Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Record entries for Sol Rally

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A record entry for Sol Rally Barbados, the start of its “Rally Up” promotion and official opening of the re-branded Sol Redmans Service Station provided a picture perfect setting for a media conference Monday.
And Sol Rally Barbados chairman Barry Gale said 22 stages – 12 on Saturday and ten on Sunday – would be decided.
He said while the venues in use were all familiar, the route-setters had gone to some trouble to “tweak” some areas which would create new challenges for competitors and something different for spectators.
The provisional list has 108 entries, as published by the Barbados Rally Club (BRC), and with the “Rally Up” promotion, fans can win rally gear or tickets to VIP hospitality by visiting Sol’s islandwide outlets or by buying the official Sol Rally Barbados programme.
Gale said last year’s event had enjoyed exceptional international coverage, including on 30 television networks around the world, and there was phenomenal interest in the 2012 edition.
Among the many records in this year’s statistics, 63 international drivers or co-drivers are entered, of whom 26 are new to the event, and to the island.
Following the European “Rally to Barbados” promotional campaign, run in association with the Tourism Development Corporation (TDC), there has been a major upsurge of interest from Ireland, which accounts for six of the 12 first time crews.
“As organizers, there is no sweeter payback for the support shown to us by the Barbados Tourism Authority, the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association, and the TDC, than the ability to say Sol Rally Barbados 2011 media reports and television coverage were accessible to 700 million people worldwide,” Gale said.
“We are more than proud to play our part in promoting this beautiful rock in the Caribbean Sea, both as a tourism destination and as a place where local and international competitors can fight – equally – over the honour of victory in what has become the largest motorsports spectacle in the Caribbean.”
Sol, the region’s largest independent oil company, was represented by Barbados country manager, Ezra Prescod, who said the company was pleased to have partnered with the Barbados Rally Club to grow the event over the past five years and recognize the value it brings to the island’s sports-tourism product, particularly in these very difficult times.
And the company has expanded its support for moto sport with sponsorship of Roger “The Sheriff” Skeete, 12 times the winner of the island’s premier event since 1990.
Skeete is chasing a third hattrick of wins – his previous record includes consecutive triumphs in 1990-92 and 2000-02 – and his recent victory in the Valvoline Shakedown Stages.
Sol Rally Barbados is scheduled for June 9 and 10, while the Sol Go Further/Scotiabank King of the Hill will take place on June 3.

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