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Fewer special stages, but a return to Turners Hall

For the second successive year, the Barbados Rally Club (BRC), organiser of Rally Barbados, has revised the route of the two-day event in its continuing efforts to balance retaining the appeal of the Caribbean's premier rally to overseas competitors with the importance of limiting inconvenience to the public.

For 2005, there will be 26 special stages, compared with 32 on last year's schedule; three stages have been cut from each day, allowing an earlier finish on Saturday night - by around one hour - and extended transit time between stages throughout the two days. The overall stage distance has also been cut to just over 130 kilometres (81 miles), compared with 164 kilometres last year.

Rally chairman Barry Gale said: "We have made these changes in an effort to get competitors - and our loyal marshals - to bed earlier on Saturday, as well as to minimise the inconvenience to the public who live along the route.

"I hope these are changes that will make Rally Barbados more enjoyable for all, as the organisers continue to search for improvements that raise the standard of the event . . . all in an effort to lure our overseas visitors back every year."

Once again, there is a strong entry from Europe and around the region to take on the best that Barbados can offer, in what promises to be a classic contest. Including those arriving on Wednesday from Europe on a Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747-400 for the fifth Barbados Rally Carnival, more than 150 overseas competitors have come to the island since 2001, attracted by the opportunity to combine their favourite sport with a relaxing holiday.

RB'05 (May 28/29) is rounds three and four of the new-for-2005 Texaco BRC Rally Championship, in which drivers score points only for their overall position, and not in the usual Groups. In addition, Texaco has taken up sponsorship of the Sunday Cup; initiated last year, this rewards the performance on Sunday's 12 stages of those competitors who fail to complete the Saturday route.

A total of seven special stage venues will be used this year: from the 9.00am Saturday start at Simpson Motors in Warrens, competitors will head straight for Automotive Art Shell Canefield, the popular 5.9km stage, which runs from the bottom of Hangman's Hill, turning north past the Vaucluse Raceway. Last year's route is then repeated, the next venue being DMS Sailor Gulley, the 4.5km stage running westbound.

The first change in the route comes next, with a return to the 3.6km Dark Hole stage before the first service, back at Simpson Motors. These three stages are then repeated before second service, after which the third loop will comprise just two stages, Dark Hole being missed out.

Sailor Gully starts route 2 after the lunch break, this time running east, and is following by Turners Hall (4.4km), another popular stage with spectators, although its configuration is a little different to that of the past. The loop is completed with a southbound run through Canefield, before service. This loop is then repeated, with the first car scheduled to pass through the last stage of the day at 7.50pm, compared with 9.00pm in RB'04.

The Sunday morning restart will be at 7.30am from the yard at Carrington Factory, which will also be the service area for the day. The morning route will comprise Stewarts Hill (4.2km, running west), Malvern (3.1km, running east) and DaCosta Mannings Auto Centre Kendall (8.1km, running south), each stage run twice. Special arrangements are in place for parking on the Kendall stage, and rally fans are asked to abide by the instructions given by marshals.

All three of these venues will also see action twice during the afternoon, although - unlike last year - Malvern will continue to run eastbound, while Stewarts Hill and Kendall will switch directions. The Total Sport Super Special at the Vaucluse Raceway will bring the curtain down on RB'05, with provisional results posted in the pits.

Rally Barbados 2005 is organised by the Barbados Rally Club in association with Automotive Art Shell, Banks Breweries, Da Costa Mannings Autocentre, DMS, McEnearney Quality, Simpson Motors, Texaco West Indies and Total Sport. The event is supported by Abacus Builders, The Boatyard, Nassco, SBI Distributors, Stoute's Car Rental and Williams Equipment. The Vaucluse Raceway International RallySprint is organised by the Vaucluse Raceway Motorsport Club.


Saturday, May 28
0900 Start at Simpson Motors
0912 SS1 - Automotive Art Shell Canefield North 1 5.90km
0946 SS2 - DMS Sailor Gully West 1 4.50km
1011 SS3 - Dark Hole 1 3.60km
Service - Simpson Motors
1112 SS4 - Automotive Art Shell Canefield North 2 5.90km
1146 SS5 - DMS Sailor Gully West 2 4.50km
1211 SS6 - Dark Hole 2 3.60km
Service - Simpson Motors
1312 SS7 - Automotive Art Shell Canefield North 3 5.90km
1346 SS8 - DMS Sailor Gully West 3 4.50km
Service and lunch halt - Simpson Motors
Total stage distance, route 1 38.40km

1630 SS9 - DMS Sailor Gully East 1 4.80km
1700 SS10 - Turners Hall 1 4.40km
1732 SS11 - Automotive Art Shell Canefield South 1 5.90km
Service - Simpson Motors
1848 SS12 - DMS Sailor Gully East 2 4.80km
1918 SS13 - Turners Hall 2 4.40km
1950 SS14 - Automotive Art Shell Canefield South 2 5.90km

Total stage distance, route 2 30.20km
Total stage distance, day 1 68.60km

Sunday, May 29
0730 Restart - Carrington Factory
0747 SS15 - Stewarts Hill West 1 4.20km
0813 SS16 - Malvern East 1 3.10km
0829 SS17 - DaCosta Mannings Auto Centre Kendal South 1 8.10km
Service - Carrington Factory
0932 SS18 - Stewarts Hill West 2 4.20km
0958 SS19 - Malvern East 2 3.10km
1014 SS20 - DaCosta Mannings Auto Centre Kendal South 2 8.10km
Service and lunch halt - Carrington Factory
Total stage distance, route 3 30.80km

1238 SS21 - Malvern East 3 3.10km
1258 SS22 - Stewarts Hill East 1 4.40km
Service - Carrington Factory
1352 SS23 - DaCosta Mannings Auto Centre Kendal North 1 8.10km
1417 SS24 - Malvern East 4 3.10km
1437 SS25 - Stewarts Hill East 2 4.40km
1507 SS26 - DaCosta Mannings Auto Centre Kendal North 2 8.10km

Total Sport Super Special at Vaucluse Raceway

Total stage distance, route 4 31.20km
Total stage distance, day 2 62.00km

Total overall stage distance 130.60km

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