Rally UK »

Senna’s 'Nut-Case' heads to Rally Barbados

Welsh rally legend Phil Collins, once described by triple Formula 1 World Champion Ayrton Senna as "a nut-case", will treat Caribbean motor sport fans to a demonstration of why the late Brazilian superstar might have thought that when he contests the region's biggest annual motor sport event, Sol Rally Barbados, in May.

Collins is the first new high-profile entry to be confirmed by the Barbados Rally Club (BRC) in advance of the 20th running of its blue riband event; he and regular co-driver, Ireland's Derek Brannigan, will contest the SuperModified 11 class in a Ford Escort Mk II, which Collins describes as "a fairly specialised rally car" and Britain's Motorsport News called "wild" in a report last year.

Built in 2006 by Quick Motorsport and backed by Silverstone Tyres, Millington Engines, Great Stuff Caterers, Orchard Motorsport, Collins Engineering and Pontilas Developments, its 2.5-litre engine produces a little over 300bhp; the bright red Escort is a popular sight in the UK, as Collins snaps at the heels of World Rally Cars on iconic tarmac events like the Manx National in the Isle of Man and the Rally of the Lakes and the West Cork Rally in Ireland.

The encounter between Collins and Senna came courtesy of the now defunct magazine Cars & Car Conversions, missed by enthusiasts the world over, including in Barbados, thanks to its supportive coverage of island motor sport for more than 20 years. In 1986, CCC arranged for the JPS Grand Prix driver to test some rally cars in Wales.

Having only seen rally cars on television, his first experience came in a Ford Sierra RS Cosworth driven by 1985 Securicor Sierra Challenge winner Collins, recruited to provide some basic instruction.

After the first run, Senna said: "Too quick for me. He's a nut-case!" In response, Collins said: "It's a pity it's so rough out there or I could really scare him - of course, the problem is he's about to get his revenge."

Once he'd taken Collins for a couple of runs, Senna drove four other cars, including Harry Hockly's CCC-backed Vauxhall Nova Sport and a Clubman-spec MG Metro 6R4, after which he said: "It has been much more exciting than I expected. I didn't feel the time going by because I was finding out, learning more and going harder and harder."

That was during the first of two distinct periods in the rallying career of Collins. Having started in 1978 in an Escort RS2000, he switched to Opel, first an Ascona then a Manta, before the Sierra Cosworth in 1985; he was a front-running works driver in the UK, second in the National Championship twice, the BTRDA Forest Championship three times, and fourth in the Open Championship twice.

Co-driven by Roger Freeman, his Manta was also 14th of the 62 survivors in the 1985 Lombard RAC Rally (his only finish in six attempts) - 155 crews started what is remembered as one of the WRC's toughest-ever events, with 63 stages, nearly 550 miles on snow and ice, and two 36-hour loops.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Neil Armstrong/Max Ferri - Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 8
Sunoco Fuels
Sunoco Fuels
Sunoco Fuels
Sunoco Fuels
Sunoco Fuels
BRC Podium BRC Podium Dean Raftery / Aileen Kelly Ford Fiesta and Calvin Beattie / Martin Brady Ford Fiesta, Osian Pryce / Dale Furniss Citroen DS3 R3T
BRC Podium BRC Podium Dean Raftery / Aileen Kelly Ford Fiesta and Calvin Beattie / Martin Brady Ford Fiesta, Osian Pryce / Dale Furniss Citroen DS3 R3T
BRC Podium BRC Podium Dean Raftery / Aileen Kelly Ford Fiesta and Calvin Beattie / Martin Brady Ford Fiesta, Osian Pryce / Dale Furniss Citroen DS3 R3T
Gus Greensmith / Melanie Holmes Ford Fiesta
Gus Greensmith / Melanie Holmes Ford Fiesta
Gus Greensmith / Melanie Holmes Ford Fiesta
Calvin Beattie  Ford Fiesta
Richard Sykes  Citroen C2R2
Richard Sykes  Citroen C2R2
Richard Sykes  Citroen C2R2
Richard Sykes  Citroen C2R2
Richard Sykes  Citroen C2R2

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.