ENTRIES OPEN FOR SOL RALLY BARBADOS 2011

Expanded incentive programme for International crews 

Nearly 180 International competitors - more than twice the potential recipients this year - could benefit from an expanded incentive programme being offered by the Barbados Rally Club (BRC) for Sol Rally Barbados 2011, the Caribbean's biggest annual international celebration of motor sport, scheduled for the weekend of June 4/5.

 Entries opened on-line this week at the official web site - www.rallybarbados.bb - which has been refreshed to enable easier navigation; the Additional Supplementary Regulations (ASRs) have been posted, along with the Overseas Competitor Information Document, which details not only the package on offer, but also provides background on flights, accommodation and car rental. Available as pdf downloads, both documents can be found on the home page.

 For the 20th Anniversary of the inaugural running of the Club's International All-Stage Rally in 2010, the Club offered an incentive package to European competitors who had loyally supported the event, helped it grow in stature and helped build its character; such was the success of that programme that it has been expanded for 2011.

 While first-timers will pay the standard entry and shipping package from Europe of US$2,600 per car, the real costs of which are already subsidised by the BRC by around 35 per cent, those who have participated before will enjoy further discounts ranging from around 10 to nearly 40 per cent.

 Putting the programme into perspective, Sol Rally Barbados Chairman Barry Gale said: "When we offered reduced rates to our loyal International visitors, part encouragement to return, part a celebration of the contribution those very clubmen had made towards the event's success over the last 20 years, the feedback was tremendous . . . so good, in fact, that we decided to maintain tiered entry fees for 2011!"

 English BMW ace Martin Stockdale stands out among the 76 European competitors who have taken part more than once, having competed on the island for the past 10 years; Scotland's Graeme Finlayson has been nine times (including driving the Zero Car in 2002) and fellow-countryman Kenny Hall eight, with another 30 having rallied in the island more than three times.

 While this year's discounts were offered only to those who had competed twice or more, the 2011 programme includes those who would only be making their second trip, which opens the scheme up to another 100 competitors: they will benefit from a US$250 discount, at the start of a rising scale through two visits (US$500 discount) and three (US$750 discount) to four or more, for which the US$1000 discount represents around 38 per cent of the standard package.

 Of the general plans for the 22nd running of the Club's premier event, Gale added: "Our mission has always been to better the event year-on-year with small, evolving improvements, rather than big experiments, so much so that my own (somewhat clichéd) expression 'the best Rally Barbados yet' is now a goal, rather than a statement of past performance. We aim for constant improvement, all the while retaining the features that make the event so special, and 2011 will be no exception."

 Over the four-month period that on-line entries were open, Sol Rally Barbados 2010 was oversubscribed by almost 20 per cent, something which caught Gale and the rest of the BRC's management team off guard: "To be honest, the level of support surprised us, given the difficult times in which we have all been living; clearly, we must be getting something right! One thing I'll admit we did fall down on was the date - by sticking with the last weekend in May, we lost one or two regular supporters, for whom UK school holidays play an important part in the decision to compete. We have consulted all the right people this time, and have been assured that the dates fit perfectly."

 Sol Rally Barbados 2011 will take place on Saturday and Sunday, June 4/5, with Scrutineering and the Shell V-Power King of the Hill 'shakedown' the previous weekend, May 28/29.

 From small beginnings in 1990 as a one-day rally for around 30 local competitors, Rally Barbados - it was renamed in 2003 - has grown into the Caribbean's biggest annual international motor sport event, attracting as many as 90 crews, one-third of them from overseas. It is one of the strongest sporting brand names in the region, particularly for visitors from Europe, and a major contributor to the island's tourism product and foreign exchange earnings.

Sol Rally Barbados and Shell V-Power King of the Hill are organised by the Barbados Rally Club, which celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2007; Sol RB2011 is the 22nd running of the Club's annual International All-Stage Rally and marks the start of a second three-year term of title sponsorship by the Sol Group, the Caribbean's largest independent oil company.

 

For further media information: e-mail - robin@bradfax.com

web site: www.rallybarbados.bb