Sol Rally Barbados 2015 scheduled for May 29 to 31 will finish with a spectacular side-by-side SuperSpecial on the Race Of Champions parallel track at Bushy Park, St Philip. This, along with a change of service park location, was confirmed by organisers today.
Crews will be required to start the SuperSpecial in order to be classified as overall finishers, but the times will not be included in the results of this year’s rally, allowing competitors to “let their hair down” after two hard days of focused rallying. Cars will be seeded in reverse order, from slowest to fastest, building tension during the evening, as drivers vie for special awards for fastest in class and fastest overall.
Rally chairman Mark Hamilton explained the various options.
“During the planning stages of our two events which run on consecutive weekends, the organising team looks at the best options available, taking into consideration cost, location, route implications, transits, infrastructure requirements, historical experiences and so forth. This is an on-going process, which results in changes from time to time that serve the best interest of the events. We are confident that will also be the case for 2015.
“The chance to use the ROC Parallel Track for its designed purpose of side-by-side racing is really too good to miss, and offers something we would not be able to do at Vaucluse Raceway within the time frame, as it will be configured for stage use earlier in the day. The infrastructure costs are already incurred for the Friday night start, when we cannot use the ROC track side-by-side within the timing structure of the event,” he said.
Hamilton said organizers were still planning for a rally finish that would bring competitors, rally cars, service crews, supporters and spectators together, over-looking the SuperSpecial from up on The Hill.
“I’m sure many will remember the 2008 SuperSpecial at Bushy Park with the bridge, when some drivers thought they were astronauts . . . once they relax and let their hair down, I think we may well see the same sort of thing again,” he said.
Hamilton added: “Fans will still see a lot of action up in St Thomas over the two weekends. It is the focal point for the LIME King of the Hill Party Stage –– Powered by LIME/Banks/AA, and the prize-giving, and will be used extensively over rally weekend.”
Saturday’s route includes 11 stages, four of which will run through the centre of the Vaucluse Raceway, including some new purpose-built link roads, which will add 1.5 kilometres to the traditional Hangman’s Hill stage. Saturday’s final stage will run after nightfall, then the rally will pass through the facility twice again on Sunday.
The service park for Sol Rally Barbados 2015 will now be at Simpson Motors, a change out of the club’s hands.
Hamilton explained. “After we announced returning to the Andrews Factory Yard, we learned that the re-development by the Barbados Agricultural Management Corporation would start earlier than planned. Our team have had to rethink the route, particularly in terms of transits between stages, another factor in our decision about the finish, as two of Sunday’s three stage venues are in the east of the island.”