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Sol Renews Rally Barbados Sponsorship and Jamaica’s Panton joins list of previous winners.

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Sol Renews Rally Barbados Sponsorship and Jamaica’s Panton joins list of previous winners.

Sol Renews Rally Barbados Sponsorship and Jamaica’s Panton joins list of previous winners.

While rally crews the world over seem determined to help the Barbados Rally Club (BRC) celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the inaugural running of its International All-Stage Rally, the Club has received another vote of confidence, with confirmation of a renewed three-year title sponsorship deal with Sol Barbados Ltd.

Entries so far received, which hover around the maximum of 90, include not only the biggest-ever local entry for the BRC’s blue riband event, but 28 from overseas, a massively-encouraging total in the current economic climate . . . and one which is expected to rise yet further. Rally Chairman Barry Gale has a simple message:

“Even though we’re already around our limit of 90, interested competitors should continue to enter on-line, as we are a long way from our closing date.

“Initially, all entries after the 90 will go on to our stand-by list, but the regulations state very clearly that there is an order of accepting entries, which comes in to play at the end of April.

We have developed this carefully to give Sol Rally Barbados a structure within which we can balance the interests of our international, regional and local competitors, all of whom are equally important to the success of the event.

“There are allocations for each group – and, within those allocations, there are currently still international and regional places available. Of the total of 40, we still have only 28 places filled, so I would encourage any ‘floating voters’ out there to go on-line and make their mark as soon as possible.”

The news of Sol’s decision to renew its three-year contract was confirmed by outgoing BRC Chairman Mark Hamilton during the Club’s AGM at the Barbados Clay Target Shooting Association’s (BCTSA) Club House at Searles, Christ Church, last evening (Tuesday, February 16).

Gale added: “The outstanding level of interest from competitors both at home and overseas, especially in such difficult times, is a big vote of confidence in the changes we have been able to make to the event since the beginning of our current three-year sponsorship arrangement with Sol.

“The fact that Sol’s management have agreed to renew its backing for a further 3 years means that the Barbados Rally Club can continue to evolve the Caribbean’s biggest annual motor sport event to face the increasing challenges of the economic climate.”

Jamaica’s Panton Joins List Of Previous Winners

Jamaica will be presenting a strong challenge in Sol Rally Barbados 2010, with confirmation that Jeffrey Panton, the first driver from the region to win in the island, has entered, joining fellow-countryman Gary Gregg – another former winner – in an effort to take the trophy north once again.

Panton is entered with regular co-driver Mike Fennell Jnr, with whom he finished seventh last year. One of his country’s most successful drivers – he has won Rally Jamaica six times in the event’s 19-year history, most recently in 2008 – he now campaigns an ex-works Ford Focus WRC, in which Colin McRae won the Cyprus Rally in 2001 and the Acropolis in 2002.

Panton was the first Jamaican driver to finish on the podium in Barbados, claiming second place in his first Toyota Celica GT4 in 1994 (co-driven by Rene McDaniel) and again in 1996 (co-driven by Rudi Meikle); his victory in 1998, by then with John de Mercado as co-driver, was the first for a regional driver.

Jamaica had to wait until 2006 before winning again, thanks this time to Gregg and Hugh Hutchinson in the ex-Carlos Sainz Focus, a sister car to Panton’s, which they campaigned until last year’s purchase of a newer-model Focus.

Sol Rally Barbados (May 29/30) and Shell V-Power King of the Hill (May 23) are organised by the Barbados Rally Club, which celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2007; Sol RB2010 marks the 20th Anniversary of the inaugural running of the Club’s International All-Stage Rally.

For further information:
e-mail – [email protected]
web site – www.rallybarbados.bb

Additional Information:

February 18th, 2010

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