Mayers ready to lead 2wd charge for Rally Barbados

courtesy Barbados Rally Club/Image Vault;Roger Mayers is the reigning Barbados Rally Club 2wd Champion in his Toyota WR Starlet

Twenty-five years after his first class win on the island’s premier event, reigning Barbados Rally Club (BRC) 2wd Champion Roger Mayers is gearing up to take the fight to all-comers in Rally Barbados 2024 (May 31-June 2). He finished eighth overall last year in his Toyota WR Starlet, equally splitting the 4wd cars that packed the top 15 but has no intention of returning to all-wheel drive to claim a second outright win.
  RB24 is the 34th edition of the Barbados Rally Club’s (BRC) premier event which has its roots in the International All-Stage Rally of 1990; since then, the event has grown in stature to become the Caribbean’s biggest annual motor sport International and a key component in the promotion of ‘Motorsport Island’. The Rally Show and King of the Hill (KotH), the final shakedown and seeding event, will be staged on May 25 and 26.
  Mayers enjoyed his most successful season in two decades in 2023: a shoo-in for the Champion Driver title ahead of the final after a year free of mechanical issues, he failed to start the Winter Rally when an incurable misfire grounded his Starlet, but he still finished third overall and won the SuperModified 2 class for the third time in five years.
  The island’s front-running 2wd cars have often proved fragile when pushed hard in competition. Until last year, even Mayers had only finished Rally Barbados once since 2013, when he equalled brother Barry’s fourth place overall, the highest 2wd finish since the event was last won by a 2wd car in 1997. But the hour or so before last October’s BRC Winter Rally when his Starlet refused to start was particularly challenging, as Mayers had decided that the Champion Driver title might be “a special thing to win” after many years focussing on individual events, rather than championships.
  As Mayers explains: “When my car wouldn't work and I was in the service area trying to fix it, I really felt it was a hard pill to swallow, so I was a bit upset. We tried to put Barry’s ECU into my car, which didn’t work. We spoke to the officials and it was all OK that I could use Barry’s car, but putting the ECU back into his Fiesta with the Starlet mapping, it briefly damaged his gearbox shifter. When we couldn't get that to start the rally either, I thought, wait a minute, there's someone up above making sure that I don't do this rally and there must be a reason why. I think the fact that I tried to start the rally in two cars and both wouldn't get over the startline was a serious signal to me.”
  Immediately after the event, work started on preparation for the new season, as Mayers explains: “We stripped the entire engine wiring harness off, which is one of the few pieces that was not changed when I did all the work to make Starlet more reliable. I have a brand-new replacement which we're going to fit within the next two days and the guy in the UK who made it found damage on the old one so we’re really hoping that was the issue. If not, I really am gonna have to start scratching my head.”
  While Mayers says of the Starlet “I think I have all the speed I need now”, he is no stranger to 4wd. He won RB05 in a Ford Focus WRC, having retired while leading on Saturday night the previous year, but he won’t be following former 2wd rivals like Josh Read and Logan Watson into the FIA R5 class: “I have no interest whatsoever in driving those R5 cars. Maybe if we were doing gravel rallies I would be more interested, but it doesn't really suit my whole thinking of rallying.
  “A big love of it is developing the car and doing all the tinkering and making it fast and then reaping rewards of going to the stage and winning, having built the car. To be in a 1984 Starlet that I built at home and to be chasing down these R5 guys when the conditions are suited, that's another thing that gives me a huge grin on my face.”
  Mayers and brother Barry are now also enjoying overseeing sons Zak and Jacob, who have just moved up to the 100cc Juniors class of the Barbados Karting Association. Of reigning Cadet Champion Zak, father Roger says: “Zak had me in tears at the last event when he started to really show his true colours driving his new 100cc. I actually saw some glimmers of me come out. He has developed this little ability where he can live with the back end always having a little bit of a slide on corner entry, which is how I always was. He does seem to be some good chips off the block!”

Rally Barbados is a tarmac rally with around 20 special stages run on the island’s intricate network of public roads, under road closure orders granted by the Ministry of Transport, Works & Water Resources; the previous Sunday’s King of the Hill sprint, run under a similar arrangement, features four timed runs on a roughly four-kilometre stage, the results of which are used to seed the running order for the main event.

For media information only. No regulatory value.

For further media information: e-mail -;
Facebook/BarbadosRallyClub; instagram/@barbadosrallyclub




© 2024