Sol Rally Barbados prize trips for Circuit of Ireland marshals
LIME, the leading telecoms provider in Barbados, has significantly stepped up its commitment to the Barbados Rally Club (BRC). A marketing partner since 2010, LIME is the new title sponsor of King of the Hill, the final shakedown before Sol Rally Barbados 2015 (May 29-31), which mark’s the 25th Anniversary of the Club’s premier event.
And, alongside the day’s on-stage action, the LIME KotH Party Stage – Powered by LIME / Banks / AA at the Vaucluse Raceway promises spectators an experience unrivalled in island motor sport. Collaborating with two other long-term sponsors of the BRC, Automotive Art and Banks Holdings, LIME is planning a day full of family competitions, product promotions and activities for the children, with an unbeatable DJ line-up to keep things lively. Food and drink will be on sale and there will also be a VIP area.
The BRC’s blue riband event has grown from small beginnings in 1990 into the region’s biggest annual motor sport International; a key player in sports-tourism, the event annually contributes in excess of Bds $4m to the island’s economy, much of it in valuable foreign exchange, and accounts for more than 4,000 visitor nights at a quieter time in the tourism year.
Head of Marketing for LIME, Rachel Pilgrim, said: “We are really looking forward to giving the island’s thousands of rally fans an unforgettable day out. Year on year, the Barbados Rally Club delivers a product that we are proud to be associated with – once again, the international interest in Sol Rally Barbados is huge, and we intend to keep our overseas visitors and local customers connected via our LIME Live Facebook page and 4G coverage over the two weekends, while enjoying an all-day Caribbean party.”
BRC Chairman Mark Hamilton added: “Our relationship with LIME has developed steadily over the past five years, so I welcome this increased partnership. They are not simply sponsors, but assist with infrastructure and promotion, coming up with new ideas and strategies to help keep the island’s many rally fans informed and engaged.”
Since first run in 2008, KotHill has been won by only four drivers: local aces Paul Bourne and Roger Skeete swapped back and forth, Bourne in 2008 & ’10, Skeete in ’09 & ’11, Skeete doubling up to win Sol RB11. England’s Paul Bird repeated the double in 2012, winning again last year, with Neil Armstrong the KotH winner in 2013.
In association with the Tourism Development Corporation (TDC), the Barbados Rally Club (BRC) is again offering two marshals at the Circuit of Ireland (April 2-4) a once-in-a-lifetime chance to enjoy Sol Rally Barbados. The prize includes return flights from London Gatwick on Virgin Atlantic Airways, accommodation and a shared rental car.
Winner Steve Reeves, who bought a second ticket last year so wife Pauline could share the prize, has really caught the Caribbean bug: “The trip was excellent, the atmosphere is superb. It was so good that, shortly after we arrived home, we booked a return trip, another two weeks and staying at the same hotel. We’re really looking forward to it!”
The prizes paid off for Irish marshalling, too. Reeves added: “Before last year’s Circuit, the last time that I had marshalled was in the ’70s. But, since then, I’ve marshalled at a lot of events and am now a certified fire marshal. I’m doing all three days at the Circuit this year, and Pauline is going to marshal for the first time.” Fellow-winner Jason Jackson echoed his thoughts: “Last year’s Circuit was my first time marshalling, but I’ve marshalled at other events as a result and I’m back at the Circuit again this year.”
With a traditional Easter date, ‘The Circuit’ is one of the world’s oldest rallies – it first ran in 1931; last year, it attracted nearly 74,000 spectators and is a round of the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC) and the FIA ERC Junior Championship.
Eurosport will broadcast the event, expecting viewership of more than 14 million globally, while British actor Idris Elba (star of the 2013 film Mandela – Long Walk to Freedom), will attract further coverage, competing in Ireland for a new documentary series, to be broadcast on the Discovery Channel across more than 220 countries.
BRC Chairman Mark Hamilton said: “Our six-year association with the TDC has helped us promote our event, and Barbados as a destination, to Ireland with huge success. We are two islands with rallying at the heart of our culture, so there is a natural fit, and motor sport is the same – without our unpaid volunteers, our sport would be lost.”
Circuit of Ireland Event Director Bobby Willis added: “Marshals are the unsung heroes of our sport and it’s fantastic that our friends in the beautiful island of Barbados have offered this superb prize to our rally.”