SHAKE–UP FOR 2017 RALLY CLUB CHAMPIONSHIP

The Barbados Rally Club’s (BRC) Driver’s and Class Championship will have a new look for its 60th Anniversary year in 2017, with a later start to the season and a different spread of events across the calendar. Further changes to the individual format of events and the points-scoring system remain a work in progress, following discussions during a wide-ranging Members Meeting last evening (January 17) at the Barbados Clay Target Shooting Association (BCTSA) Clubhouse, Searles, Christ Church.

  The Shakedown Stages on Sunday, April 23, will now open the Championship season, more than a month later than before, with the final event in late November, a Stage Rally on November 24 & 25; changes to previously-published dates are subject to ratification by the Barbados Motoring Federation (BMF). With the number of rounds cut from eight to seven, the dropped-score rule will also be abandoned.

  BRC PRO Neil Barnard explained: “The Committee of Management (CoM) has been discussing some changes to the structure of the BRC Championship for some time. We had already engaged our most regular competitors to hear their views on the overall plan, but last night’s meeting was well-attended, with some excellent suggestions, which we will now consider before making a final announcement.”

  Among the ideas discussed were increasing the number of runs at each speed event; to award points for cumulative times as well as the fastest run in each class; also to revert to the more traditional 8.00am start. A separate Speed Championship, encompassing the existing events with others yet to be determined, will also be investigated.

  Barnard continued: “The original idea was to enable a later start to the season – only around half of our regular 30 or so competitors have been ready for early March in recent years - and create a longer mid-season gap. Following last night’s discussions, thanks to input from the membership, we seem to be heading for a total relaunch.”

  The other significant change is moving the August Stage Rally to a new date in November, when it is proposed to run stages in darkness on Friday night, then run from day into night on Saturday. Barnard said: “In consultation with the Vaucluse Raceway Motorsports Club (VRMSC), we have agreed to move our event from August to November, to help facilitate a revamp of the Barbados Historic Rally Carnival.

  “Moving that event has helped create the longer mid-season break. We believe that will have two benefits: first, it will afford our hard-worked volunteer marshals and officials a more worthwhile rest following the concentrated period between the Shakedown Stages and Sol RB17, when there are three major events within the space of seven weeks. Also, our competitors will be able to consider travelling to some regional events.”

  Long-term, the Club’s plan is to carry this new structure forward each year, so the season finishing in late November this year will not materially impact the time for off-season preparation in readiness for 2018. The gap between this final event last year and the 2017 season-opener will have been 24 weeks, compared with 23 and 22 for the previous two winter breaks respectively.

Barbados Rally Club Championship 2017 *

Round 1, April 23 – Shakedown Stages

Round 2, May 28 – Flow King of the Hill

Rounds 3 & 4, June 2-4 – Sol Rally Barbados 2017 Rounds 5 & 6, October 8 - Speed Event Round 7, November 24/25 – Stage Rally

* subject to ratification by the Barbados Motoring Federation

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