SOL RALLY BARBADOS 2017 DATES ANNOUNCED

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SOL RALLY BARBADOS 2017 DATES ANNOUNCED

The Barbados Rally Club (BRC), which will celebrate its 60th Anniversary next year, has today (August 22) announced the dates for next year’s edition of its premier event: Sol Rally Barbados 2017 will run from Friday to Sunday, June 2-4, with Scrutineering and Flow King of the Hill the previous weekend, May 27/28. On-line entries will open on the official web site - www.rallybarbados.net – on October 1.

  Sol RB17 Chairman Mark Hamilton said: "We have made representations to the island’s governing body, the Barbados Motoring Federation, regarding the early release of our dates before the ratified BMF calendar is published, so we can give competitors time to prepare. We have been receiving a steady flow of enquiries in recent weeks, many from potential newcomers to the event.

  “While the two weekends of activity are the same as this year, slotting around school half-term holidays in the UK, there is an added bonus in 2017 - as Easter falls late, the Monday after Sol SB17 is the Whit Bank Holiday in the island, which boosts the Prizegiving at The Boatyard, as there is always an extra-special turn-out of local competitors, who might otherwise have been at work.”

  From small beginnings as the International All-Stage Rally in 1990, the BRC’s premier event has grown into the Caribbean’s biggest annual motor sport International and a key National Event on the island’s sports-tourism calendar; it contributes around Bds $4 million to the economy each year, much of it in foreign exchange, and accounts for more than 4,000 visitor nights at a traditionally quiet time.

  While the start list for Sol RB16 was a few short of the previous year, the quality was undeniably the best in the history of the event, including an entry from World Rally Championship (WRC) crew Elfyn Evans and Craig Parry in a Ford Fiesta R5 Evo, the first current WRC participants to compete in Barbados. Jamaica’s Jeff Panton and Michael Fennell Jnr (Ford Focus WRC06) claimed their second consecutive win and the third for Panton, who had been the event’s first regional winner in 1998.

  Island legend and 13-time winner Roger Skeete, co-driven in his Subaru Impreza WRC S12B by Louis Venezia, finished second, with Evans and Parry third, after two-time European Rally Champions Simon Jean-Joseph and Jack Boyere of Martinique retired from second place on Sunday morning after their Focus WRC08 suffered diff failure.

  Among the 81 overseas participants, there were 31 new to the event and a record-equalling 16 female competitors. Combining the 2016 statistics with those of previous years, the event has now hosted more than 450 overseas participants, who have travelled from 29 countries. The biggest competitor base remains the UK and Ireland, but competitors have come from as far afield as Australia, Canada, Japan, Kenya, New Zealand, South Africa and the United States, as well as mainland Europe.

  Hamilton added: “While we had expected a peak in interest for Sol RB15, as it marked the event’s 25th Anniversary, carrying that increased level of support through to this year was a real bonus. New names enquiring about the dates in recent weeks would suggest there are still a lot of competitors out there who see Sol Rally Barbados as a must-do event, but haven’t made it yet. We look forward to welcoming them.”

  Sol Rally Barbados is a tarmac rally, with around 22 special stages run on the island’s intricate network of public roads, under road closure orders granted by the Ministry of Transport & Works; the previous Sunday’s Flow King of the Hill ‘shakedown’, run under a similar arrangement, features four timed runs on a roughly three-kilometre stage, the results of which are used to seed the running order for the main event.

Rally Club congratulates 2016 British Champions Evans and Parry

Barbados Rally Club Chairman Mark Hamilton has joined others across the world of motor sport to congratulate Elfyn Evans and Craig Parry on clinching the 2016 MSA British Rally Championship, with one round to spare, in their M-Sport Ford Fiesta R5. Victory in the Ulster Rally at the weekend (August 19/20) was their fourth in six rounds, putting their total out of reach of closest rivals Tom Cave and James Morgan, also in a Fiesta R5.

  Hamilton said: “Everyone involved in Sol Rally Barbados greatly enjoyed this year’s participation by Elfyn and Craig, the first time our event had hosted a current World Rally Championship crew. They clearly enjoyed themselves, both in the car and in the bar, mixing happily with fellow competitors, marshals and spectators.

  “Winning any title with one round to spare is an achievement, and that is doubly the case here, since the revamped British Rally Championship has been so very competitive. On behalf of everyone in island motor sport, well done to Elfyn, Craig and everyone at M-Sport . . . and good luck for the rest of the WRC2 season.”

 

Sol Rally Barbados and Flow King of the Hill are organised by the Barbados Rally Club, which will celebrate its 60th Anniversary in 2017; Sol RB17 marks the 10th year of title sponsorship by the Sol Group, the Caribbean’s largest independent oil company, and the second by communications provider Flow.

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