Overseas entry filling early for Rally Barbados 2024

courtesy Barbados Rally Club/Mekkaman

Rally Barbados 2024 (May 31 to June 2) has attracted strong interest from repeat visitors and newcomers alike since the six-month window to enter opened just over three weeks ago. More than half the allocated overseas entry slots have already been filled, including four rally cars not seen by local fans before, among them the first MINI Cooper to compete in the island for nearly 20 years.
  RB24 is the 34th edition of the Barbados Rally Club’s (BRC) premier event which has its roots in the International All-Stage Rally of 1990; since then, the event has grown in stature to become the Caribbean’s biggest annual motor sport International and a key component of the promotion of ‘Motorsport Island’. The Rally Show and King of the Hill (KotH), the final shakedown and seeding event, will be staged on May 25 and 26.
  Scottish-born Ian Barclay and his family are the first competitors confirmed for RB24, Barclay having posted the first on-line entry two years running, this year within seconds of the entry portal opening on the event web site rallybarbados.net; his entry for Sol RB22, his first foray to Barbados, was also posted within the first 24 hours.
  Barclay says: “We love coming over to Rally Barbados, the people, the event and the atmosphere are all so welcoming and appealing. It's definitely one of the first entries into our family's calendar for the year.” Barclay has been rallying since the mid-1990s, first with a Hillman Avenger, before twice entering the iconic Tour of Mull in his native Scotland in a Peugeot 205; he has lived in London for more than 25 years and only competes in a limited number of events.
  Last year, with his son Cameron co-driving in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI, Barclay finished 29th overall and second in Modified 4, despite some urgent work on the differential in the days after First Citizens King of the Hill. For Sol RB23, Barclay’s wife Sue took over the co-driver’s seat – work commitments prevented her participation in 2022 – with Cameron jumping across to co-drive for family friend Mick Smith in his historic Sunbeam Imp.
  After the Evo VI retired from Sol RB23 with a misfire and broken gearbox, Barclay decided to upgrade to an Evo IX, which he and Sue first used together in October in the Challenger Stages at Bovington, close to Bournemouth on the English south coast, where they finished seventh overall, receiving the 1st in Class award.
  For RB24, Barclay and Sue will compete in the recently-acquired Evo IX, while Cameron will enter the event for the first time as a driver in his MINI Cooper One with younger brother Will as co-driver. Cameron has rallied the car in the traditional works livery of red with a white roof since late 2022, winning the R50 class (for non-supercharged cars) in the only two rounds of the Mini Rally Challenge he has contested, the Harlech Stages at Llanbedr in North Wales in October and the Cadwell Park Stages Rally at the Lincolnshire racetrack just two weeks ago.
  The last time that island fans would have seen a MINI Cooper in competition was 2006, when two-time BRC Champion Driver Derek Roach last campaigned the car in which he had claimed a hat-trick of Rally Barbados class wins.
  Rally Director Neil Barnard said: “We are really pleased with the initial response to the opening of entries. It's early days, but we do advise overseas teams thinking about entering to do so soon. Our planning for 2024 is really gathering pace and in addition to the rally itself, we are making a concerted effort to renew our focus on the ‘non-competitive’ aspects of the overall Rally Barbados experience!"

Rally Barbados is a tarmac rally with around 20 special stages run on the island’s intricate network of public roads, under road closure orders granted by the Ministry of Transport, Works & Water Resources; the previous Sunday’s King of the Hill sprint, 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.

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