There is always a Kerry connection: The Safety Advisor for Rally Barbados is…

There is always a Kerry connection: The Safety Advisor for Rally Barbados is…

Rally Barbados info by Robin Bradford

Photos by Neil Barnard

Sol RB23, the 33rd running of the Barbados Rally Club’s premier event, will start with the floodlit Sol SuperSpecial at Bushy Park Barbados at 7.00pm on Friday, June 9.

 After two days of action in the northern and eastern parishes, the event will finish with the Honda SuperSpecial at 4.30pm on Sunday back at the St Philip facility. The Rally Show and First Citizens King of the Hill are on the previous weekend, June 3 and 4.

Rally Barbados 2023, was launched  at a Media Briefing in the Open-Air Suites at Bushy Park Barbados last week.

At the Briefing Meeting, Rally Director Neil Barnard was joined on the top table by Brian Cadogan, Sol’s Regional Manager, Barbados Market, Walwyn Williams, Deputy CEO of First Citizens Bank Barbados, BTMI Chairman Shelly Williams and the BTMI’s recently-appointed Sports Manager Kemal Springer.

Barnard said: “We are so grateful for the support of all our sponsors and partners, particularly our title sponsor Sol who have provided the commitment and stability that has allowed us to improve and grow this event to the amazing thing it is today. The BTMI, the TDC and our King of The Hill sponsor, First Citizens, also deserve a special ‘shout out’ for their enthusiasm and willingness to support and embrace the sport, also Bushy Park where we are sitting now for their huge commitment to the event.”

Barnard revealed the top drivers – and of course Kerry Mick Smith is one of top entries in the historic rally….but aside from Smith, there is always a Kerry connection!

Although not a competitor, Barnard also highlighted the participation of the now-retired international co-driver Paul Nagle as a Safety Advisor.

Aston Martin Zagato feature, Great Cars

Nagle won the FIA-sanctioned Intercontinental Rally Challenge in 2009 with Kris Meeke and went on to win five World Rally Championship events between 2015 and ’17, but they are perhaps best known in the island for their victories in Sol RB 2008 and 2009.

Nagle brings more than 25 years’ experience of national and international rallying to his new role, which he will share with the Rally Club’s officials on the ground.

Safety and care for the community is a vital aspect of all planning ahead of Sol Rally Barbados, as Barnard emphasised: “Rallying cannot happen without the cooperation of the people of Barbados. We know that every year we attract hundreds of competitors and fans to our island and there are thousands of local rally fans that come out to watch the action, but we must respect the people and communities that we rally within. That respect and cooperation is essential to the sustainability of our sport.”

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