CLUBS COMBINE FOR ‘SUMMER SUN & STARS RALLY’ – 12 stages planned from day into night

The Barbados Rally Club (BRC) and the Motoring Club of Barbados Inc (MCBI) are pooling their resources next month to organise what will this year be titled the Summer Sun & Stars Rally on Sunday, August 29. As well as being a round of both Club’s 2015 championships, it will also host the second weekend of the Barbados Historic Rally Carnival, organised by the Vaucluse Raceway Motor Sport Club (VR-MSC).

Owing to an unprecedented number of date changes in this year’s island motor sport calendar, the BRC and MCBI found themselves set to organise tarmac rallies on consecutive weekends, an option both considered unsustainable. August 29 is the original date set for the BRC’s Summer Nights Tarmac Stages, with September 5 listed on the Barbados Motoring Federation (BMF) calendar for the MCBI’s Sun & Stars Rally.

(FILE IMAGE) BRC Chairman Mark Hamilton said: "At a recent discussion between the planning committees, it was agreed that attempting to run these two events on consecutive weekends would put unreasonable stress on our motor sport infrastructure. By combining them, I believe we can achieve greater competitor participation, reduce the workload for our marshals going into a busy time of the calendar - that is really important - but also maximize spectator interest, given the quality and quantity of competing cars, local, regional and international."

(FILE IMAGE) BRC Chairman Mark Hamilton said: “At a recent discussion between the planning committees, it was agreed that attempting to run these two events on consecutive weekends would put unreasonable stress on our motor sport infrastructure. By combining them, I believe we can achieve greater competitor participation, reduce the workload for our marshals going into a busy time of the calendar – that is really important – but also maximize spectator interest, given the quality and quantity of competing cars, local, regional and international.”

For the MCBI, David Williams said: “It’s certainly agreed that the merger of these two events makes the world of sense. The clubs will share the running costs and competitors will have just one weekend to focus their efforts on.”

(FILE IMAGE) For VR-MSC, Greg Cozier commented: "We had made the arrangement with BRC to run the Barbados Historic Rally on the same date as the Summer Nights Rally before the BMF calendar was finalised. Obviously, the BRC's rally organising resources are a huge asset to the Barbados Historic Rally specifically and the Barbados Historic Rally Carnival in general."

(FILE IMAGE) For VR-MSC, Greg Cozier commented: “We had made the arrangement with BRC to run the Barbados Historic Rally on the same date as the Summer Nights Rally before the BMF calendar was finalised. Obviously, the BRC’s rally organising resources are a huge asset to the Barbados Historic Rally specifically and the Barbados Historic Rally Carnival in general.”

Further details, including the opening and closing dates for entries, will be confirmed nearer the time and the entry list will be published after the Briefing Meeting, which is scheduled for Thursday, August 27, at the Vaucluse Raceway Clubhouse.

The Summer Sun & Stars Rally will certainly appeal to island fans, as it runs from day into night, slated for a 2.00pm start and a finish at around 10.00pm. Twelve stages are planned, heading north from the Service Park at Hopewell Plantation during the afternoon, then heading southbound in darkness.

From the start, there will be three runs each through Hangmans Hill to Canefield – these stages will run through the Vaucluse Raceway (VRW) in a much-lengthened configuration not previously used – and Dark Hole to Spring Vale; after darkness, there will be three runs each through Four Hills to French Village and Canefield to Hangmans, again including VRW.

The Barbados Historic Rally will run ahead of the modern event – a format frequently adopted in the UK – and it will include local historic entries, alongside the international crews whose cars arrived at the Bridgetown Port last week, as well as some cars that qualify for Group B, which are period cars not in period specification.

Cozier added: “I’m confident that spectators will come out in their numbers, having been starved of action during the summer break, also given the night-time stages – cooler for everyone, and the cars! – which is an aspect of rallying internationally not too common these days. Night rallying definitely brings back an historic feel to the event. We have been working hard at Vaucluse in recent weeks, creating some tricky new challenges, which will help to create a level playing field for our international visitors. We hope everyone will enjoy it.”

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