Freddie Mapp

Freddie Mapp

A fearless, gifted driver and resourceful engineer

Superlative, St George is where many a Ford Escort has been honed to perfection for racetrack or rally stage over the past 25 years, in the workshops of talented mechanic Freddie Mapp . . . but it is not only for his engineering prowess that Mapp will be remembered.

From the late 1970s into the early ‘80s, Mapp was one of the island’s most popular drivers, and a fearless competitor in a variety of spectacular MkI and MkII Escorts in rallies and speed events. He was also an inspiration to others, including Roger Skeete; looking back on his own early days in the sport, Skeete says: “As far as I was concerned, Freddie Mapp was a real motivating force – I remember him at Redland with his Escort on racing tyres.”

Mapp’s cars did not always complete events in the same shape in which they started, but he could usually pursuade even the most battered car to continue. A dominant force in events run by both the Barbados Rally Club and the Motoring Club, he won the latter’s Driver of the Year title in 1984, earning himself a trip to the UK to visit the Silverstone racetrack, home of the British Grand Prix.

With regular co-driver and fellow Committee member Chris Alleyne, Mapp was also among those Club members who rallied in Trinidad in the early 1980s, where his skill and resourcefulness as an engineer was a valuable component of many a driver’s ability to reach the end of a rally. He took a self-imposed break from driving thereafter, to concentrate on the business of building and preparing competition cars, but he was tempted back in the early 1990s, competing in speed events and the Club’s Banks Super Sprint series at Bushy Park.

He also tried circuit racing, briefly, both in Guyana in 1991, then at home in the final two race meetings at Bushy Park in 1994 . . . but the demands of preparing cars for his loyal customers often meant that his own machine would be left until last. Even so, as he said at the time: “I’m not afraid of the opposition . . . never was.”

In recent years, he proved his talent behind the wheel has not been lost as a race-winner at the re-opened Bushy Park, and has also helped provide willing local service crews for European teams on Rally Barbados, in particular the four-wheel-drive Ford Fiesta of John Hardman, and his Welsh army of MkII Ford Escorts . . . with which Mapp, of course, felt very much at home.

barbados website development and hosting by