FAN FAVOURITES HEAD FOR SOL RALLY BARBADOS 2017

Fan favourites and familiar faces from overseas are among the more than 30 entries already received on-line for Sol Rally Barbados 2017. Organised by the Barbados Rally Club (BRC), which will celebrate its 60th Anniversary next year, Sol RB17 will run from Friday to Sunday, June 2-4, with Scrutineering and Flow King of the Hill the previous weekend, May 27/28.

As entry numbers rise steadily, there is support across the board for the BRC’s various classifications, with seven entries posted by first-time visitors; all but one of the 16 classes to be contested has attracted at least one entry, with Group A currently the strongest class, with seven crews, all from overseas. Entries opened on October 1 and will remain open until early May 2017.

While he failed to match last year’s ‘stage one win‘ – his had been the first entry for Sol RB16 posted on-line at www.rallybarbados.net mere seconds after the entry form went live – Scotland’s Allan Mackay and his Beatson’s Building Supplies Ford Anglia WRC are already listed for their eighth consecutive trip across the Atlantic. His crowd-pleasing showmanship in the legendary Anglia – the acronym stands for Well-Run Car – has earned him huge kudos in the island, but it has not stood in the way of results.

He has twice won SuperModified 10, once on the way to his best overall finish, 26th in 2014, but the amalgamation of SM10 and SM11 into the new SM2 as part of the restructuring of the BRC’s Vehicle Regulations for 2016-18 made a hat-trick of class wins this year unlikely. A broken throttle cable on Saturday meant he failed to achieve an overall finish for the first time since his first visit in 2010, but he and local co-driver Andrew Croney went on to finish seventh in the Sunday Cup.

Mackay has enjoyed his most successful outings in Barbados with Northern Ireland’s ‘Mad’ Mo Downey alongside him, reading the pacenotes while waving the distinctive Saltire, the Flag of Scotland, at all available opportunities; no co-driver is yet confirmed for Sol RB17, however.

Fellow Scot Kenny Hall will be making his 15th visit to rally in Barbados, while co-driver Fenny Wesselink from the Netherlands will be on her 12th trip to compete; both have also taken family holidays in the island outside rally season, their combined total of visits now nudging 40. After three class wins in an Opel Corsa, the four-time Scottish class champion has not enjoyed the same success since he debuted his ex-works Ford Puma in 2010, when a wrong-slot in the Simpson Motors Super Special, the event's final stage, handed his almost certain class victory to Jamal Brathwaite in a Mitsubishi Colt.

Fellow Scot Kenny Hall will be making his 15th visit to rally in Barbados, while co-driver Fenny Wesselink from the Netherlands will be on her 12th trip to compete; both have also taken family holidays in the island outside rally season, their combined total of visits now nudging 40. After three class wins in an Opel Corsa, the four-time Scottish class champion has not enjoyed the same success since he debuted his ex-works Ford Puma in 2010, when a wrong-slot in the Simpson Motors Super Special, the event’s final stage, handed his almost certain class victory to Jamal Brathwaite in a Mitsubishi Colt.

Problems have intervened since then, even in 2015, when he finished third in Modified 6, only for the gearbox to shatter on the very last stage. He limped to the start of the Bushy Park Super Special, however, so did earn an overall classification. Last year, he claimed second in M6 once again, this time behind Neil Corbin’s Toyota Starlet, who is moving up to SM1 for 2017, which might open the door for a first class win in the island for the Halltune Garage/F & Co Hair Stylists/Sporting Pig Sports Bar & Restaurant/Time Out Hotel Puma.

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