With five more entries from the UK confirmed for Sol Rally Barbados 2017 – two from newcomers to the Barbados Rally Club’s (BRC) blue ribbon event – local drivers right through the field, not just those chasing outright victory, will be pitting their skills against visiting crews. All 15 classes now have at least one entry, with only four lacking an overseas crew, but there are more announcements to come.
As the BRC marks its 60th Anniversary, Sol RB17 will run from Friday to Sunday, June 2-4, and Flow King of the Hill, on which the seeding for the main event is based, the previous Sunday (May 28). Since entries opened on October 1 on the official web site, www.rallybarbados.net, more than 70 have been posted, two-thirds from overseas.
The first-timers are from Scotland, both having learned of the Caribbean’s biggest annual motor sport international through regulars such as Kenny Hall and Allan Mackay; indeed, James Thomson, an agricultural estate overseer from Melrose, Roxburghshire, is a near neighbour of Hall’s. Thomson was the Scottish 1300cc Champion in 1995, then won the 1400cc class in the North of England Tarmac Championship in 2014. With co-driver, fellow Scot Shaun Douglas, he will campaign his Walker Groundworks/Halltune Garage Vauxhall Nova in the Modified class. There will be around 20 supporters on hand, too, as they celebrate Hall’s 60th birthday, which falls during their Caribbean trip.
Between them, the couple have won a good number of event and year-end titles, Robin twice the Scottish Tarmac Champion (STC), while Vanessa has been top female co-driver three times in the STC. They have also rallied an MG Metro 6R4 – Robin still recalls pushing it over the Mull finish line, losing the STC title in the process – but enjoy their outings in the Sunbeam, which has now been rebuilt to original spec.