Dates confirmed for Rally Barbados 2023

courtesy Barbados Rally Club/Gerard Wilson, British couple Chris Shooter and Bev Le Good have competed in Rally Barbados six times and look forward to returning

Following publication of the Barbados Motoring Federation’s (BMF) Provisional Calendar for 2023 on Monday this week, the Barbados Rally Club (BRC) has moved quickly to confirm the dates for the 33rd edition of its premier event. Rally Barbados 2023 will run over the weekend of June 3 and 4, with The Rally Show and King of the Hill, the final shakedown and seeding event, on May 27 and 28.
  Since the BRC, which marked its 65th Anniversary in 2022, ran the International All-Stage Rally in 1990, the event has grown into the Caribbean’s biggest annual motor sport International and a key National Event on the island’s sports-tourism calendar. It has regularly contributed more than Bds $4 million to the economy, much of it in valuable foreign exchange, and accounted for as many as 4,000 visitor nights at a traditionally quiet time of the year for tourism.
  That International All-Stage Rally of July 1990 had not quite lived up to its name, as shipping problems prevented cars arriving from Martinique, so Britain’s Kevin Furber was the only overseas entry among the total of 35 . . . and even he was ‘just’ the Zero Car, co-driven by Dave Crawford, a future multiple winner of the event as co-driver to Roger ‘The Sheriff’ Skeete. The total elapsed time of just over 16 minutes recorded by Skeete on his way to the first of 13 wins, reflects the short, sharp nature of the stages.
  In the intervening years, that total number of 35 starters has grown to an average of around 90 in recent years, including more than 40 overseas entries. The event has hosted in excess of 600 competitors from 32 countries, many of whom have returned time and again - eight competitors in Sol RB22 have now participated 10 or more times, their combined visits adding up to 122.
  Skeete’s record of 13 wins is unlikely to be challenged any time soon, while his son Dane added two more to the family cv in 2019 and ’22. With five wins to his credit, Jamaica’s Jeff Panton is second on the Roll of Honour, having also been the first regional winner in 1998. England’s Paul Bird and Ireland’s Kris Meeke and Kenny McKinstry – he was the first International winner in 1993 – have each won twice, as has Barbadian Paul Bourne. Single wins have been claimed by America’s Ken Block, Jamaica’s Gary Gregg and local drivers Trevor Manning and Roger Mayers.
  Rally Barbados is a tarmac rally, with around 20 special stages run on the island’s intricate network of public roads, under road closure orders granted by the Ministry of Transport, Works & Water Resources; the previous Sunday’s King of the Hill ‘shakedown’, run under a similar arrangement, features four timed runs on a roughly four-kilometre stage, the results of which are used to seed the running order for the main event.
  Further details, including the opening date for entries, will be announced shortly.

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