CEREMONIAL START FOR SOL RALLY BARBADOS 2017

The Barbados Rally Club (BRC) has confirmed the return of a Ceremonial Start for Sol Rally Barbados 2017, to be presented at Sol Warrens. After being introduced to the media and spectators on crossing the start ramp, crews will immediately transit to the Special Stages scheduled in the north of the island.

As the BRC celebrates its 60th Anniversary, Sol RB17 will run from Friday to Sunday, June 2-4, with 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, nearly 70 have been posted, around two-thirds from overseas.

The organising committee is still fine tuning the detail, but the first car is scheduled to leave the Ceremonial Start at 8:30 pm, with crews required to be on site for a period of time before they depart, giving the media an opportunity for interviews and island fans the chance to mingle and offer their well-wishes for the tough hours ahead.

(FILE IMAGE) Sol RB Chairman Mark Hamilton said: “This will be our second use of a Ceremonial Start, which was last staged outside Simpson Motors in 2009 … but this will be a far more serious affair. Last time, it worked well to help build the hype for the Saturday morning start, but this time around competitors will be heading straight from Warrens to the north of the island to tackle the event’s first stages in darkness.”

In 2009, Ireland’s Kris Meeke and Paul Nagle led the 88 crews – a record number in the event’s 20-year history – over the purpose-built start ramp, the prelude to their second consecutive Sol RB victory; they went on to clinch that season’s Intercontinental Rally Challenge for Peugeot, and are now three-time winners in the World Rally Championship for Citroen.

The updated version of the Sol RB FAQ document is now posted to the official web site – www.rallybarbados.net. Available as a PDF download from the home page, it includes information on accommodation and vehicle rental for competitors, shipping and safe storage of their vehicles and an outline of the provisional schedule. For the first time, the document includes a detailed explanation of the insurance arrangements for the two events, which will also be of interest to local competitors.

Following Friday’s late-night action, Saturday is scheduled to start later than last year – nine stages are planned at three venues – with a 10.00am start on Sunday, when a further 10 stages planned for four venues will bring the total stage distance to around 130 kilometres.

The social programme has been expanded to include ‘Jonesy and Lindsey’s Mystery Rum Shop Island Tour‘ on Monday, May 29, with the following evening’s Welcome Party combined with the Fish Fry & Pig Roast. This will now take place at Bushy Park Barbados in St Philip, which was confirmed as the new home of ‘Rally Central’ last month, with the Briefing Meeting on Wednesday, May 31 in the Conference Centre of the Accra Beach Hotel & Spa, Christ Church, which is again the event’s Rally HQ Hotel Partner.

(FILE IMAGE) Sol Rally Barbados (June 2-4, 2017) and Flow King of the Hill (May 28) are organised by the Barbados Rally Club, which celebrates its 60th Anniversary in 2017; Sol RB17 marks the 10th year of title sponsorship by the Sol Group, the Caribbean’s largest independent oil company, and the second by communications provider Flow.

Finally, the Prizegiving will take place at The Boatyard, Bay Street, in the island’s capital, Bridgetown, on Monday, June 5, once the Results have been declared Official; a huge local turn-out expected, as it falls on the Whit Monday Bank Holiday, which is still celebrated in Barbados.

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