Rally Barbados has really started with a bang for 2019. The season builds up with some Shakedown stages, which build up towards the main event SOL Rally Barbados where most rally teams in the island really aspire to take part in and really make their mark for the year. This year, I had the privilege of spending some time with the Campbell Racing Team. They are often referred to as “The CRT Movement”.
This was my first time really covering a Rally here in my island Barbados, and it has its challenges as a photographer, being that having legs definitely makes me fall behind a rally car with my ability to get from place to place. This is why though, this unique perspective I was able to have made me so happy. I was covering the team from behind the scenes, this really allows me to see how tough rally can really be on the team, the driver, the co-driver, the engineers and other auxiliary members that provide support.
The team consists of Rayson, Dwight, Jim, Leandre, and Keron as mechanics and engineers as well as Aryton Bannister, the co-driver and Justin Campbell, the driver of their car. They work hard to maintain a BMW E46 M3.
Ups & Downs
I picked up the rally day mostly into it’s second half, coming in just about at the break for lunch and service bay intervals. Lunchtime didn’t really mean it was a chance to have a break though, because while drivers would have a chance to debrief and rest up, the engineering team would talk and see how the car was faring in the stages. This first rally shakedown brought it’s woes for CRT but, it’s better it happens now than it happens later on in the season.
It’s never a good sign to see your team’s car coming back into the pits on the back of a wrecker. Unfortunately with CRT this event, despite starting strong and being on the leader board of their group, they were affected by some electrical issues and they were out of the rally early into the day.
A good team can really shine through when facing difficulty. Justin and Aryton communicated the issues they were facing so they could quickly assess the situation and determine a course of action to start repairing the issue with the car. The car was still starting on it’s own, but stalling under load they determined it was a problem with the voltage of the battery, but replacing the battery didn’t help, so it ran deeper than that, it was the car’s alternator that was giving the issue.
The alternator of the car would have to be replaced if they needed to use the car for the rest of the stages that were coming after the lunch break. For this to happen on time, everyone would need an assigned job and they would need to really communicate well, so things fall in place and they can make the deadline. For these guys, it was child’s play.
In all of 15 minutes, the alternator was changed, and the car was ready to be fired up to test. Fortunately the car started right up and everything was finally in order. They were going to compete in the rest of the rally, starting the afternoon off at Sailor Gully, then to Lamberts in St. Lucy.
What are the consequences of something like this happening to a team though? Missing a stage, meant that for the rest of the rally no matter what times they would’ve set with a working car, they would still finish the rally with a DNF (Did Not Finish) rating. This disappointment didn’t deter Justin and Aryton from trying to achieve the best stage times possible. They were not racing for that solely for that day, they were using the times they gathered as a yard stick of types so they would know where in the rankings they among the rest of their competitors.
On their way to the next stage, both Justin and Aryton were in high spirits, having in full confidence in their car after the service stop. They took some time to honor their team tradition to say a small prayer before being hitting the tarmac again asking for a safe return and praying for tons of grip.
The CRT Movement, is moving pretty quickly, by the look of things this season. I am incredibly grateful for the chance to capture their work behind the scenes, in this Shakedown Rally, I’m hoping this isn’t my only chance. The team really has a chemistry, something that really binds them together, for sure it’s love of machine and it’s for the love of the sport itself, some things I can see for myself. They were never daunted by challenges they would’ve faced. They were incredibly sportsman-like at the end of the day as well, Justin and Aryton made their way over to the other teams, congratulating them for a rally well completed. Rally in Barbados, is one really good way to explore the love and commitment persons have for the sport and for cars here in the island.
CRT has the hardest part of the rally already covered, having a good team, for them the future of the rally season will bring more of it’s Ups and Downs, but once they can stick together, they will accomplish a lot more than they have already.
This is Alex, until next time, Happy Motoring!