At a glance

New for 2023
• Sol RB23 is the third round of the TER W Series, a new-for-2023 extension of the Tour European Rally Series won last year by New Zealand’s Haydon Padden, who is also a TER Series Ambassador. With co-driver John Kennard, he won this year’s opening round of the TER W Series in his home country, the Otago Rally, but will miss round two next weekend (May 18-20), Rallye Antibes Côte d’Azur in France, as he is competing in the Polish round of the European Rally Championship. After Sol RB23, the final round will be Rally Terra Sarda in Sardinia (October 6-8). While inclusion in the championship was not anticipated to bring any additional crews this year, the global media coverage provided by TER reaches around 21 million homes in 100-plus countries worldwide, concentrating not only on the competition, but also the tourism aspects of each location . . .
• new shipping arrangements applied this year, with cars from the UK shipped in both directions by container, rather than travelling west across the Atlantic Ocean from the south coast port of Southampton below decks as had been done in the past. The Geest Line freighter Baltic Klipper docked at the Bridgetown Port yesterday (Tuesday), and the containers will now be delivered direct to Rally Central at Bushy Park and unstuffed under Customs supervision on site . . .
• King of the Hill (KotH), the sprint used since 2008 to seed the running order for Sol Rally Barbados, will be staged at a new location, but with continued title sponsorship from First Citizens Group. The event returns to the east of the island, running on a 4.1-kilometre course from Palmers, at the bottom of Stewarts Hill in St Philip, into St John, where it will finish outside Colleton Plantation Yard . . .
• for the first time, there will be two SuperSpecials at Bushy Park Barbados, to top and tail Sol RB23. On Friday night, the floodlit Sol SuperSpecial will be run in reverse seeding order, two cars at a time on a variation of the Race Of Champions configuration under the venue’s all-arena lighting. On Sunday afternoon, Sol RB23 will conclude with the Honda SuperSpecial, run on a conventional special stage in daylight one car at a time, after which all the crews will head up to The Hill for the Rally Finish, provisional podium ceremony and after-party . . .

Rally schedule – summary:
• Friday: Start and floodlit Sol SuperSpecial at Bushy Park Barbados
• Saturday: nine stages at three venues
• Sunday: nine stages at three venues, followed by the Honda SuperSpecial & Rally Finish at Bushy Park Barbados
• total stage distance – 111.20km

Random stats from the provisional entry list:
• 85 crews listed
• participants from 13 countries (including host nation Barbados)
• 46 overseas drivers or co-drivers, seven new to the event
• 60 local crews (the highest number since 2013)
• a near-record number of 21 female competitors (22 in RB18)
• cars from 17 manufacturers, BMW best-represented with 27, followed by Ford (16), Toyota (8) and Skoda (6)

For media information only. No regulatory value.

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