Big rally expected
More than 80 entries are already confirmed for Sol Rally Barbados 2013, the Caribbean’s biggest annual motor rally event.
Several of the entrants from Barbados for the June 1 and 2 rally will be competing †in the core Modified and SuperModified classes and they can expect to face stiff competition from both top international and regional competitors. While most names are familiar, the off-season shake-up of equipment, some re-developed, some new to the island and some switching classes, promises a whole new look to the island’s rallying landscape in 2013.
The Barbados Rally Club reviews its regulations every three years, taking into account trends in competitor support levels, as well as changes on the International stage and the new cycle starts this year. The Modified and SuperModified rules remain much the same, although the minimum weight limits in Modified have been increased by 20kgs, while the top class in SuperModified has been split into two, with a new division at 2.5 litres.
Two-time SuperModified11, also 2012 BRC two-wheel-drive champion Logan Watson, leads the new class, SuperModified12, in his BMW M3, where the competition will include brother Rhett who will use the team’s other M3, rather than share. Justin Campbell (Modified3) is also back in Sol Rally Barbados for the first time since 2010 when he finished 18th overall and third in SuperModified11.
Dane Skeete, son of Roger “The Sheriff” Skeete, the most successful driver in the history of the island’s premier event, is also back. Winner of Modified6 and an impressive 14th overall in Sol Royal Barbados 2011 in a Peugeot 206, Skeete Jnr’s ride for 2013 is yet to be confirmed, but he has entered in SuperModified11.
While Neil Armstrong, SuperModified10 winner for the past two years and highest-placed 2wd finisher overall for the past three, is not yet entered, the class still looks highly competitive. Overall winner of Rally Barbados 2005 in his self-built Ford Focus, Roger Mayers and brother Barry — they returned to rallying in 2010 after a three-year break — have stepped up from SuperModified9 in their WR Starlet, which will pit them against Josh Read (Toyota Starlet) and Ian Warren (Suzuki Swift), winners of 10 BRC class championships between them in recent years. Read was also the overall champion driver in 2007.
There are 12 local entries out of 16 in Modified7, comfortably the best-subscribed class, based on entries posted so far, including reigning Modifed7 champion Daryl Clarke (Honda Civic), former title-holders Eddie Corbin (Toyota Corolla RunX) and Jeremy Sisnett (Ford Fiesta ST), which suggests a robust defence of island honour can be expected there also.††