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Barker Land Rover Racing

You'd be hard pressed to find two more friendly and enthusiastic individuals than Dad Cliff and son Sean Barker. Lively banter about all things Landy related is what you will hear in the Barker Performance workshop on the East Rand. Diffs, chassis, engines and various other Defender parts fill the workshop where even on a Saturday morning you find them at work. 

At a glance you would not say that Cliff races a Defender 110 at speeds of up to 200km/h over terrain that you and I would normally be in 2nd or third for. But true it is, and he has been at it for a few years now. For the pure love of it they endure the hardships of preparation and maintenance of a racing vehicle in pursuit of the finish line.

Privately financed and run, their BMW powered Defender 110 is a formidable force on the MSA off road car racing circuit. With a championship title under the belt and numerous victories they continue to modify and improve the Defender 110 racer. Mechanic Pierre prepares the vehicle and is in charge of maintaining it during the race events. Cliff is very hands on and is always looking for and thinking of new things to squeeze out more performance of the suspension, drive train and engine of the vehicle. He has overcome the production weaknesses of the vehicle in terms of racing, and now concentrates on the high performance issues.

It is this first hand knowledge of pushing a Land Rover beyond its limits that has allowed the Barkers to develop some serious performance accessories for Land Rovers. Both Cliff and Sean drive Land Rovers as their daily vehicles. Sean has a ruggedly kitted out Defender 130 Tdi, which is a test vehicle for many of the accessories that they have developed. Sean's 130 still carried a battle scare of a side swiped 130 load bed, evidence of a near miss on a narrow African highway on his most recent expedition. Cliff travels in more comfort with the Defender CSW 110 Tdi, and is a regular visitor to the more remote areas of our continent.  

Their accessories range comprises built for purpose and to last bullbars, fender plates, diff protectors, steering protectors, suspension upgrades and a variety of engine modifications. They have also done a lot of work on fixing broken game viewing Defenders and making significant improvements to design and longevity of these game viewers.   

Bowler Racing Land Rover Defender

 

Land Rover Racing

Gearbox failure at Barberspan 500

The yellow Defender failed to reach the finish line after the gearbox failed, putting an end to their challenge. 

Another mishap occurred while they were lying in 3rd place, with not many tracks to show the way. Cliff says, "Doing 160km down the side of the fence we missed the turn-off (a cut gate in the fence), and followed the turn in the road. We couldn't stop in time and ended up sliding into the fence" 

They were doing fine while the going was good though. But the Nissan driven by Hannes Grobler ... was faster on the straights which made it difficult to keep up.

Right now the Land Rover is completely stripped down and getting some serious modifications which have been comming for a while now. The new shocks have arrived, the gearbox is getting a make over, and they are looking to get another 15% more power out of the BMW engine.

Barker wins in Lichtenburg

The privately entered ‘Barker Performance Products’ Land Rover of Cliff Barker and Malcolm Joubert took the overall Production Category and class win in the opening round of the Off-Road Championship in Lichtenburg at the weekend, completing the course in a time of 5h39,30s

"We lost our brakes in the beginning due to barbed wire pulling off the rear brake pipes, later on we lost drive on our front wheels, but never the less we pushed hard until the end to finish a great first.” said Cliff Barker.

They ran out worthy class T winners of the Lichtenburg 400 in their BMW M3-engined Barker Performance Products Land Rover. In the process they beat the highly rated works entries from Mitsubishi (former Special Vehicle champion Buks Carolin and Hennie ter Steege in an ex-Dakar Pajero), Nissan (former champions Hannes Grobler and Richard Leeke and multiple touring car champion Giniel de Villiers and Francois Jordaan in V6 Hardbody Double Cabs) and Toyota (former champions Apie Reyneke and Robin Houghton in their Castrol Land Cruiser).

 

 

Toyota Desert 1000 race, June 2000 Botswana

The Land Rover 110 below, number E4 is a Std Defender TdI with roll cage, cut out switch, two racing seats, a couple of extra shocks, a nav computer and a COMS system, its probably one of the most standard vehicles in the race. Note it also runs on general SAG radials.

Pics by Alex Colquhoun

 

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