SOL RALLY BARBADOS
Sol Rally Barbados : As the world gradually continues its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact, one of the events which Barbadians and tourists to Barbados have missed is the Sol Rally Barbados. Sol Rally Barbados is the top motorsport event in the Caribbean which draws top motor rally competitors worldwide. Due to the pandemic and the attendant banning of large gatherings, the event was missing from the 2020 calendar. The 2021 version of the rally was stripped down to the bone and failed to capture the essence of the event.
But this year, the event is back with a bang. The SOL Rally Barbados will be coming back to Barbados in full swing in 2022. Hosted by the Barbados Rally Club and sponsored by the Sol Group and First Citizens (title sponsors), Geest Line, Virgin Atlantic, Benitomo World, and other sponsors, the event makes a grand return between the 4th and 5th of June 2022.
The Sol Rally Barbados 2022 also coincides with the Barbados Rally Club’s 65th anniversary. This club is the island’s oldest established club that oversees a sport in which a ball is not used.
Restarting the Sol Rally Barbados after a 2-year absence was an arduous task, requiring loads of collaborative efforts between the government, commercial and institutional partners to make it a reality.
The Sol Barbados Rally 2022 (SB22) has recorded the registration of nearly 20 participants, who will be racing in pairs. The participation numbers are in tandem with the numbers seen before the pandemic broke out. Sol RB20 was run in November 2021 and had fewer participants. This was an abnormal condition as the weather and restrictive pandemic protocols took some shine off the event.
This year’s event features a loaded list of participants, including previous winners and notable faces from the World Rally Championship (WRC). Englishman Joe Cunningham leads a star-studded list from the WRC, featuring his partner Joshua Beer. Other drivers/co-driver partnerships include those of Kevin Procter/Patrick Walsh, Dane Skeete/Tyler Mayhew, Rob Swann/Darren Garrod and the team of Andy Scott/Tom Woodburn. Also competing from the WRC is the team of Nigel Worswick and Rebecca Kirsch (if you were wondering where the ladies went).
Roger Skeete would be a crowd’s favourite, as he has won 13 victories between 1990 and 2014 to emerge as the Sol Rally Barbados’s most successful driver. Four drivers have won the race at least twice. These are Kris Meeke (2008 and 2009), Kenny McKinstry (1993 and 1996), local Paul Bourne (2003 and 2007) and Paul Bird (2012 and 2013).
In terms of winning brands, Ford’s 14 wins and 23 more podium finishes leave the carmaker as the most successful constructor. Subaru and Peugeot come up behind with eight and six wins, respectively.
SOL RALLY SCHEDULE OF KEY EVENTS
It is not going to be all racing. The event kicks off a week before with the Rally Show, which will hold on Saturday, May 28, at the Bushy Park Barbados, St. Philip parish, from 2 pm to 6 pm.
The next day (Sunday, May 29), First Citizens King of the Hill will host the Content to Vaucluse event at St. Thomas parish. This will be from 10 am to 5 pm.
On Wednesday, June 1, Sol RB22 Briefing meeting will hold, which is the last pre-rally event before the race proper begins.
It will be time to watch the combatants crank their engines and roar into the distance through all kinds of terrain that the beautiful island has to offer on Saturday, June 4. The Sol RB22 day 1 schedule will see
the rally racers take off from Sol Speightstown, St Peter’s parish, at 10.30 am. The second and final day of the race will see the restart from the Bushy Park Barbados, St.Philip parish at 10 am.
The race winners will be rewarded with their prizes at the Sol RB22 prize-giving ceremony at The Boatyard, Bay Street, St. Michael as from 5 pm on Monday, June 6.
What Does it Take to Make the SOL Barbados Rally a Reality?
It takes a lot of effort and resources to make a sporting event like the SOL Rally Barbados a reality, and more so when there is an ongoing pandemic.
On the side of the competitors, there is a lot of preparation to do. Competitors paid a 20%-subsidized entry fee of $4,250 to enter the race. This fee includes entry fees for road usage, trans-Atlantic shipping of cars and spare parts, inbound/outbound charges at the Bridgetown Port and a secure storage and workshop space at Rally Central. The fee also covers kitting for the RallySage unit.
There can be no rally without the cars. Cars are shipped to Barbados from Portsmouth using the Luzon Strait Voy GL22017 vessel, owned by the Geest Line. The cards are already in Barbados after a 10-day journey by sea.
The cars leave Bridgetown Port and are taken to the Rally Central storage and service facility on arrival. This is a secure location where the rally vehicles are stored, serviced and looked after even when they are not in the owner’s custody. It is also a preparation area for competition and where fuel and tires for the cars are stored.
The cars run on special racing fuels such as VP MS109, which sells for BBD$250. Each competition car can use from 120 litres to as much as 230 litres of fuel, depending on the engine size.
Arrangements have also been made for those visiting Barbados for the event to stay at partner hotels. The Rally HQ Hotel Partner is Divi Southwinds Beach Resort, located at St. Lawrence’s Main Road, Christchurch, Barbados. This resort has a beautiful beachfront, which will host the Briefing Meeting for drivers and co-drivers and a social event on June 1, 2022.
Room rates are as follows:
- a) $165 per night for the 1-bedroom suite
- b) $327 per night for the 2-bedroom suites
If you book under the Barbados Rally Club, you get a 10% discount.
You can rent a car from Stoute’s Car Rental Ltd, the official vehicle rental partner, a discounted prices if you book online.
We hope you have a swell time enjoying the revamped SOL Barbados Rally 2022. It promises to be an event that will help to bring back the island life that you are used to as the recovery from the pandemic continues.
Thinking about traveling to experience Barbados in 2022? Be sure to check our Caribbean Travel Requirements COVID-19 updates for the latest requirements for travel to Barbados as well as other Caribbean countries including Antigua and Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis and Trinidad and Tobago.