photo by Ian Nicholls courtesy Sol Rally Barbados.Andrew Jones and Lindsey Pilkington finished 10th overall and top two-wheel-drive crew in Sol Rally Barbados 2020

 Continuing Covid-19 pandemic causes calendar rethink

In light of the continuing effects of the coronavirus pandemic at home and overseas, the Barbados Rally Club (BRC) has announced revised dates for Sol Rally Barbados and its associated events. Sol RB21 is now scheduled for the weekend of September 25 & 26, with Flow King of the Hill on the previous Sunday (September 19), dates which will be confirmed by the Club on June 1, if a further three months has seen significant success in the fight against Covid-19 around the world.
  Some weeks after the originally-planned June date was announced last December, the pandemic grew worse both in Barbados and in the event’s major source markets, particularly the United Kingdom. The situation remains fluid, with restrictions on public gathering and travel under constant review, although vaccination programmes on both sides of the Atlantic have given rise to cautious optimism that the pandemic may be brought under control in the coming months.
  In a notice to the membership and the Club’s overseas competitors issued yesterday, BRC Chairman Mark Hamilton said: “As we are all aware, our sport continues to be impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic creating challenges in the planning and execution of events. This is primarily driven by the fluid nature of the environment and the external influences of Government Policy as they battle to bring the Pandemic under control locally, regionally and internationally.”
  As for the rest of the Club’s 2021 calendar, Hamilton’s statement confirms the start of the Club’s sprint and stage rally disciplines will be delayed until the weekend of August 21/22, with a joint event to be run with the Motoring Club of Barbados Inc (MCBI). With the championship once again squeezed into a shorter time frame, there will be no ‘Shakedown Stages’, an event which was also dropped from last year’s calendar.
  Hamilton added: “The remaining event dates currently listed in the Barbados Motoring Federation (BMF) Calendar after August 21 will remain as previously indicated at this time, but are subject to change after review and inter-club consultation via the BMF, as a revised calendar is structured in the coming weeks.”
  Sol Rally Barbados is a tarmac rally, with around 24 special stages run on the island’s intricate network of public roads, under road closure orders granted by the Ministry of Transport, Works & Maintenance; the previous Sunday’s Flow King of the Hill, run under a similar arrangement, features four timed runs on a roughly four-kilometre stage, the results of which are used to seed the running order for the main event.

Sol Rally Barbados and Flow King of the Hill are organised by the Barbados Rally Club, which celebrated its 60th Anniversary in 2017; Sol RB21 marks the 14th year of title sponsorship by the Sol Group, the Caribbean’s largest independent oil company, and the sixth by communications provider Flow.

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