Chairman of SOL Rally Barbados, Mark Hamilton, giving an overview of the SOL RB16. From left: Head of Marketing for FLOW, Shelly-Ann Hee Chung; Ezra Prescod, Country Manager of SOL (Barbados) Ltd.; Mark Hamilton and Neil Bernard, SOL RB16 Event Director.
Everything ready for FLOW KotH & SOL Rally Barbados 2016
ALL is ready for the largest Rallying event in the Caribbean, as SOL Rally Barbados will see the best of the best in the Caribbean to take on the international competition.
SOL Rally Barbados 2016 will run from June 3-5th, but there are two key events prior to the big showdown. FLOW King of the Hill (KotH) is set to take place on May 29th, starting at 10 a.m. and running the Hangman’s Hill stage, where the first car, of most popular season of rallying in Barbados, is set to hit the limiter on launch control and power off from the start line. KotH has become just as competitive as SOL RB, and competitors have pushed harder every year to claim the bragging rights of winning this event.
The big show and the event thousands of visitors to the island have come to see, is set to begin once again at the Bushy Park Racing Circuit from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Speaking at the a media briefing, Neil Bernard and Mark Hamilton, the event directors, laid out the event schedules. The 91 entrants will begin the 119.70 km journey by running the circuit as Stage 1 and Stage 2 of the competition, and they will be running in reverse order, where the slower cars will hit the track first. Two competitors will be on the track simultaneously, side by side, following the ROC track, and the entire field will complete the course twice.
Saturday morning will see the restart of rally at 10 a.m. from Greenland, St. Andrew, and continue throughout the day, seeing the cars cover 12 stages over four venues. These include Spring Vale, Automotive Art Canefield, Luke Hill and Sailor Gully.
Sunday’s proceedings are set to being earlier than the previous day, at Carrington Factory in St. Philip at 9 a.m., and rpms and tires will be heard over 9 regular stages over 3 venues. The venues slated to see action are Drax Hall, Malvern and Padmore Village.
The final stage, which will be a Super Special stage, will be at the Vaucluse Raceway for the first time since 2007, and is an event placed on the schedule for the competitors to “let their hair down” as they run head to head to give the fans a glimpse of skill and showmanship. This will be easier to do, as there is no pressure on the drivers, since the event will not be included in the results of the SOL RB16 results. The only mandatory requirement for the crews is to take the start to be classified as an overall finisher of SOL RB16.
Ezra Prescod, representing SOL, stated that they had started a marketing campaign for SOL RB16, which includes weekly releases of profiles of the competitors that can be viewed by the public from streaming via multiple FLOW platforms, including FLOW Sports and FLOW Live. He also made it known to the organisers of SOL RB16 that the company, in this, the 9th consecutive year of SOL RB, would continue to support the event for the next five years.
Head of Marketing of FLOW, Shelly Ann Hee Chung also wished to assure the organisers that even after 27 years of sponsorship, they could expect the same support in years to come but at a high standard.
With 2016 comes a new three-year cycle of Vehicle Regulations for the BRC Championship, although not all the changes implemented are carried through to Sol RB16. While WRC-2 and Modified 5 are no longer included for local competition, for instance, they have been retained to accommodate overseas competitors.