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Evans, Parry heading Sol Rally

crews all prepared for weekend’s big showdown

M-Sport World Rally Championship contenders Elfyn Evans and Craig Parry are seeded at number one in the final running order for Sol Rally Barbados 2016 this weekend, June 3 to 5.

Elfyn Evans and Craig Parry are the number one seeds for this weekend’s Sol Barbados Rally.

Elfyn Evans and Craig Parry are the number one seeds for this weekend’s Sol Barbados Rally.

Campaigning the Ford Fiesta R5 Evo, the Welsh pair will lead off an international field of 83 cars, with overseas competitors representing 14 countries.

Jamaica’s Jeffrey Panton and Michael Fennell Jnr (Ford Focus WRC06) will start at number two, with the joint winners of last Sunday’s Flow King of the Hill, Martinique’s Simon Jean-Joseph and Jack Boyere (Focus WRC08) at three.

Sol Rally Barbados and Barbados Rally Club chairman Mark Hamilton said: “When last year’s King of the Hill was decided by just five-hundredths of a second, the smallest margin ever, it set us up for a memorable Sol Rally Barbados . . . and this year we had joint winners! This weekend’s action should be as hot and as unpredictable as anything we have ever seen.

“Although he finished third on Sunday, Elfyn is seeded first by virtue of his FIA Priority status, while Jeffrey starts at number two in acknowledgement of his victory over Simon last year. Elfyn is the first current WRC driver to compete in Barbados and Simon is a double European Champion, which promises an amazing showdown with the region’s finest. I must again thank John Powell, who owns both the R5 and the Focus that Simon is driving for his help in making this a reality. It is just a pity that he will not be here this weekend to enjoy the action personally.”

Also in contention are England’s Rob Swann, co-driven in the Subaru Impreza WRC S12B by Welshman Aled Edwards, and 13-time winner of the BRC’s premier event, Roger Skeete, who has Louis Venezia on the notes in the Impreza WRC S12B. The wild card is the English crew of Kevin Procter and Philip Hopkins, who will be campaigning the Ford Fiesta for the first time.

Josh Read and Mark Jordan are top two-wheel-drive seeds for the second year in a row, starting at seven in the Toyota Starlet. Fellow two-wheel-drive runners Roger Mayers and Sean Corbin (WR Starlet), Rhett Watson and James Hutchinson (BMW M3), Dane Skeete and Tyler Mayhew (Peugeot 306 Maxi) complete the top 10.

In addition to the battle for overall and two-wheel-drive supremacy, there will be 16 separate classes contested, in all but two of which island competitors will enjoy the challenge of pitting their skills against regional or international entries.

Sol Rally Barbados 2016 will start with two Friday evening stages on the unique Race Of Champions Parallel Track at Bushy Park, St Philip and finish with a Rally Sprint Super Special at the Vaucluse Raceway for the first time since 2007. After 23 stages across the island, with a total competitive distance of 119.70 kilometres, Sunday’s Super Special will give drivers the chance to let their hair down head-to-head, safe in the knowledge that no times are being recorded, although they will be required to take the Super Special start to be considered overall finishers.

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