BMF gets the green light for closed-road rallying

Motor sport will return to the island’s roads at the end of March for the first time since the Barbados Rally Club’s (BRC) Winter Rally of December 2020. The Barbados Motoring Federation (BMF) has confirmed that the 15-month hiatus will end following permission from the Covid19 Monitoring Unit (CMU) for road rallying to restart and subsequent discussions with the Ministry of Transport, Works & Maintenance, which is now accepting applications for road closures once again.

BMF Vice-President David Williams said: “We are delighted with this news, which comes at an ideal time for our clubs to push ahead with the events on the provisional calendar we published in January. Throughout the pandemic, we have worked closely with the CMU at the Ministry of Health and Wellness to run events behind closed doors under their guidance and protocols to allow as many motor sport participants as possible the chance to enjoy some competition.

Since December 2020, however, we have not been able to stage events in front of spectators, even inside the island’s two enclosed venues, Bushy Park and the Vaucluse Raceway . . . and spectators are the life blood of all sports, not just ours. Although we will still be required to work within certain Covid 19 protocols, confirmation that we can return to closed roads is a huge bonus and the BMF speaks on behalf of the whole motor sport fraternity, competitors and spectators alike, to welcome this announcement.”

The first event on the calendar to benefit from this move will be the Motoring Club Barbados Inc (MCBI) Spring Blaze ’22 Double Header on Sunday, March 27 on a 4.7-kilometre course running from Cliff to Society, St John, and then in reverse. A month later, the BRC, which runs the island’s premier event, Sol Rally Barbados, will stage its first closed-road event on April 24, which will also benefit from the CMU’s permission, which has been welcomed by the Club.

Rally Club PRO Neil Barnard said: “It’s been a long road back and we are very grateful to the BMF for their hard work and to the authorities that have given us the green light to resume rallying. We have been working on plans for Sol Rally Barbados for a couple of months and will continue to ensure that health and safety is at the core of our planning.”

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