WORLD-CLASS CREWS FOR FLOW KING OF THE HILL
M-Sport’s Elfyn Evans, who currently leads WRC 2 in the FIA World Rally Championship, double European Rally Champion Simon Jean-Joseph, Sol Rally Barbados 2015 winner Jeffrey Panton and 13-time winner of the Barbados Rally Club’s (BRC) premier event Roger Skeete head a hugely-competitive entry list for Sunday’s (May 29) Flow King of the Hill, the final shakedown ahead of the Caribbean’s biggest annual motor sport International, Sol Rally Barbados 2016 (June 3-5).
Sol RB16 and BRC Chairman Mark Hamilton said: “The quality of this year’s entry and the interest shown by world-class competitors is a welcome endorsement of what our Club has worked so hard to achieve in recent years, with the support of our partners in both the private and public sectors. Sol Rally Barbados is close to the top of the ‘bucket lists’ of many crews, particularly in Europe, which speaks to the work of our hundreds of volunteers, also to the contribution our event makes to the sports-tourism product.”
The provisional running order published today (May 27) lists 80 starters, led by Welsh ace Evans (Ford Fiesta R5 Evo), whose FIA priority status places him ahead of last year’s winner, Jamaica’s Panton (Ford Focus WRC06) and Jean-Joseph (Focus WRC08) from Martinique. Only three Sol RB16 entries are missing, British drivers Roger Duckworth, Barry McKenna and Kevin Procter, although Procter will be there as a spectator.
As last year, Flow King of the Hill runs from Hangman’s Hill through the Vaucluse Raceway (VRW) then north to Lion Castle; the layout within VRW is shorter than last year and the total stage length is 4.5 kilometres. Cars will run in reverse order of seeding, from Clubman 1 up to WRC-1, and the top 10 after the first official run will be held back and re-seeded in reverse order to run at the end of the field.
The practice run is slated for 10.00am, followed by three official runs, the fastest of which will decide competitors’ finishing positions. The results of Flow King of the Hill are used to seed Sol RB16, while cars which do not compete will be seeded behind the last car in their class, unless safety considerations dictate otherwise.
From the inaugural KotH at Turner’s Hall in 2008, local drivers Paul Bourne (‘08 & ’10) and Skeete (’09 & ’11) shared the first four victories, as it moved first to Stewart’s Hill, then Sailor Gully and Hangman’s Hill. England’s Paul Bird won back at Hangman’s Hill in 2012, and again in 2014, after Neil Armstrong won in 2013, when the venue was Luke Hill in St Lucy. Skeete became the first driver to claim three wins last year.
Highest-placed two-wheel-drive car for the first three years was the Simpson Motors Suzuki Swift, with Sean Gill sixth in his last season in the car (2008), then Ian Warren ninth and fifth, the highest overall KotH finish for 2wd. Armstrong was top 2wd in 2011 & ’12, ninth and eighth, the mantle then assumed by Roger Mayers, sixth and eighth respectively in 2013 & ’14, with Josh Read joining the roll of honour last year, seventh.
Wide range of information available across media platforms
Flow King of the Hill and Sol Rally Barbados 2016 will enjoy record-breaking coverage across a wide range of media platforms:
Sol RallyFM Barbados: as before, there will be a live internet commentary stream, delivered in association with RallyFM.net. To listen to news, interviews and live commentary 24/7, go to www.rallyfm.net and click on 'Listen Live'. You can also download the 'TuneIn Radio' app and search for RallyFM to make listening via smart phone or tablet easier. To catch up or listen at a more convenient time go to www.spreaker.com/show/sol-rallyfm-barbados
Social media, Flow KotH: the primary social media channel for all fans on Sunday will be Flow Live. There will also be coverage on SolRB’s social media channels, but for Flow KotH, we will be posting regular updates on both Facebook and Twitter including photos, news updates, video clips and results on Flow Live Social media, Sol RB16: follow Sol Rally Barbados on Facebook (SOL Rally Barbados), Twitter (@RallyBarbados) and Instagram (rallybarbados) for comprehensive live coverage that will include photos, news updates, video highlights, interviews and results. Coverage will be from multiple locations and, as we have a direct link with Rally Control, both Flow Live and Sol Rally Barbados will be rally fans’ most accurate and up to date source for stage times and results Flow TV: a comprehensive end-of-day highlights package of the action is planned to air on channel 190 and these highlights can also be seen on the SolRB YouTube channel - ‘Rally Barbados’
Sol Rally Barbados (June 3-5) and Flow King of the Hill (May 29) are organised and promoted by the Barbados Rally Club, which will celebrate its 60th Anniversary in 2017; title sponsors are the Sol Group and Flow. Marketing partners are Simpson Motors, Automotive Art and Banks; official partners are Accra Beach Hotel & Spa, the Barbados Hotel & Tourism Association, Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc, Geest Line and the Tourism Development Corporation; associate sponsors are Chefette and Stoute’s Car Rental.