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The countdown is on for the Caribbean's biggest annual motorsport event

Preparations for Rally Barbados 2006 changed up a gear yesterday (April 3) with the publication of regulations by the organisers, the Barbados Rally Club (BRC). Entries opened on the same day and will close on Friday, April 28, a four-week window of opportunity for competitors to enter the Caribbean’s biggest annual motor sport event.

This year’s 17th running of the BRC’s blue riband event is scheduled for the first weekend of June; as last year, there will be a preliminary shakedown stage on Thursday (June 1) to allow overseas competitors a brief chance to familiarise themselves with the terrain, with the event itself being run on Saturday and Sunday (June 3/4). The prize-giving will follow on the Bank Holiday Monday (June 5).

Continuing the format of recent years, RB’06 is the second of the two events which will make up the sixth annual Barbados Rally Carnival; the Vaucluse Raceway International RallySprint will run off the previous weekend.

Chairman of the RB’06 organising committee Barry Gale said: “Our planning meetings have been taking place since soon after last year’s rally was completed, but this week marks the start of the final countdown. “We are already aware of some keen interest in the event from overseas; from what we know, RB’06 will bring some familiar faces back to Barbados – but not necessarily in familiar machinery - and also introduce some new competitors to our enthusiastic fans.”

Although the full details of the rally schedule will not be published until early May, Gale did note that two-day closed-road RB’06 will be run to a similar format to that of previous years, but with each day’s route compacted slightly. He noted: ”As we did last year, we have again looked carefully at each day’s route, and the impact the event has on residents in the area – we have made some more changes to the route to cut down the time we close the roads for, but we have lost less than eight per cent of our total stage mileage.”

This Sunday (April 9), the BRC is running its Carnival Warm-up Tarmac Rally, slated for a 9.00am start from McEnearney Quality Inc’s premises in Wildey. The rally consists of 12 stages at two venues - Woodland Plantation to Featherbed Lane and Mapps to Stewarts Hill – both of which will run in the reverse direction after lunch.

Gale commented: “Sunday’s rally is important to us, not only as a round of our Texaco BRC Rally Championship, but it also provides a good opportunity for our senior officials and marshalling force to work together again after a long break. Although not identical, the stages we are using are similar to those in Rally Barbados, so it is an ideal shakedown for everyone.”

New web site on-line
The Rally Barbados web site has been completely redesigned to keep the many thousands of motor sport fans worldwide who follow the event better informed. Just go on-line and find www.rallybarbados.bb for all the latest news and, closer to the time, rally schedule and entry list.

The site has been designed by GeoOrbis (www.GeoOrbis.com), a Barbados-based company which provides satellite imagery, GIS consulting, vehicle tracking, real estate virtual tours and web site development regionally and internationally.

"We were thrilled to provide web site design and development for the Rally Barbados web site. The project manager, designer and programmer are all hard-core enthusiasts as well as competitors", says Sean Chandler of GeoOrbis.
"Without disclosing too much, we are working on providing stage results during the event, in more than one format if possible. Anyone visiting the site right now can see that the photos are presented in an unique way, allowing for larger, brighter photos than ever before."

"We have also made it very easy for the Rally Barbados committee to update the site by adding regulations, photos, entry forms, press releases, spectator information and stage maps."

For further information:
e-mail - robin@bradfax.com
web sites - www.rallybarbados.bb; www.barbadosrallycarnival.com

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