High spirits for rally 2014

Plans are well advanced for Sol Rally Barbados 2014, the Caribbean’s biggest annual motorsport international, with the organising team excited about this year’s offering
for competitors.

And as the Barbados Rally Club looks forward to celebrating the 25th running of its premier event, sustained international interest is keeping spirits high.

With exactly ten weeks to go until the closing date for entries on Friday, May 2, first-time visitors are helping to boost the overseas component. Of the just over 80 entries so far posted on-line on the official web site, www.rallybarbados.net, 40 are from Europe or the wider Caribbean, with drivers or co-drivers from 15 countries already represented.

Sol Rally Barbados 2014 will run over the weekend of May 31 and June 1, with the traditional prize-giving to follow on the Monday. The key events start the previous weekend, however, with Simpson Motors scrutineering on Saturday and Scotiabank King of the Hill on Sunday.

An upbeat Neil Barnard, rally director of Sol Rally Barbados 2014, reported good progress on all fronts.

“We have made an excellent start to our preparations this year, and are more advanced than usual at this stage – the entire route for Sol Rally Barbados has been set, with only fine-tuning of the time schedule still to do. All key personnel are in place, and there have been a number of very positive planning meetings in r
ecent weeks.

“We’re pretty excited about what we’re going to be offering our competitors this year. We are always looking for ways of changing the route to keep the event fresh and to level the playing field as much as possible between local crews and our overseas visitors. Given the limitations of using closed public roads in such a small island, while minimising disruption to people living on or near the route, this is not an easy task,” he said.

Despite those constraints, Barnard was able to confirm that this year’s route will be somewhat longer than in recent years and, while details will not be made public until much nearer the time, he was willing to drop a couple of hints.

“I think competitors will be happy with what we’re planning, as we’re returning to a couple of popular venues used in the past, while enhancing both the viewing experience and safety of spectators was also key to our thought process,” Barnard said.

The island’s local motor sport season is about to get under way, with rounds of the BRC’s Autocross and Chefette MudDogs Safari Championships scheduled before the rallying fraternity launches its 2014 programme with a tarmac speed event organised by the Motoring Club of Barbados Inc on Sunday, March 23.

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