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Although the coronavirus pandemic has caused the postponement of Flow King of the Hill and Sol Rally Barbados, scheduled for the coming two weekends (May 24 & May 29-31), there will be something new for competitors and spectators to savour. The on-line rally group, Carib Rally Club, will be hosting RallyE-Barbados 2020 on Codemasters’ Dirt Rally 2.0 game with the full support and authorisation of the Barbados Rally Club (BRC).

King of the Hill will take place this Sunday (May 24), when drivers will have between 8.00am and 11.59pm Barbados time to complete four runs, with the fastest counting toward the results. RallyE-Barbados 2020 will run from May 29 to 31, covering 25 special stages, three on Friday night, 12 on Saturday and 10 on Sunday. Bespoke prizewinner’s hats carrying the event logo will be awarded to the top three overall in each event and the top three in each of two classes, Wheel and Control; the BRC has agreed to cover the cost of these and of delivery to the winners.

Rally Club Chairman Mark Hamilton said: “The Club is very happy to support this initiative. In these difficult times, motor sport fans all over the world have spent more and more time on-line feeding their enthusiasm for the sport and I hope these events attract a big following. I’d like to thank the Carib Rally Club for bringing this idea to us and for the professional way in which it is being structured and managed.”

Carib Rally Club (CRC) is a virtual Rally Club which hosts rally and speed events that assimilate the format of actual events organised around the world and, now, in Barbados. The Club was formed when it became apparent that the Covid-19 pandemic would keep fans under lockdown and away from actual motor sport for much longer than previously expected, and now has approaching 100 active members. These include 2019 Sol RB winner Dane Skeete and Fraser McConnell, who became Jamaica’s first Rallycross Champion when he won the ARX2 title in the United States last year. Outside the region, the Club has logged a growing presence of drivers from Ireland and Wales, the latter including rising R5 star Meirion Evans.

Club Founder Robert Simmons explains: “The events are a means of keeping competitors sharp and creating competitive and fun events. At first, we had no real intent to assimilate regional events, but we realised that a number of the competitors were either current competitors or had been directly involved with the sport in some way. To that end, organising events as similar as possible to those in Barbados and the wider region became a popular and well-accepted concept. We are also engaging with the Barbados Motoring Federation to gain access to the FIA’s expanding knowledge and support of this growing form of motor sport, as we use these initial events as the foundation for the future” The first was based on the cancelled Rally Trinidad 2020, a three-day rally which attracted 55 competitors, with Barbadian Jeremy Gonsalves the overall winner.

For RallyE-Barbados and its future events, the CRC has now created a Committee which is comprised of current and past Rally Club members, which is in the process of drafting community and additional supplementary regulations. There is a complaints and protest procedure to settle most foreseeable situations and two experienced Stewards who will man a dedicated e-mail account to handle all event matters. A voice, video and screen sharing lobby has been created to host Briefing Meetings, along with an on-line entry form to confirm full names of all competitors and their ages (they must be over 18).

Join the Caribbean Sim Motorsport Facebook group to find out more. The link to access the group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/736652640203593/?ref=share. The Entry Form can be found at: https://bit.ly/3eejfR7.

Sol Rally Barbados and Flow King of the Hill are organised by the Barbados Rally Club, which celebrated its 60th Anniversary in 2017; Sol RB20 marks the 13th year of title sponsorship by the Sol Group, the Caribbean’s largest independent oil company, and the fifth by communications provider Flow.

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