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The Barbados Rally Club (BRC) has announced revised dates for its premier event, Sol Rally Barbados 2020, which was postponed following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in March. Sol RB20 is now planned for Saturday and Sunday, October 31/November 1, with Flow King of the Hill the previous Sunday, October 25. The announcement comes as competitive motor sport in the island reopens this weekend, with grass roots disciplines the first to return under strict Covid-19 protocols.

Flow KotH and Sol RB20 will this year carry greater weight than before in the Rally Club’s annual Driver’s and Class Championships, which have been reduced from seven to six rounds due to the pandemic; Flow KotH, which will again play a vital role in creating the seeding order for the following weekend, is round three, with each day of Sol RB20 a separate round.

The Championship will kick off on Sunday, August 23, with a Double-Header Sprint shared with the Motoring Club of Barbados Inc and conclude with the Winter Rally on Sunday, November 22, at which the usual enhanced points-scoring system will apply. Postponed from the end of March, the non-championship ‘Test Stage’ will now run on Saturday, August 22, at Orange Hill in St Peter.

In correspondence sent this week to the local membership and to the scores of overseas competitors for whom competing in the Caribbean has become a regular treat, Rally Club and Sol RB Chairman Mark Hamilton wrote: “Countries have started to open their borders in an attempt to get their economies going, including the reintroduction of air travel. Barbados now has flights arriving on a weekly basis and our situation here on the ground is currently quite positive due to the low impact of the pandemic thus far.

“The Club is aware of the potential for changes to Government Policy and therefore will be taking a Plan A and Plan B approach, with the underlying philosophy being a ‘with spectators / business as usual’ and ‘with limited or no spectators / business unusual’ approach. In each case, Government Policy will be the major influencing factor.”

As the cloud of Covid-19 still hangs over all aspects of life across the globe, the BRC has taken a careful look at the structure of its key events, including returning to a two-day format for Sol RB, which has included action on Friday night since 2014. Rally Club PRO Neil Barnard said: “The route that was finalised earlier this year has to be revised in a major way and returning to two days is largely due to budget constraints – but that certainly doesn’t mean that we won’t have a challenging or interesting rally! In the continuing Covid-19 environment, we will seek to deploy resources in spectator areas across the two weekends, as the safety of all our patrons, along with competitors and our invaluable volunteers, is paramount.”

On-line entries open this weekend

Although many competitors had already entered since the on-line system opened on October 1 last year, the Club has opted to restart the process from scratch. On-line entries will open on the official web site – – at 00.00hrs Barbados time tomorrow (Sunday, July 19), which is 05.00hrs in the UK; they will close on Friday, October 2, soon after which the provisional entry list will be published.

Rally Officer Manager Jeanne Crawford said: “Many months have passed since the earliest entries were made and competitor circumstances might have changed, particularly details of sponsorship, co-drivers and so forth. So it makes sense to start from scratch, rather than having numerous persons editing old entry forms. We are looking forward to the entries flowing in during the coming weeks.”

The Club is continuing its discussions with all stakeholders and further announcements will be made in the coming weeks on matters such as shipping and arrangements on the ground for hosting overseas crews and their cars.

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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