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Rally Barbados - NEW DATE 25-26 Sep 21

Posted: July 3, 2021 10:53 AM - 471 Hits


Posted: July 3, 2021 10:53 AM

Preparations for Sol Rally Barbados 2021 have changed up a gear, with confirmation of plans to return to the popular Dark Hole stage in the north of the island and a new venue for King of the Hill on the previous Sunday, although that location remains under wraps. With the event already moved from June to the new date of September 25/26 because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Barbados Rally Club (BRC) continues to work with Government bodies within the framework of the existing Covid-19 restrictions to seek to ensure the 32nd running of its premier event can go ahead as planned.

Rally Club PRO Neil Barnard said: “We have stepped up our work on the route and are about half-way to having it finalised. It will be a two-day event again, with a similar format to last year, in that both days will be spread across the island, rather than concentrating in the north or in the east. I think it will be 19, possibly 20 stages, some will be the same, some new and at least one reversed, but we’re working towards slightly more stage mileage than last year. “King of the Hill worked very well at Stewarts Hill for the last two years, but we know that there are many drivers who don’t find it as challenging as some of the venues in the past. We have looked at a number of other options and our preferred choice would be a stage configuration that has not been used before . . . and we think we have found one.”

After the inaugural King of the Hill in 2008 at Turners Hall in St Andrew, the event moved venues annually, first to Stewarts Hill in St Philip, then Sailor Gully in St Peter, before finding a more permanent home on Hangmans Hill in St Thomas. Apart from 2013, when the event moved to Luke Hill in St Lucy, Hangmans Hill was used seven times between 2011 to 2018, also taking in various configurations of the Vaucluse Raceway in the later years. In 2019, King of the Hill switched back across the island to Stewarts Hill.

The major programme of improvement and rehabilitation across the island’s road network undertaken by the Ministry of Transport, Works & Maintenance over the past months has allowed the BRC’s route-setters to consider not only returning to popular stage venues of the past – Dark Hole is the most high-profile of these – but also to look at using some new stretches of road. Barnard added: “While the Ministry’s work has improved life for residents, particularly in some rural areas, it has also been good news for rallying, as we will be able to seek permission to use some of these repaved roads. Overall, however, you can still expect fairly bumpy stages like those we have become accustomed to.”

Three-way tie for Rally Club Championship lead

Chris Hoad, Stuart Maloney and Josh Read are joint leaders of the Barbados Rally Club’s (BRC) Champion Driver title chase following the Double-Header Sprint at Bushy Park on June 4, which kicked off the second season to be delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Read also leads the 2wd Championship, while Dane Skeete heads the 4wd standings.

Although Maloney’s nephew Zane won the event in both directions, neither he nor Mark Maloney, who finished fourth and seventh, were registered for championship points. That gave Stuart maximum points on the debut of his new Skoda Fabia Rally2 Evo in the FIA R5 class, which had attracted a record entry of seven and was one of only three fully-subscribed classes. Driving his familiar Toyota Starlet, Read won SuperModified 2 and 2wd overall in both directions, while Hoad did the same in his Clubman 2 BimmaCup.
Skeete (Subaru Impreza WRC S12) finished behind Zane and Stuart Maloney in the first direction – just two-tenths covered the top three – then second to Zane in the reverse, giving him a two-point lead over Stuart in the 4wd points. With fourth and third overall, Jamaica’s Jeff Panton sits another two points adrift in his Ford Fiesta WRC, with Adam Mallalieu, who made an impressive debut in his father Andrew’s Fiesta R5, in fourth place. The 17-year-old former karting Champion is also second to Maloney in the FIA R5 class and five points ahead of the reigning Champion Roger Hill (Fabia R5).

After those first two rounds, the 2wd Championship reflects the SuperModified 2 top three precisely, Read with 30 points followed by Barry Mayers (Fiesta) and Andrew Jones (Ford Escort MkII) on 26 and 22 respectively. Fourth is Reigning Champion Driver Neil Corbin (Starlet), who leads SM1, with the lone runner in Modified 2 Jamal Brathwaite (Honda Civic Type-R) fifth and Suleman Esuf in sixth place, following the successful debut of his family team’s SM2 BMW 1M.

Sol Rally Barbados is a tarmac rally, with around 20 special stages run on the island’s intricate network of public roads; the results of King of the Hill - four timed runs on a roughly four-kilometre stage – are used to seed the running order for the main event. Both events are organised by the Barbados Rally Club, which will celebrate its 65th Anniversary in 2022; Sol RB21 marks the 14th year of title sponsorship by the Sol Group.


Posted: March 9, 2021 12:47 PM

In light of the continuing effects of the coronavirus pandemic at home and overseas, the Barbados Rally Club (BRC) has announced revised dates for Sol Rally Barbados and its associated events. Sol RB21 is now scheduled for the weekend of September 25 & 26, with Flow King of the Hill on the previous Sunday (September 19), dates which will be confirmed by the Club on June 1, if a further three months has seen significant success in the fight against Covid-19 around the world.

Some weeks after the originally-planned June date was announced last December, the pandemic grew worse both in Barbados and in the event’s major source markets, particularly the United Kingdom. The situation remains fluid, with restrictions on public gathering and travel under constant review, although vaccination programmes on both sides of the Atlantic have given rise to cautious optimism that the pandemic may be brought under control in the coming months.

In a notice to the membership and the Club’s overseas competitors issued yesterday, BRC Chairman Mark Hamilton said:
“As we are all aware, our sport continues to be impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic creating challenges in the planning and execution of events. This is primarily driven by the fluid nature of the environment and the external influences of Government Policy as they battle to bring the Pandemic under control locally, regionally and internationally.”

As for the rest of the Club’s 2021 calendar, Hamilton’s statement confirms the start of the Club’s sprint and stage rally disciplines will be delayed until the weekend of August 21/22, with a joint event to be run with the Motoring Club of Barbados Inc (MCBI). With the championship once again squeezed into a shorter time frame, there will be no ‘Shakedown Stages’, an event which was also dropped from last year’s calendar.

Hamilton added: “The remaining event dates currently listed in the Barbados Motoring Federation (BMF) Calendar after August 21 will remain as previously indicated at this time, but are subject to change after review and inter-club consultation via the BMF, as a revised calendar is structured in the coming weeks.”

Sol Rally Barbados is a tarmac rally, with around 24 special stages run on the island’s intricate network of public roads, under road closure orders granted by the Ministry of Transport, Works & Maintenance; the previous Sunday’s Flow King of the Hill, run under a similar arrangement, features four timed runs on a roughly four-kilometre stage, the results of which are used to seed the running order for the main event.

Sol Rally Barbados and Flow King of the Hill are organised by the Barbados Rally Club, which celebrated its 60th Anniversary in 2017; Sol RB21 marks the 14th year of title sponsorship by the Sol Group, the Caribbean’s largest independent oil company, and the sixth by communications provider Flow.

Event Website

Posted: March 9, 2021 12:46 PM

Topics: Rally Barbados 

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