Looking for Lotus luck

Stuart Deeley in his Lotus 62.
Stuart Deeley in his Lotus 62.

Barbadian rally fans will be in for a treat when England’s Stuart Deeley reveals his unusual MouseMatt-sponsored Group B Lotus 62 ahead of Sol Rally Barbados 2013 slated for June 1 and 2.

While many are familiar with the Lotus name – Stuart Williams holds the Bushy Park lap record in his Elise – it is unlikely that any would have seen a Lotus 62.

Deeley’s car is a replica of the rare wide-bodied sports GT car, which raced in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Deeley competed in Barbados for the first time last year, having learned of the event from John Hardman, and travelled out in 2007. Driving the Micra in which Hardman will compete this year, Deeley and co-driver Alistair Dodd finished 35th overall, winning Modified 5 at their first attempt.Of his return to Barbados for this year’s rally, Deeley said: “We hope to climb up the leader board this time round, with the greater power available, also a little more local knowledge. I am coming to Barbados aiming to show this unusual machine to it’s best advantage. . .which is screaming down the open roads on the island.”

Deeley is a three-time Association of North West Car Clubs Stage Champion, most recently in 2011 in the Lotus, while 23-year-old Dodd won three ANWCC titles in the same year, including Junior Co-Driver. Dodd, who is a semi-professional co-driver, has also been a significant contributor to the development of the Formula 1000 rally category in the United Kingdom, co-founded with father Tristan.Built six years ago by Hardman from an accident-damaged early-1970s Lotus Europa, the ’62’ is powered by a 2.5-litre John Hardman Duratec, driving through a six-speed Hewland FTR box. As Deeley explained: “The power available makes up for the occasional limited visibility . . . although it would help if I could ask the organisers to trim the cane a bit – if it’s 40 inches above ground I can’t see over!” (RB)††

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