rikki Proffitt and Graham Wild have made a late change of plans to compete on the Red Kite Stages this weekend rather than take their Porsche 911 to Ypres, as originally intended. Following the changes to running order and the revival in rallying for historics, they now lead BHRC2 for the Category 1 and 1600cc cars.

Young FF1600 star impresses

Teenager Mads Gravsen starred in Historic FF1600 at Silverstone in the Palliser owned and usually raced by his uncle Chris Sharples. Despite very limited racing experience and making his Silverstone GP debut, the Dane finished seventh and eighth as he twice raced in the main lead pack.

Slaughter set to return with revived Escort

Following a dramatic high-speed roll on the Rally Tendring and Clacton at the end of April, James Slaughter is due back in action with his rebuilt Ford Escort Mk2 on this weekend’s Red Kite Stages. After a major rebuild, the Cossack liveried Mk2 will join the Escort Mk1 of his father Dick on the South Wales event.

F2 test off to a flying start

Jamie Brashaw only took his F2 Chevron B27 to Silverstone for a shakedown test on Friday, but it went so well that he placed a late entry for the Historic Formula 2 races and scooped two podiums. He also used it to finish fourth in the opening Derek Bell Trophy race after his Formula 5000 March 73A was sidelined by engine failure in qualifying.

Champion Huff joins Silverstone Classic grids

World Championship Touring Car driver Rob Huff will add a Lotus Cortina to his tally of historic race cars when he shares the car of Andy Wolfe in the 50-minute U2TC race at the Silverstone Classic. Huntingdon-based Wolfe and Newmarket’s Huff will be one of the strongest driver pairings in the race, which is part of the event’s Tin Top Sunday.

Hyett switches to Tiga

BRDC member, and former Group C2 podium finisher at Le Mans, Ross Hyett has switched to a Sports 2000 Tiga SC83 and had a debut run in the Pre ’80 Endurance races at Silverstone. Hyett acquired the car through Chris Snowden, who prepares it, and plans some more Pre ’80 races as well as a couple of Historic Sports 2000 outings this season.

Pearson returns to Historic FF1600

Former Alfa Romeo racer Ted Pearson joined the Historic FF1600 grid at Silverstone after buying Nigel Grant’s Merlyn Mk17. Pearson has not raced since a season of Classic FF1600 in 2014 but was keen to have another shot at Formula Ford and will use the balance of this season as a lead-in to a full programme in 2019. Grant’s team will prepare the car for him.

Pictures courtesy of Paul Lawrence

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