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At a glance

New for 2019
• Sol RB19 is the first edition of the BRC’s premier event to run with the RallySafe event management system, which the Club rolled out for the first time at its Shakedown Stages in April. Developed in Australia and deployed on all rounds of the World Rally Championship (WRC), RallySafe provides a comprehensive rally management system, with live timing and vehicle tracking, bringing increased efficiencies in timing, communication, results delivery and safety. Fans will be able to follow more timely results on all of our social media platforms . . .

• Friday’s three stages from Golden Grove in to Bushy Park Barbados will present the toughest challenge since the event added the opening night-time stages in 2014; at 18.75km, they account for 15 per cent of the total distance, half as much again as the two Diamond Corner stages in Sol RB17 . . .

• the SuperSpecial at the Vaucluse Raceway will add a traditional feel to Sol RB19, as the Finish of the BRC’s premier event returns to the St Thomas facility for only the second time since 2007. While the 2kms stage will be timed – class awards will be presented - it will not play a part in the results of Sol RB19, although crews must start the SuperSpecial to be classified as overall finishers . . . • Sagicor has come on board as an event partner and will sponsor the extremely popular Kendal Special Stage, which will run three times on Sunday, at 5.6kms the longest of the day. Sagicor will also have a presence at the Rally Show . . .

• MQI has stepped up its involvement with the event through sponsorship of Car Zero, a Bimma Cup car, to be driven by Nigel Reece, with Daryl Clarke as co-driver. This vehicle plays a vital safety role on the event and we are pleased that a driver and former race offcial of Nigel’s experience will be involved and doubly pleased that, a year on from his dreadful accident, we are able to welcome Daryl back to rallying as a dedicated member of our organising team in a safety capacity. For the second year, the local dealer will also present the BMW Challenge Trophy to the crew of the highest-placed BMW, claimed in Sol RB18 by Rhett Watson and Bradley Weekes, who finished seventh overall . . .

• over the past three weeks, the BRC has been running a promotion backed by the Tourism Development Corporation with Autosport, Britain’s leading motor sport magazine, targetting its UK-based on-line Autosport Plus subscribers. Rob Kennedy from Wales is the lucky winner of return flights for two on Virgin Atlantic from London Gatwick, 12 nights at Turtle Beach by Elegant Resorts and a rental car for the duration, so he can enjoy the full-on Sol RB19 experience of sun, sea and rallying . . .

• following a thorough revamp at the hands of local graphic design company, 809 Design Associates, the new Sol Rally Barbados web site enjoyed went live in February. In addition to a fresh new look, bold imagery and much-simplified navigation, the site has also offered on-line payment of entry fees and other charges for the first time, a move welcomed by both local and overseas competitors. The web site was built by another local business, Caribbean New Media, which also hosts it . . .

• the BRC’s Vehicle Regulations have entered a new three-year cycle, 2019 to 2021. Key changes to the class structure for Sol RB19 are these: there is now a single class for WRC cars; a new class for FIA R5 cars has been introduced; in two-wheel-drive, SuperModified 3 (formerly for cars over 2000cc) is no longer, replaced for most of those previous competitors by Modified 3 . . .

• in addition to the technical changes, the BRC’s Championship Regulations have been modified, with the end of the ‘two-thirds’ rule. This allowed local crews that were not overall finishers to earn class points, provided they had completed two-thirds of the number of stages run . . .

Rally schedule – summary:
• Friday: three stages from Golden Grove to Bushy Park Barbados
• Saturday: 10 stages at three venues
• Sunday: 10 stages at four venues, with Final SuperSpecial Stage & Rally Finish at the Vaucluse Raceway
• total stage distance – 124.67km

Random stats from the provisional entry list:
• 100 crews listed (the most since Sol RB12, when 99 of the 108 on the provisional entry list started the first day)
• participants from 14 countries (including host nation Barbados)
• more than 40 overseas crews for the fifth consecutive year
• 80 overseas drivers or co-drivers, 19 new to the event
• a record-equalling 22 female competitors, four new to the event
• 56 local crews
• cars from 16 manufacturers, BMW best-represented with 24, followed by Ford (22), Toyota (13) and Mitsubishi (8)

For media information only. No regulatory value.

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