Meet the Co-Drivers: Philip Barnes
No matter how experienced a driver might be behind the wheel, it never hurts to have nearly four decades of experience in the co-driver’s seat. That’s what Sidewaz Rally’s Greg Healey will benefit from later this month as Rally Colorado, as Philip Barnes returns to partner with Healey once again in their Datsun 280z.
It won’t be Barnes’ first time in the car at a Rally America event this season, though; he finished fifth in the Open class at Rally in the 100 Acre Wood in March sitting alongside Michael Waterhouse in his 1990 Eagle Talon. Today, it’s Barnes’ turn to give us some insight on his career so far:
What made you want to start rallying?
I’ve always been a “car guy”. I’m also a very meticulous individual. I started doing TSD rallies because I liked the precision involved in being somewhere at exactly the right time. That got a bit tame after a while and I was drawn to higher-speed night TSD events. It was a short step to full-on stage rallies.
When was your first event and how did you do?
My first stage rally as a competitor, and driver, was STPR in 1980. We slid off in the mud on Stage 4 and that was the end of the adventure.
When was your first really memorable result—win or podium—and how did you get there?
The first top-ten finish was years and years ago at an event in Canada, and we were the best-placed US crew.
Do you prefer to work with a single driver or multiple drivers?
I have ridden with many drivers over the years. I prefer to co-drive for a few drivers regularly. It helps me hone my skills, seeing how each driver sees the road and wants to hear the notes.
What’s your favorite event on the Rally America schedule?
Of the current Rally America events, I like 100 Acre Wood. It’s been on my list to run it for many years and I finally got to do it this year. I was not disappointed, and we had a good result. Of course, we’ll be doing Rally Colorado soon, and I’m looking forward to those roads, too.
Do you have any pre-event routines?
No rituals. Get organized, be rested, and relax.
Which other co-drivers in the sport do you respect the most?
I respect my friend Jimmy Brandt. He’s very experienced and has a wealth of knowledge.