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International Rally Drivers Club supports Sol RB17

The Barbados Rally Club (BRC) will kick off a new campaign to attract more overseas spectators to its premier event, Sol Rally Barbados, at Europe's largest motor sport show, Autosport International (ASI). Supported by the island’s Tourism Development Corporation (TDC), the Club has partnered with tour specialists Rally Travel to offer Official Spectator Packages for 2017, which will be launched at ASI (January 12-15), where Sol RB will exhibit for the first time.

  In the BRC’s 60th Anniversary year, Sol RB17, the Caribbean’s biggest annual motor sport International, will run from Friday to Sunday, June 2-4, with Scrutineering and Flow King of the Hill the previous weekend, May 27/28. More than 40 entries have been received on-line at www.rallybarbados.net, including 35 International crews, with at least 10 first-timers already on the list; entries remain open until early May 2017.

  Rally Travel (www.rallytravel.com) has a loyal customer base of knowledgeable and enthusiastic rally fans from all over the world, always keen to experience the sport in new locations. Sol RB will be the UK company’s only non-WRC offering, with two options available: the five-night Escorted Tour includes VIP access to all three days of Sol RB17, plus the Monday Prizegiving, while the 11-night offering encompasses Scrutineering and Flow KotH the previous weekend, along with a special excursions during the week.

  Managing Director David Hutchinson says: “Sol Rally Barbados can, and should, become a 'must do' event on every motor sport fan's calendar. The enthusiasm for the sport and the event across the island is incredible, and what better way to experience a rally than standing in the sunshine with a beer (or rum!) in hand surrounded by beautiful scenery and just a few minutes from some of the best beaches in the Caribbean.

  “The nature of the event, encompassing a week-long festival of rallying, offers fans a uniquely immersive experience which can not be rivalled on the world championship. Guests will feel they have become part of the event itself, with access to activities usually off-limits to fans in the WRC such as scrutineering, team workshop visits, pre-event social and media functions with the drivers, VIP viewing areas and the legendary Sol Rally Barbados Prizegiving party!

  "With competing cars running at 30-second intervals, there's never a dull moment, making for a more 'action-packed' spectating experience than many events in the UK and Europe." Full details can be found at www.rallytravel.com, while fans looking for a more tailor-made package can e-mail the Rally Travel team at info@rallytravel.com.

  There will also be Rally Travel personnel helping to staff the Sol Rally Barbados stand at ASI, with the island team headed up by BRC Competition Secretary Neil Corbin. ASI runs for four days: the two trade days last year attracted 27,500 industry professionals, including competitors, from 60 countries, while the two public days over the weekend bring in another more than 60,000 people, fans and spectators.

  Sol RB Chairman Mark Hamilton is enthusiastic about the new venture: “The Rally Club has been keen to grow the numbers of overseas spectators at Sol Rally Barbados for many years. From our last audit, we know that there is a sound base of visitors from the region and further afield, supporting friends and family – we have logged up more than 4,000 tourist nights each year in recent times – but we are keen to reach those not directly associated and introduce the event and the island to a whole new market.

  “We have run successful ‘Rally to Barbados’ promotions with the TDC since 2012 and are delighted that they are supporting our new partnership with Rally Travel, as we all share the same objectives of putting ‘bums in beds’.”

International Rally Drivers Club supports Sol RB17

The International Rally Drivers Club (IRDC) is helping to promote Sol Rally Barbados 2017 through its quarterly magazine IRDC Quattro. Following a preliminary feature in September, more space was devoted to the event in the latest issue, published in mid-December, with further coverage committed for March and June.

  The IRDC has its origins in the Monte Carlo Rally British Competitors Club, founded in 1931 to protect and promote the interests of competitors making the annual pilgrimage to the Mediterranean. Having first morphed into the British International Rallies Club in the 1960s, reflecting the wider interests of UK competitors, by then also travelling to events in Africa and across Europe, the current IRDC was established in 1969.

  The Club’s coat of arms retains the original 1930s design – the flags of Britain and Monaco, wheel chains and snow shovels – while the Latin motto is Per Ardua Ad Solem, which translates as ‘Through Adversity to the Sun’. Chairman Shaun Martin said: “We’re delighted to help spread the word about Sol Rally Barbados, as we know many of your regular visitors through our involvement at Goodwood, all of whom have high praise for the event. And the Club motto seems very appropriate, too!”

  The IRDC’s President is Jimmy McRae and Vice-Presidents Gwyndaf Evans, John Haugland and Malcolm Wilson, while Martin heads up an active club with a worldwide membership, which has a major presence on the UK rallying scene at events such as the Goodwood Festival of Speed, Rallyday at Castle Combe and Wales Rally GB.


Sol Rally Barbados (June 2-4, 2017) and Flow King of the Hill (May 28) 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.

Photo Credit: Nicholas Bhajan Photography

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