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And that from a rock ‘n’ roller bluesman who’s never been to the Barbados Rally Carnival, but probably heard about it…barbados-pre17a

This year, 2017, Rally Carnival will be ‘Sweet Sixteen’ years-old.

As anyone who has been to this event would attest, Barbados’s legendary, yet typical; ‘Ultimate Party Island’ fun is difficult to match in the sporting world.

The craic has always been great and always will be; so this year, organisers are making a big effort to improve the motorsport elements of the Carnival, while maintaining its party spirit.

DATE CHANGES: The Barbados Rally Carnival started in 2001 (for modern rally cars back then). Over the years, competitors flocked to the Caribbean island, so that dad and mum could enjoy some warm-weather rallying, which provided a great excuse for a sun-soaked holiday for the entire family.

Largely more appealing than an expedition to an English forest rally might be for ‘her indoors’ and the kids, you might say? Rally Carnival dates were therefore chosen originally to coincide with UK school holidays.

Sadly, it seems that most of us aren’t as young as we think we are and summer Rally Carnival dates clash with a host of wonderful European historic rallies.

Since the Barbados weather is much the same year-round, organisers have therefore decided to move the Barbados Historic Rally Carnival into late November, to avoid conflicts with European events.

Obviously, late November is a great time to not stay in UK or Europe, when there is rallying to be done in the Caribbean!

TIME AWAY: The Barbados Rally Carnival was created to be a wild, two-week, tropical holiday, with some rallysprinting and rallying thrown in for extra excitement. And it worked.

Over the years, many competitors have found it difficult to devote a fortnight away from jobs which paid for their rallying.

For this reason, the serious motorsport element of this year’s event, the night/day/night asphalt special stage rally, has been concentrated into a single weekend, within a relaxed one-week schedule which includes unlimited recce.

And for those who have the time and fancy some more Caribbean ‘sport’, there’s the traditional RallySprint at Vaucluse Raceway on the previous weekend, in which competitors and visitors are most welcome to take part. Indeed, the UK and European competitors’ rally cars will already be in Barbados by that time anyway.

These are the dates:

Friday 28 October (TBC): Deliver cars to Portsmouth, England to be shipped to Barbados.
Saturday, 18 November: RallySprint at Vaucluse Raceway (optional).
Wednesday 22 November: Scrutiny and welcome party, 17:00 at Vaucluse Raceway.
Thursday 23 November: Unlimited recce, three venues, both directions.
Friday 24 November: SuperSpecial SS1, 2, 3; 17:00 at Vaucluse Raceway.
Saturday 25 November: Asphalt Rally, 13:00 until 24:00.
Sunday 26 November: Prizegiving & Jolly Roger Pirate Ship party cruise, 12:00.
Monday 27 November: Pack up cars to ship home.

Categories: Pre-1968; 1968-1974; 1975-1981; 1982-1985 (GpA, 2wd, N/A only); GpB & Modified (class awards only).

barbados-pre17bPACKAGE: Group travel and accommodation really kicked off the Barbados Rally Carnival social legend way back in 2001, but most competitors and support crews over the past years are repeat visitors, who have long-since found their way around the island and fallen in love with various places to stay.

Last-minute internet discounts on flights and hotel rooms make it very difficult for organisers to offer packages in advance while staying competitive on price. Accordingly, airline ticket and hotel costs have been removed from the entry package.

The US$4,900 entry includes: return shipping for rally cars from Portsmouth, port charges, rally entry fees, road and rally insurance and – maybe most importantly! – free entry to all social events.

TEAM DEALS: Of the many visiting rallyists to Barbados, more than half have been to the island several times to compete.

Consequently, many professional and semi-professional rally service teams know their way around Barbados better than some locals. Such specialists include:
> Dan Sutherland at Dansport in Chesterfield:
> Francis Tuthill at Tuthill Porsche in Oxfordshire:,
> Mark Smyth at MS Motorsport in County Down:
> Baz Cannon at Rally World in Maldon, Essex:

They are all very familiar with the island and can make any competitor’s trip to this fantastic event stress-free, by preparing historic rally cars for Barbados conditions prior to the event and servicing them while there.

Barbados Rally Carnival organisers realise that, logistically, it makes sense to help teams help themselves and their customers, by offering team discounts for groups of three or more crews.

The Barbados Historic Rally Carnival website:
is now updated with the event’s schedule and entry form.

Why wait, just take a look. Significant others will be very happy that you did…

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