“SOL RALLY BARBADOS 2017” At a glance…

• ‘Rally Central‘ will now be located in the Pits at Bushy Park Barbados, as the former Banks Brewery building at Wildey, where it has been located for the past four years, is no longer available. Rally Central is the storage and service facility which accommodates most international and some regional competitors, providing a secure location in which the cars are stored once they are released from the Bridgetown Port. While all the previous components remain in place – the office, 24-hour security, storage and washrooms – the new location provides an enhanced package, as there will be also be track time available for testing.

• the Simpson Motors Rally Show on Saturday, May 27th (2:00 to 6:00 pm), will provide island fans with unrivalled access to local, regional and international competitors in a relaxed atmosphere in the spacious grounds of Simpson Motors, Warrens. Pre-event Technical Scrutineering, which has formerly taken place on this day, will be completed in advance, so cars and their drivers will no longer be a moving target. Full details will be confirmed soon, but expect a mix of competitions, cultural entertainment and Driver Meet & Greet sessions, with concessions offering a variety of cuisines

• while the Ceremonial Start at Sol Warrens on Friday, June 2nd (9.00pm), is not in itself a new concept – there was a similar event in 2009 – this year, it will lead straight in to the first two timed stages of Sol RB17. Once crews have been flagged away, they will transit north for two runs through a seven-kilometre stage at Diamond Corner

• the finish of Sol RB17 returns to Bushy Park Barbados in St Philip, where a technical two-kilometre layout, taking in elements of the full circuit, kart links and the bridge, will be the final timed stage of the event. Once finished, the cars will head up to The Hill to meet up with service crew, supporters and rally fans for the After-Party

Rally schedule

• for the first time, the average stage length will exceed six kilometres
• Friday: Ceremonial Start, following by two stages
• Saturday: 10 stages at three venues
• Sunday: 10 stages at four venues, finishing at Bushy Park Barbados
• total stage distance – 132.70km

Random statsentries:

• 93 crews listed on the provisional entry list
• participants from a record 17 countries (including host nation Barbados)
• 44 overseas crews (second only to 45 in 2015)
• 70 International drivers or co-drivers, 26 new to the event
• 10 drivers or co-drivers from the wider Caribbean, four new to the event
• a record 18 female competitors, from a record eight countries
• 49 local crews
• 23 cars in the 4wd classes
• cars from 15 manufacturers, Ford best-represented with 19, followed by BMW (17), Mitsubishi (13) and Toyota (9)

Random stats:

• ‘Celebration Central‘: while Sol Rally Barbados is on many an international rallyist’s ‘bucket list‘, some wait for a particular excuse to compete, such as a big number birthday. During this year’s event, there will be at least two birthdays to celebrate, including Scottish regular Kenny Hall, who shares his 60th birthday with the Barbados Rally Club (BRC), two beachside wedding ceremonies between Flow KotH and Sol RB17, while a number of other competitors will be marking major birthdays at other times during the year with their trip to the Caribbean

Sponsorship: in addition to those private sector companies that are already partners of the Barbados Rally Club (BRC) in the staging of Sol RB17, more than 150 other sponsors or brand names will be promoted by competing crews. While many are from the automotive sector, such as MQI, Nassco and Platinum Motors, the list includes well-known names from the banking and insurance sector, including CGI and Republic Bank, along with a many from hospitality and tourism service-providers, among them Coconut Court Beach Hotel, Copacabana Beach Club, Drive-a-Matic, Elegant Hotels, Hilton Barbados, Sandals Barbados and Time Out Hotel…

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