The Barbados Rally Club (#BRC) is rolling out its promotional campaign for Rally Barbados 2024 over the coming weeks with support from Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc (#BTMI). One clubman entrant in the Beatson’s Building Supplies Mull Rally will win a trip to the Caribbean next year, while members of the RB24 organising team are heading to Scotland, Sardinia and South America to promote the event and Motorsport Island.
Subject to final ratification by the Barbados Motoring Federation (BMF), #RB24 will run from Friday, May 31 to Sunday, June 2, with The Rally Show and King of the Hill (KotH), the final shakedown and seeding event, on May 25 and 26. RB24 is the 34th edition of the Rally Club’s premier event since the first International All-Stage Rally in 1990.
All 2wd entrants in the Mull Rally (October 13-15) will be eligible to win a free entry to Rally Barbados 2024 if they register for the prize before the start. The winner will be determined by a random draw from all official 2wd finishers and announced at the post-event Prizegiving in the island’s capital, Tobermory. The prize covers entry to RB24 and KotH, inclusive of return shipping for one rally car from the UK to Barbados; the winner will be responsible for their own travel and accommodation.
Situated off the west coast of Scotland, the island of Mull is roughly twice the size of Barbados at 340 square miles, but with a population of under 3,000. The rally, which ran for the 50th time last year, dates from 1969, when it was won by a 21-year-old George Hill, the first of his four victories as he developed into one of the UK’s leading road rally drivers, while Harold Morley, who is now a regular part of Barbados rallying, finished on the podium twice in the first three years.
This year’s event has attracted an entry of more than 120, two-thirds of them in the two-wheel-drive classes, who will tackle 17 special stages in three legs from Friday to Sunday, for a total of just over 130 stage miles. RB24 Rally Director Neil Barnard is travelling to Mull, where he will be hosted by one of the Deputy Clerks of the Course Sue Sanders, who has been a safety advisor to Rally Barbados in the past.
Barnard explains: “Mull is a niche, unique rally that shares many characteristics with Rally Barbados: it is an island-based tarmac event run on closed roads and I am looking forward to promoting Barbados, our event and also getting an understanding of the challenges the organisers face and more importantly how they deal with them.
“I hope the prize drive will attract a good response. The random draw means any 2wd finisher can win and not necessarily the fastest, so there’s a terrific opportunity for one of Mull’s loyal clubman supporters to come and enjoy our event. We will also draw a couple of reserve drivers in case the winner finds it impossible to make the trip.”
Mull Rally Clerk of the Course Richard Crozier said: “This is a tremendously exciting initiative, and we extend our huge thanks to the BRC for putting up this mega prize. Rally Barbados has grown tremendously in global stature from its inaugural running in 1990, and likewise the Mull Rally, formerly the Tour of Mull, has a proud history dating back to 1969, developing a passionate following both in the UK and overseas.”
While the UK remains the event’s key source market, Rally Club Treasurer Jeanne Crawford is journeying to Rally Terra Sarda (October 6-8), another island event run in a popular tourist destination, Sardinia. It is the final round of the inaugural TER Series, of which Sol RB23 was a qualifying round; Kiwi Hayden Paddon, who won in Barbados, is set to claim the TER Series title.
Before his colleagues head to Europe, BRC Chairman Neil Corbin is attending Rally Chile this weekend (September 28-October 1) as a guest of Toyota, who will be showing partners in the region the Toyota Gazoo Racing DKR Hilux T1+ in which Nasser Al-Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel won the 2023 Dakar Rally at a function on Saturday evening. Corbin says: “I’ll be watching the opening on Thursday and the Friday stages with Toyota, then with an Argentinian-based tour company on Sunday. I’ll have information on RB24 with me and am looking forward to spreading the word.”