Bjorn Waldegard and Kris Meeke confirmed for RB08

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Bjorn Waldegard and Kris Meeke confirmed for RB08

SOL RALLY BARBADOS: SPONSORSHIP CONFIRMED

World-class stars Waldegard and Meeke top the overseas entry

 

The Barbados Rally Club (BRC) and the Sol Group, the Caribbean's largest independent oil company, have confirmed a three-year agreement, which will see them work closely together to expand the Club's premier annual event - it will now be known as Sol Rally Barbados - and to promote it even more vigorously, both in the region and worldwide.

 

When they addressed a media conference at the Hilton Hotel, just outside the island's capital Bridgetown, this morning (April 29), the principals of both organisations were up-beat about the future . . . not least because the overseas contingent for the first event to be run under its new title, over the weekend of May 31/June 1, will be led by two popular and well-known world-class drivers competing in Barbados for the first time.

 

The first-ever World Rally Champion, Sweden's Bjorn Waldegard - he won the title in 1979 - will drive a Porsche 911, while one of rallying's brightest hopes for the future, Ireland's Kris Meeke, will campaign a Toyota Corolla World Rally Car. Although final details are unconfirmed, the BRC anticipates an overseas entry of nearly 30 cars.

 

Sol Executive Director Stewart Gill stated: "Sol is proud to be partnering with the Barbados Rally Club in the sponsorship of Sol Rally Barbados 2008. This sponsorship of the rally is a continuation of our long association with motor sport. We believe in Barbados and in the sport and it is our belief that there is definitely a great synergy between motor sport and Sol."

 

Mark Hamilton, Chairman of the Barbados Rally Club, added: "This agreement with Sol is the largest single sponsorship deal in the history of the Barbados Rally Club, which celebrated its 50th Anniversary last year; it marks a really positive start to our second half-century. Sol's commitment over a three-year period has given the Club the security it needed to develop plans for steady growth in the scope and stature of Rally Barbados, as the event approaches its 20th Anniversary in 2010. All of us in the Club look forward to working with Sol to maximise the benefits this arrangement can bring, not only for ourselves, but for motor sport in the island and wider Caribbean."

 

In addition to title sponsorship of Rally Barbados, Sol will also be backing a new BRC event the previous weekend through its major brand name in the region; the Shell V-Power King of the Hill will run on Saturday, May 24, as a prelude to the 'main event'. This HillSprint will double as a qualifying round of the Club's newly-created Sprint Championship and as a 'shakedown' for overseas competitors in advance of Sol Rally Barbados - a top-class entry is anticipated.

 

From small beginnings in 1991 as a one-day rally for 30 or so local competitors, Rally Barbados 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. Sol Rally Barbados and Shell V-Power King of the Hill are elements of the eighth Barbados Rally Carnival.

 

Each day of Sol Rally Barbados, organised by the Barbados Rally Club, is a separate qualifying round of the BRC Rally Championship. The title sponsor is Sol and associate sponsors and marketing partners are McEnearney Quality, Simpson Motors, Automotive Art, Banks Holdings, DaCosta Mannings Auto Centre, Digicel, Nassco, Consolidated Finance, Virgin Atlantic Airways, Crane & Equipments, Little Switzerland, Armag, the Barbados Hotel & Tourism Association and the Barbados Tourism Authority.

 

For further information:

Barbados Rally Club - robin@bradfax.com

The Sol Group - Osmond Henry - Osmond@red.bb

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