THE BARBADOS RALLY CLUB (BRC) and the Sol Group, the Caribbean's largest
independent oil company, have confirmed a three-year agreement which will
see them working closely together to expand the club's premier annual
to be known as Sol Rally Barbados.
When they addressed a media conference at the Hilton Barbados, just outside
The City, yesterday, the principals
of both organisations were up-beat about the future.
The overseas contingent for the first event to be run under the new title,
over the weekend of May 31/June 1, will be led by two well-known world-class
in Barbados for the
The first-ever World Rally champion, Sweden's Bjorn Waldegard - he won
the title in 1979 - will drive a Porsche 911, while one of rallying's
brightest hopes for the future, Ireland's Kris Meeke, will campaign in
a Toyota Corolla World Rally Car.
Although final details are unconfirmed, the BRC anticipates an overseas
entry of nearly 30 cars.
"Sol is proud to be partnering with the Barbados Rally Club
in the sponsorship of Sol Rally Barbados 2008.
"This sponsorship of the rally is a continuation
of our long association with motor sport.
We believe in Barbados and in the sport and it is our belief that there
is definitely a great synergy between motor sport and Sol," said
Sol's general manager Roger Bryan.
Mark Hamilton, chairman of the Barbados Rally Club, added: "This
agreement with Sol is the largest single sponsorship deal in the history
of the Barbados Rally Club, which celebrated its 50th anniversary last
"It marks a really positive start to our second half-century. Sol's
a three-year period has given the club the security it needed to develop
plans for steady growth in the scope and stature of Rally Barbados, as
the event approaches its 20th anniversary in 2010.
"All of us in the club look forward to working with Sol to maximise
the benefits this arrangement can bring, not only for ourselves, but for
motor sport in the island and the wider Caribbean."
Sol will also be backing a new BRC event the weekend before the rally
through its major brand name in the region. The Shell V-Power King of
the Hill will run on May 24, as a prelude to the "main event".
This hill sprint will double as a qualifying round of the club's
newly- created Sprint Championship and as a "shakedown" for
overseas competitors in advance
of Sol Rally Barbados.
A top-class entry
The rally's title sponsor is Sol and associate sponsors and marketing
partners are McEnearney Quality, Simpson Motors, Automotive Art, Banks
Holdings, DaCosta Mannings Auto Centre, Digicel, Nassco, Consolidated
Finance, Virgin Atlantic Airways, Crane & amp; Equipment,
Armag, the Barbados Hotel & amp; Tourism Association and the Barbados
Tourism Authority. (PR)