What's new for Sol Rally Barbados 2009

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What's new for Sol Rally Barbados 2009

Shell V-Power King of the Hill: both the day and venue for this vital 'shakedown' the previous weekend have been changed. From Saturday last year, the event has been switched to Sunday (May 24), while the venue will be the popular Stewart's Hill stage in St Philip, which is not included in Sol Rally Barbados. Service will be based at the Windward Cricket Club, which will also be the venue for the evening Prizegiving.

Ceremonial Start: the Ceremonial Start at Simpson Motors on Friday, May 29, reflects the format of the World Rally Championship and will provide the best chance yet for fans to mingle with competitors in the final hours before the action. There will be a brief formal opening, including an official welcome for overseas visitors from the Minister of Transport the Rt Hon John Boyce, after which each crew will pass over the purpose-built start ramp in order of seeding and stop for interviews and photo opportunities. The evening also offers a better environment for the media to meet crews than the bustle of last-minute preparations on Saturday morning.

Overseas competitor comfort zone 1: two of this year's innovations are aimed directly at supporting overseas visitors. Divi Southwinds Beach Resort in St Lawrence Gap, Christ Church, is the designated Rally HQ, with a Rally Office open from Monday, May 18, until the day after the last overseas competitors leave. A large number of European teams and media attendees are staying at the hotel, which is also the venue for the Media Conference, Briefing Meeting and Welcome Party.

Overseas competitor comfort zone 2: in addition, a central workshop has been established to accommodate crews which do not already enjoy a working relationship with friends or businesses in the island. With support from McEnearney Quality, which has hosted many crews in its Wildey premises, this nearby stand-alone facility will provide a secure environment for the storage of cars, access to knowledgeable local engineers and mechanics, and to infrastructure that it is impossible, particularly for smaller teams, to replicate when competing overseas. As it is not a working area for the dealership, it will be easy for teams to come and go during the day, which means it can also be used as a gathering point. MQI will continue to provide support from its main facility, should any more major work be required, such as collision repair.

On-line entries: for the first time, the exclusive method of entering Rally Barbados was through the on-line entry form on the official web site (www.rallybarbados.bb). After a major winter upgrade, the web site offered an enhanced on-line entry and payment system, plus download of documentation, alongside its role as an key element of the marketing strategy. Each competitor has received an automatic confirmation of receipt of the entry, while an alert was sent to members of the Sol RB09 Executive Committee, to enable them promptly to follow up any issues arising.

Media enquiries: e-mail - robin@bradfax.com
web site - www.rallybarbados.bb

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