Sol June Rally switches gears
Class switching and a shake-up of the off-season are the ingredients for a re-energized Sol Rally Barbados this year.
And along with some re-development of machinery and the Barbados Rally Club’s revised regulations, June’s rally could be the most competitive in recent years.
Every three years, the BRC, taking into account trends in competitor support levels and changes on the international stage, starts a new cycle.
The top class in SuperModified has been split into two, with a new division at 2.5 litres, while the minimum weight limits in the Modified class have been increased by 20 kilogrammes. The rest of rules remain much the same.
Two-wheel drive champion Logan Watson leads the new SM12 class in his BMW M3 which will also include brother Rhett in the team’s other BMW M3, and Justin Campbell (M3), returning to competition in Sol Rally Barbados for the first time since 2010, when he finished 18th overall and third in SM11.
More than two-thirds of local entries so far received fall into those categories, where nearly all will also face some competition from either international or regional competitors.
Dane Skeete, the son of Roger “The Sheriff” Skeete, whose car is still to be named, is back in SM11.
He was the winner of M6 and an impressive 14th overall in Sol Rally Barbados 2011 in a Peugeot 206, now in the hands of Wayne Archer.
Neil Armstrong, the winner of SM10 for the past two years and highest-placed two-wheel drive finisher overall for the past three, is not yet entered but the class still looks highly competitive.
Roger “His Hotness” Mayers, the winner of the 2005 event in a Ford Focus, and his brother, Barry, are back but will be taking on the opposition offered in SM9 in their WR Starlet, which will pit them against Josh Read in a similar machine and Ian Warren in a Suzuki Swift.
M7 seems to be shaping up for an intriguing battle as no fewer than 12 local entries out of 16 are entered so far in this category. They include reigning M7 champion Daryl Clarke (Honda Civic) and former title-holders Edward Corbin in a Toyota Corolla RunX and Jeremy Sisnett who will drive a Ford Fiesta ST.
More than passed 80 entries have been received for the June 1 and 2 rally.