Powering what moves people

The Sol Barbados team believes in the power of giving back. We are proud to have supported the Breaking Bread Charity’s incredible initiative to feed the homeless in Queen’s Park on December 17th.

Our team was elated to donate 200 bags to help make a difference during the holiday season. Together, let’s continue to assist and uplift organizations that make a positive impact in our communities.


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Sol, the BNTCL Sale and You

What the proposed sale means for Barbadians
At Sol, our customers are our top priority and we have pledged our continued commitment to the communities we operate within. We  are committed to providing you with credible, easily-accessible information surrounding the proposed Barbados National Terminal Company Ltd. (BNTCL) sale.
We have thus far respected the FTC’s investigative process as it relates to the proposed transaction and now that we have received a final ruling, we are reviewing the FTC’s decision regarding the transaction to determine how best to move forward with our proposal to purchase the BNTCL. Below, we are sharing our views and addressing queries as they relate to the transaction as proposed.
1. Will Sol be able to import petroleum products after the privatisation of BNTCL? BNTCL does not import, own or sell any petroleum products — it merely provides through putting services (storage and transfer of petroleum products). Ownership of BNTCL would not allow Sol to influence or control the importation of petroleum products, because this is the responsibility of the BNOCL — a separate, government-owned entity. Sol has not requested any right to exclusively import products as part of the transaction nor does it intend to.
2. Would Sol’s ownership of BNTCL allow Sol to control the pricing of fuel products? No. The pricing of any fuel products is, and would continue to be, the responsibility of the Government of Barbados, through the Division of Energy. If the sale were to be approved, the Government would retain regulatory oversight and control the final pump price to consumers.
3. Would there be any increase for consumers at the pump, as a result of the proposed sale? If there is an increase it would be minimal. For consumers filling up on an average 45-litre tank, the proposed increase in throughput fees would translate into approximately BBD 0.02 (2 cents) per litre on gasoline and BBD 0.014 (1.4 cents) per litre on diesel at the pump. This means that four full tanks a month would result in an increase of less than BBD 5.00 per month to the average consumer.
4. What would be the government’s role in BNTCL after its sale? It has been stipulated in the sale and purchase agreement that the Barbados Government will be issued with a ‘Golden Share’ which would allow it to maintain some control over the use and operation of BNTCL in the interest of the Barbadian public. From the onset of the transaction, Sol has advocated for the regulation of BNTCL’s throughput fees. The Government of Barbados, however, would need to establish the necessary framework for such regulation of BNTCL’s throughput fees post-merger.
5. What structures would be in place to ensure that the current competitive landscape is maintained? Sol has suggested to the FTC (and is open to any suggestions from the FTC) to have conditions imposed on the merger which will address any competitive concerns pertaining to the transaction. Sol is willing to enter into binding agreements with the approved users of the BNTCL terminal and with the FTC in order to set definitive and fair operating standards to which the BNTCL terminal will be bound, and to ensure that all customers of the terminal, including Sol’s direct competitors, are adequately serviced on fair and non-discriminatory terms. 
6. How would the foreign exchange generated by this sale affect Barbados? The sale of BNTCL to Sol allows the Government to realise necessary foreign exchange to bolster a fragile foreign reserve position. As Barbados is currently below investment grade as a result of recent downgrades, an increase in foreign exchange reserves would help investors look more favourably towards Barbados as an investment destination.
7. Will Barbadians be allowed an opportunity to invest in BNTCL?  The sale of BNTCL allows the public of Barbados to participate with a 35% ownership interest through an initial public offering. Under Sol ownership, the BNTCL will be a public company and Barbadians can become investors in its business. This creation of a new public company is extremely significant as it would give Barbadians an opportunity to receive benefits as a result of the sale of the BNTCL.
Our dedication to this country remains steadfast and we will continue to look for ways to better respond to the needs of our most valued stakeholders – the Barbadian people. Sol is, of course, in the business of petroleum, but first and foremost, we are in the business of people.

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Sol proactively mitigating impact of Black Rock

Barbados: December 6, 2017 – SOL PETROLEUM (BARBADOS) SRL, (Sol) confirmed that the former employees of the Esso-branded service station at Black Rock are being reassured of the continued commitment of Sol in light of the recent management change at the service station. Word of this came from Ezra Prescod, General Manager of Sol Barbados, who asserted that Sol had been assured by the former dealer that all of the dealer’s employees would be satisfactorily compensated in an expeditious manner.
In the interim, Sol, the licensed distributor of Esso in Barbados, has been proactively seeking to find alternate placements for the majority of the staff. “We are in the process of contacting the affected employees of the former dealer and we are actively working with those who are interested in relocating within our network,” Mr. Prescod stated, adding that interviews with some of these employees are being conducted. He was pleased to confirm that alternate placement has already been given to some of the interviewees, and he reassured that Sol’s primary concern is the well-being of the staff.
“Because of the sensitive nature of the changes, we were sure to provide the former retailer of the station with notice in early October, ahead of the contractually stipulated 30-day notice period,” said Prescod.
As a result of the management change, the contracts of the former service station operator’s employees were concluded.  The General Manager also confirmed that they have reached out to the incoming operator who pledged to consider the current team members when staffing the renovated station.
The Black Rock Service station changed management on December 1 and has been temporarily closed to facilitate structural upgrades and essential maintenance in line with Sol’s Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) Policy.
The site is scheduled to reopen on December 15, 2017. Sol thanked the members of the former management team and staff of Black Rock Service Station for their contribution to its operations.
Esso and the Esso logo are trademarks of Exxon Mobil Corporation and are used under license.

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Sol Continues to Shine During the Solar Eclipse

On Monday 21st August 2017, Sol (Barbados) Ltd partnered with The Harry Bayley Observatory to distribute ISO 12312-2 certified safety glasses for the viewing of the Partial Solar Eclipse. These complimentary glasses were distributed at several summer camps, at some of the Sol and Esso branded service stations and at The Observatory. Campers, customers and viewers at the observatory were very happy to receive these glasses as they were able to safely observe this astronomical phenomenon. The Sol team also engaged in interactive sessions with the children at the summer camps where safety was highlighted and excitement was at an all-time high as the viewing period approached.

A solar eclipse is an astrophysical event in which the moon passes between the Sun and Earth and blocks all or part of the Sun for up to about three hours. In Barbados, the eclipse viewers were able to observe this phenomenon between the hours of 2:30pm and 5:00pm.

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New state-of-the-art Sol store model

The Sol Group and the team at SOL (BARBADOS) LTD. are excited to announce the opening of their novel store model in Worthing, Christ Church. Sol, a new and contemporary store, which features an innovative exterior and interior design, offers a wide variety of gourmet on-the-go meals and beverages, including a premium-blend of specialty coffee.
The menu, designed to appeal to local customers as well as visitors to the island, offers all-day breakfast, customisable fresh and healthy meals, gourmet pizza (made on location), Bajan rotisserie chicken, freshly baked goods, premium coffee and tea. The store features modern food service technologies, and includes touch screen self-serve kiosks, which have visual representations of each menu item for the creation of custom meals and ordering. The Sol store at Worthing is a 24-hour operation, which is accessible on weekends and holidays for customers’ convenience.
“The premium coffee served at Worthing is a highlight of our menu,” stated Ezra Prescod, General Manager of Sol (Barbados) Ltd. “Our specialty coffee is only available at the Sol store and is specially roasted right here in Barbados!” The general manager noted that Sol recognises customers’ need of convenient solutions for premium, fresh, healthy meal and beverage options throughout the day and that the Sol store is seeking to fulfil this need through provision of more balanced and appealing meal options in a modern environment.
“We are constantly innovating,” the General Manager, explained, “and at this time we are pioneering this new concept in Barbados”. Noting that the Sol store was an asset in the Sol Group’s portfolio of products, Prescod emphasised the store’s objective of adding value to Sol’s customer experience. “The store is designed to make the process of selecting, paying and receiving a meal as quick and smooth as possible. High-quality offer and customer convenience were at the foundation of the new design,” he explained.

The recently debuted Sol store is the first of its kind in the Caribbean, and is the most recent addition to The Sol Group. The Sol store will build on the Sol brands through delivery of its own unique customer value proposition, and the concept is intended to be rolled out locally and regionally in the near future.
This first Sol store is located in Worthing, and the high traffic Christ Church location is also home to the newly branded Esso service station. The Esso forecourt was also opened by Sol, the Esso Licensee in Barbados. Additional Sol stores will be launched throughout the Sol and Esso-branded network of service stations in Barbados and further throughout the region.  For more information on the new Sol store in Worthing visit www.facebook.com/solpetroleum
Esso and the Esso logo are trademarks of Exxon Mobil Corporation and are used under license.
The Sol Group of companies operates in 22 countries across the Eastern Caribbean, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Bermuda, Bahamas, Cayman, Belize Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, Martinique and Guadeloupe. Sol supplies fuels, lubricants, bitumen and LPG through an extensive service station network, with marine, aviation and commercial operations.

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Sol Rally Barbados 2016 official results

Key to nationalities (competitor from Barbados unless shown): ENG – England; GUY – Guyana; IRL – Republic of Ireland; JAM – Jamaica; MTQ – Martinique; NED – The Netherlands; NZL – New Zealand; SCO – Scotland; TCI – Turks & Caicos; TRI – Trinidad & Tobago; WAL – Wales
1st Jeffrey Panton – JAM/Michael Fennell Jnr – JAM (WRC-1 Rubis/Sandals Barbados/KIG Ford Focus WRC06), 1h 03m 59.55s
2nd Roger Skeete/Louis Venezia (WRC-1 Sol/Flow/Automotive Art Subaru Impreza WRC S12B), + 45.33s
3rd Elfyn Evans – WAL/Craig Parry – WAL (GpA Sol/Intercontinental Shipping Ford Fiesta R5 Evo), + 58.51s
4th Roger Mayers/Sean Corbin (SM2 Chefette/Digicel/Sol/DHL/Illusion Graphics/Hankook WR Starlet), + 02:17.39
5th Josh Read/Mark Jordan (SM2 Sprite/Stihl/Gliptone/Hankook/Weetabix/Chutney’s/Urban Kitchen/Cell Hut/Cockspur Toyota Starlet), + 02:28.99
6th Roger Duckworth – ENG/Mark Broomfield – ENG (WRC-2 Intrinsys Subaru Impreza WRC S6), + 02:47.80
7th Kevin Procter – ENG/Philip Hopkins – ENG (WRC-1 Procters Coaches/Swift Signs/Compass Royston/Coach2.com/Corner House Hotel Ford Fiesta), + 03:14.84s
8th Rob Swann – ENG/Aled Edwards – WAL (WRC-1 Elegant Hotels/Blue Sky Luxury/Cygnet Plant Subaru Impreza WRC S12B), + 04:20.39s
9th Roger Hill/Graham Gittens (WRC-2 Esso/Nassco/MotorMac/Pennzoil Toyota Corolla WRC), + 06:20.72
10th Neil Corbin/Matthew Staffner (M1 Nassco/Jason Jones/Auto Solutions/Emtage Electric/BG Products & Services/Valvoline Toyota Starlet), + 06:46.20
11th Neil Armstrong/Barry Ward (SM2 Rubis/Virgin Atlantic/GUNK/Hankook/Sugar Bay Ford Escort MkII), + 06:58.47
12th Jim McKenna – IRL/Arthur Kierans – IRL (SM2 McKenna Rentals/Kes Engineering Ford Escort MkII), + 07:04.45
13th Jamal Brathwaite/Dario Hoyte (M2 Platinum Motors Collision Repair/Valvoline/Automotive Art/Consumers Guarantee Insurance/Sunoco Fuels/JSB Motorsport/Ellesmere Quarries Honda Civic Type-R), + 07:35.96
14th Mark Thompson/Kurt Seabra – GUY (GpN Rock Hard Cement/Stag Beer/Automotive Art/NKM Clothing/Bio-Beauty Day Spa/Valvoline/Slam 101.1FM/Versatile Construction/Glassesco Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX), + 08:03.92
15th Andrew Jones/Lindsey Pilkington – ENG (SM2 Lucozade/Caribbean Powder Coating Ford Escort MkII), + 08:48.07
16th Justin Campbell/Juan Watts (SM3 Republic Bank/Five Star Fast Track/Hilton Barbados/Dream Solutions/Castrol/Itstaboo.com/Campbell Racing Team BMW M3), + 09:13.40
17th David Coelho – TRI/James Harris – ENG (GpN Zanzibar/Kaizan Sushi/VP Fuels/Total Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX), + 09:27.40
18th David St Hill/Ian Grimes (SM3 Solar Wind & Energy Solutions/Liqui Moly/Bimmer Specialist BMW M3), + 09:39.16
19th Damien Hagan – IRL/Paul Kelly – IRL (SM2 JG Kelly Supplies/Hagan Auto Repairs/Scabits Ford Escort MkII), + 10:00.93
20th Kurt Thompson/Adam Straker (M2 Glassesco/NKM Clothing/Bio-Beauty Day Spa/Beacon Insurance/R A Mapp/Slam 101.1FM/Versatile Construction Honda Civic), + 10:38.11
21st Paul Horton – TCI/Dwayne Forde (M2 Java Island/H Racing/Sky Motorsports Ford Escort MkI), + 11:21.14
22nd Edward Corbin/Johnathan Alleyne (SM1 Automotive Art/Pro Sales/KlarkOdio/Hilti Daihatsu Charmant), + 11:21.46
23rd Martin Donnelly – IRL/Brian Doherty – IRL (WRC-2 Eire Concrete Toyota Corolla WRC), + 11:43.14
24th Martin Stockdale – ENG/Mark Swallow – ENG (SM3 Divi Southwinds Beach Resort/Drive-a-Matic/Canems Engine Management/Quarry Motors BMW 1M Coupe), + 11:52.22
25th Kenny Hall – SCO/Fenny Wesselink – NED (M1 The Sporting Pig Sports Bar & Restaurant/Halltune Garage Ford Puma S1600), + 13:24.54
26th Pascal Calvel – MTQ/Miguel Azerot – MTQ (M1 ABC Depannage/SODIVA/Pro ROC/Tilo Citroen C2 R2 Max), + 13:28.12
27th Raymond Clough – ENG/Stephen Bell (H2 Saint-Gobain Weber Ford Escort MkI), + 13:57.88
28th Enda McCormack – IRL/Kieran McElhinney – IRL (SM2 McCormack Contracting Ford Escort MkII), + 14:01.88
29th Harold Morley – ENG/Shiva Maharaj – TRI (GpN ONTRAC/Red Square/10 Saints/Cost-u-Less/bajanloveshop.com Subaru Impreza WRX STi R4), + 14:59.23
30th Wayne Archer/Derek Edwards (M1 Archers Hall Design Centre/RW Water Peugeot 206), + 15:29.22
31st Jonathan Ince/David Armstrong (SM3 Brake Pro Inc/Ocean Fisheries Ltd BMW M3), + 15:43.29
32nd Jermin Pope/Adam Cox (C1 Glassesco/Good time Snacks/NKM/UFO/Niccolls & Edghill Construction/Bio Beauty Day Spa/Tile Express/Slam 101.1FM Honda Civic), + 16:00.73
33rd Stuart Austin – ENG/Jason Tull (GpA Austin Powell Ltd Subaru Impreza N12), + 16:08.63
34th Stuart Tomlinson – ENG/Nick Taylor – ENG (SM2 Tomlinson’s/Atlas Copco UK Ford Escort MkII), +16:57.52
35th Hugh Peat – ENG/Stephen Peat – ENG (SM2 All in/Wemix Concrete BMW M3 Compact), + 17:04.47
36th Dick Mauger – ENG/Andrew Smith – NZL (SM2 Major Farm Services Ford Escort MkII), + 17:42.83
37th Will Parry – WAL/Gareth Parry – WAL (SM2 Tsalta Motorsport/Gary’s Plant Hire/Hydro Customs/E & M Motors/TDW Forestry/MEM Ford Escort MkII), + 17:47.31
38th Sean Kukula – ENG/Emma Arthur – ENG (H2 Competitionsupplies.com/Lifeline Fire & Safety Systems/WOSP Performance/TRS Motorsport Equipment/Cobra Seats/DMD Motorsport Engineering/Tilton Engineering Ford Escort MkII), + 18:30.42
39th Paul Inniss/Selena Kirton (C2 Durex Barbados/Caribbean Villa Chefs/Hugh Auto Body/Drive-A-Matic Car Rentals/Sun General Insurance/JJ Racing Team/East Point Grill/Terasu Restaurant/The Chicken Shop Inc/Rallymaxx Honda Civic), + 20:16.48
40th Gary Thomas – WAL/Linda Thomas – WAL (SM2 Tsalta Motorsport Ford Escort MkII), + 20:26.43
41st Marcel Freling – ENG/Karen Robinson – ENG (M All Seasons Resort Barbados/Mel Hudson Motors/Nankang Tyres/True Budget Accommodation/Visiontek.co.uk/Roverbreakers MG ZR), + 21:18.29
42nd John Corbin/Owen Proverbs (H2 Automotive Art/Pro Sales/KlarkOdio/Hilti Toyota Corolla), + 22:23.05
43rd Peter Gallagher – IRL/Rene Forde (C1 Dublin Crystal Peugeot 206XSi), + 22:48.43
44th Howard Paterson – ENG/Ruth Paterson – ENG (M Rallydrive Driver Tuition/Little Bristol Beach Bar Speightstown Skoda Fabia), + 24:48.54
45th Trevor Mapp/Allister Nurse (C1 JSB Motorsport/A S Autostop/Chicken Pen Racing/Valvoline Mitsubishi Colt Mivec RS), + 25:33.37
46th Kevin-Jon Manning/Chazelle Cumberbatch (C1 KY/Flat 4s Barbados/Sunshade Tinting Studio/Pinder IT Peugeot 106 Rallye), + 27:28.48
47th Fabien Clarke/Arlington Hoyte (C1 RCR Tours/King Auto Repair/Barbados Business Listings/Bovell Auto Repair Suzuki Ignis Sport), + 28.26.89
48th Shelly Taunt – ENG/Julie Murphy – ENG (GpN Infinity on the Beach/Jantech Auto Services/Combined Scaffolding/Guest & Flore Bricklayers/ASF Signs/Julie Murphy’s Driving School/710 Oil/Jim Griffiths Car & Body Repairs Subaru Impreza N10), + 29:04.79
49th Russell Roberts – ENG/Barry Simpson – ENG (H1 Peugeot 205GTi), + 30:48.97
50th Steve Finch – ENG/Stanley Graham – ENG (SM2 Ford Escort MkII), + 39:40.19
Highest-placed non-national 4wd: Panton – JAM/Fennell Jnr – JAM (1st overall)
Highest-placed non-national rwd: J McKenna – IRL/Kierans – IRL (12th overall)
Highest-placed non-national fwd: Hall – SCO/Wesselink – NED (25th overall) Highest-placed female driver: Shelly Taunt – ENG (48th overall)
Highest-placed female co-driver: Lindsey Pilkington – ENG (15th overall, co-driver for Andrew Jones)
Starters: 81 (40 Barbados, 36 International, 5 Regional) Overall finishers: 53 (24 Barbados, 25 International, 4 Regional)
Overall Two-wheel-drive: 1st R Mayers/S Corbin;
2nd Read/Jordan;
3rd N Corbin/Staffner;
4th Armstrong/Ward;
5th J McKenna – IRL/Kierans – IRL;
6th Brathwaite/Hoyte;
7th Jones/Pilkington – ENG;
8th Campbell/Watts;
9th St Hill/Grimes;
10th Hagan – IRL/Kelly – IRL
Overall Historic:
1st Clough – ENG/Bell;
2nd Kukula – ENG/Arthur – ENG;
3rd J Corbin/Proverbs;
4th Roberts – ENG/Simpson – ENG
Sunday Cup:
1st Barry Mayers/Ben Norris (SM2 Chefette/Digicel/Sol/DHL/Hankook/Quality Tyre/Illusion Graphics Ford Fiesta), 27m 32.35s;
2nd Daryl Clarke/Russell Brancker (M2 Roberts Manufacturing/Amir’s Chicken/Valvoline/MQI Collision Repair Honda Civic), + 41.41;
3rd Barry McKenna – IRL/Leon Jordan – IRL (SM2 ECD NY Inc Ford Escort MkII), + 59.55;
4th Mark Kinch/Andrew Peirce (SM3 Jolly Roger/Boom Energy Drink/Pirate’s Cove/Cran Plus Water BMW M3), + 59.66;
5th Gareth Richards – WAL/Aled Lloyd Jones – WAL (SM2 Tsalta Motorsport Ford Escort MkII), + 3:15.02;
6th Simon May – ENG/Melissa Wheeler – ENG (H2 ASM Automotive Engineers/Farnborough District Motor Club Ford Escort MkII), + 4:13.58s;
7th Allan Mackay – SCO/Andrew Croney (SM2 Beatson’s Building Supplies Ford Anglia WRC), + 4:29.29;
8th Shareef Walcott/Jan-Yves Hinds (SM1 Melwani’s/Novus Tech/Castrol/Caribbean Pleasures/Mianect Toyota Corolla), + 4:43.21;
9th Allan Kinch/Allan Maynard (C2 Jolly Roger/Boom Energy Drink/Pirate’s Cove/Cran Plus Water BMW 318ti), + 4:49.38;
10th Simon Nutter – ENG/Robert Nutter – ENG (M Silverblue Tours Skoda Fabia), + 8:03.37
Class results
WRC-1: 1st Panton – JAM/Fennell Jnr – JAM, 1h 03m 59.55s; 2nd Skeete/Venezia, + 45.33s; 3rd Procter – ENG/Hopkins – ENG, + 03:14.84s; etc
WRC-2: 1st Duckworth – ENG/Broomfield – ENG, 1:06:47.35; 2nd Hill/Gittens, + 03:32.92; 3rd Donnelly – IRL/McElhinney – IRL, + 08:55.34 Group A: 1st Evans – WAL/Parry – WAL, 1:04:58.06; 2nd Austin – ENG/Tull, + 15:10.12
GpN: 1st M Thompson/Seabra – GUY, 1:12:03.47; 2nd Coelho – TRI/Harris – ENG, + 01:23.48; 3rd Morley – ENG/Maharaj – TRI, + 06:55.31; etc SuperModified 3: 1st Campbell/Watts, 1:13:12.95; 2nd St Hill/Grimes, + 00:25.76; 3rd Stockdale – ENG/Swallow – ENG, + 02:38.82; etc
SM2: 1st R Mayers/S Corbin, 1:06:16.94; 2nd Read/Jordan, + 11.60s; 3rd Armstrong/Ward, + 04:41.08; etc
SM1: 1st E Corbin/Alleyne, 1:15:21.01
Modified 2: 1st Brathwaite/Hoyte, 1:11:35.51; 2nd K Thompson/Straker, + 03:02.15; 3rd Horton – TCI/Forde, + 03:45.18
M1: 1st N Corbin/Jordan, 1:10:45.75; 2nd Hall – SCO/Wesselink – NED, + 06:38.34; 3rd, Calvel – MTQ/Miguel Azerot – MTQ, + 06:41.92
M: 1st Freling – ENG/Robinson – ENG, 1:25:17.84; 2nd Paterson – ENG/Paterson – ENG, + 03:30.25 Historic 2: 1st Clough – ENG/Bell, 1:17:57.43; 2nd Kukula – ENG/Arthur – ENG, + 04:32.54; 3rd J Corbin/Proverbs, + 08:25.17
H1: 1st Roberts – ENG/Simpson – ENG, 1:34:48.52 Clubman 2: 1st Inniss/Kirton, 1:24:16.03
C1: 1st Pope/Cox, 1:20:00.28; 2nd Gallagher – IRL/Forde, + 06:47.70; 3rd, Mapp/Nurse, + 09:32.64; etc
GpB2: 1st Andrew Costin-Hurley – ENG/Rob Brook – ENG (True Colour Racing/Earl’s Performance Hoses Ford Puma Evo), 1:15:56.53
GpB1: 1st Chris Ullyett/Tammy Lashley (Ullyett’s Machine Shop/Proj-Rx Inc BMW M3), 1:16:08.72; 2nd Pete Rayner – ENG/Maria Rayner – ENG (Perry Road Autos Ford Escort MkII), + 15:13.51

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Evans Heads Class Entry for Sol Rally Barbados

M-Sport World Rally Championship contenders Elfyn Evans and Craig Parry are seeded at number one in the final running order for Sol Rally Barbados 2016 (June 3-5), published by the Barbados Rally Club (BRC) in advance of this evening’s Briefing Meeting at the Accra Beach Hotel & Spa in Rockley. Campaigning the Sol/Intercontinental Shipping Ford Fiesta R5 Evo, the Welsh pair will lead off an international field of 83 cars, with overseas competitors representing 14 countries.
Jamaica’s Jeffrey Panton and Michael Fennell Jnr (Rubis/Sandals Barbados/KIG Ford Focus WRC06) will start at number two, with the joint winners of last Sunday’s Flow King of the Hill, Martinique’s Simon Jean-Joseph and Jack Boyere (Sol/Marina du Marin/Easydrift/Long Horn/La Martinique/Intercontinental Shipping Focus WRC08) at three.
Sol RB16 and BRC Chairman Mark Hamilton said: “When last year’s King of the Hill was decided by just five-hundredths of a second, the smallest margin ever, it set us up for a memorable Sol Rally Barbados . . . and this year we had joint winners! This weekend’s action should be as hot and as unpredictable as anything we have ever seen.

“Although he finished third on Sunday, Elfyn is seeded first by virtue of his FIA Priority status, while Jeffrey starts at number two in acknowledgement of his victory over Simon last year. Elfyn is the first current WRC driver to compete in Barbados and Simon is a double European Champion, which promises an amazing showdown with the region’s finest. I must again thank John Powell, who owns both the R5 and the Focus that Simon is driving for his help in making this a reality. It is just a pity that he will not be here this weekend to enjoy the action personally.”
Also in contention are England’s Rob Swann, co-driven in the Elegant Hotels/Blue Sky Luxury/Cygnet Plant Subaru Impreza WRC S12B by Welshman Aled Edwards, and 13-time winner of the BRC’s premier event, Roger Skeete, who has Louis Venezia on the notes in the Sol/Flow/Automotive Art Impreza WRC S12B. The wild card is the English crew of Kevin Procter and Philip Hopkins, who will be campaigning the Procters Coaches/Swift Signs/Compass Royston/Coach2.com/Corner House Hotel Ford Fiesta for the first time.
Josh Read and Mark Jordan are top 2wd seeds for the second year in a row, starting at seven in the Sprite/Stihl/Gliptone/Hankook/Weetabix/Chutney’s/Urban Kitchen/Cell Hut/Cockspur Toyota Starlet. Fellow 2wd runners Roger Mayers and Sean Corbin (Chefette/Digicel/Sol/DHL/Illusion Graphics/Hankook WR Starlet), Rhett Watson and James Hutchinson (Chefette/Carter’s Pitstop/Stihl/Gliptone/GUNK/The Unknown Entity in support of Little Pink Gift BMW M3), Dane Skeete and Tyler Mayhew (Sol/Flow/Automotive Art/Williams Trading Inc Peugeot 306 Maxi) complete the top 10.
In addition to the battle for overall and 2wd supremacy, there will be 16 separate classes contested, in all but two of which island competitors will enjoy the challenge of pitting their skills against regional or international entries.
Sol RB16 will start with two Friday evening stages on the unique Race Of Champions Parallel Track at Bushy Park Barbados and finish with a RallySprint SuperSpecial at the Vaucluse Raceway for the first time since 2007; after 23 stages across the island, with a total competitive distance of 119.70 kilometres, Sunday’s SuperSpecial will give drivers the chance to let their hair down head-to-head, safe in the knowledge that no times are being recorded . . . although they will be required to take the SuperSpecial start to be considered overall finishers.

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Unprecedented Tie at FLOW King of the Hill

In an unprecedented outcome, French Double European Rally Champion Simon Jean-Joseph and Jamaica’s Jeffrey Panton were joint winners of yesterday’s (Sunday) action-packed Flow King of the Hill. World Rally Championship WRC 2 points leader driver Elfyn Evans finished third, ahead of Rob Swann, with the 2015 winner, Roger ‘The Sheriff’ Skeete, the highest-placed local driver in fifth.
Josh Read repeated last year’s top two-wheel-drive award, one place higher overall – sixth – with the rest of the top 10 also in 2wd cars, Roger Mayers, Rhett Watson, Dane Skeete and Andrew Jones. By the time the 10.00am practice run started, huge crowds had gathered inside the Vaucluse Raceway (VRW), with hundreds more spectators lining other popular spots on Hangmans Hill, Dukes and Lion Castle. With a less complex sequence of corners within VRW than last year, the stage distance was 4.3 kilometres.
Jean-Joseph topped the practice run in the Sol/Marina du Marin/Easydrift/Long Horn/La Martinique/Intercontinental Shipping Ford Focus WRC08, clocking 2m 47.87s. Evans (Sol/Intercontinental Shipping Ford Fiesta R5 Evo) was second on 2:52.25, with Mayers third and top 2wd in the Chefette/Digicel/Sol/DHL/Illusion Graphics/Hankook WR Starlet, on 2:57.77. Panton (Rubis/Sandals Barbados/KIG Focus WRC06) was fourth on 2:59.87, with Roger Hill fifth (Esso/Nassco/MotorMac/Pennzoil Toyota Corolla WRC) on 3:01.91s.
Jean-Joseph improved to 2:46.33 on the first Official Run, as Panton (2:47.40) and Swann, on 2:47.88 in the Elegant Hotels/Blue Sky Luxury/Cygnet Plant Subaru Impreza WRC S12B, both moved ahead of Evans (2:49.61). Mayers was still top 2wd (2:53.91), 2secs ahead of Read (Sprite/Stihl/Gliptone/Hankook/Weetabix/Chutney’s/Urban Kitchen/Cell Hut/Cockspur Toyota Starlet).
On the second Official Run, Panton astonishingly equalled Jean-Joseph’s time to the 100th, while the Frenchman lost around 10secs with a spin in front of the VRW crowd, setting up a fantastic climax. Evans found another 2secs (2:47.49) to move into third, ahead of Swann, while Skeete (Sol/Flow/Automotive Art Impreza WRC S12B) finally set a representative time (2:49.23), after suffering technical issues on every run.
Weather played its part, however, as rainfall turned the last of the three Official Runs into nothing more than a very useful test session on the island’s notoriously slippery roads, particularly for those overseas crews new to the event, including Evans: “We tried to attack from the outset but didn’t take any risks. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the pace to keep up with the full old works cars but hopefully during the weekend it rains, which levels the field a bit more and we can win some stages.”
Jean-Joseph agreed: “With the wet and dry, it was a good warm-up and the battle is ready for next weekend. This year I definitely want to win the rally, but I know it won’t be just me in that position, as Jeffrey will too.” And Panton is ready: “Next week will be maximum attack from the start, because any time lost here is difficult to make back. It was a tough day as we broke an axle and some dampers in the first two runs, so the only clean run we had we were able to equal Simon.”
In the 2wd battle, Read had found further time of the second Official Run (2:52.53), while Mayers had gone backwards (2:53.91), after an unsuccessful change of tyres, leaving Read the winner. Behind them, just a couple of seconds covered Watson (Chefette/Carter’s Pitstop/Stihl/Gliptone/Gunk/The Unknown Entity in support of Little Pink Gift BMW M3), Skeete (Sol/Flow/Automotive Art/Williams Trading Inc Peugeot 306 Maxi) and Jones (Lucozade/Caribbean Powder Coating Ford Escort MkII).
Read said: “I came here with a speed event mentality and looked to increase as the day went on. I’m looking forward to the rally; speed has definitely gone up and you have to find the balance between being on the limit and making a mistake.” Winner of 2wd in Sol RB for the past two years, Watson added: “A few things have changed with the car, weight, different brake pads and tyres but the extra HP is missing especially at the top end. It has been a long year but the package has come together well. For the rally now, it will be a wash down and a bolt check!”
There were some close finishes in the classes, too: the smallest margin was just 1/100th in Group B1, where Chris Ullyett (BMW M3) beat England’s Peter Rayner (Escort MkII). In Group N, Trinidad & Tobago’s David Coelho (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX) led after the first run, but Andrew Mallalieu (Impreza N10) turned the tables on run two to win by 1.42s, finishing 12th overall, while Allan Kinch (BMW 318ti) beat Paul Inniss (Honda Civic) by just 1.66s in Clubman 2.
Hill’s victory margin in WRC-2 over England’s Nigel Worswick (Ford Escort WRC) was 2.12s, while Greg Cozier (Escort MkII) came from behind after the first run to beat England’s Raymond Clough (Escort MkI) by 2.96s in Historic 2. In the Honda Civic battle in Clubman 1, Pierre Clarke beat Jermin Pope by 3.17s, while other class victories were enjoyed in more dominant style: Daryl Clarke (Civic) in Modified 2 by 5.79s, Neil Corbin (Starlet) in M1 by 7.60s, England’s Marcel Freling (MG ZF) in Modified by 10.92s and Jeremy Gonsalves (Opel Corsa) in SuperModified 1 by 11.60s.
Of the 80 drivers listed on the running order, there were five that were either non-starters or failed to complete an Official Run; the most notable casualties in that list were Barry Mayers (Ford Fiesta, axle) and Jeremy Sisnett (Fiesta, gearbox), who failed to complete the practice run. Others who endured mechanical issues included Justin Campbell (BMW M3, suspension, then drivetrain), Fabian Clarke (Suzuki Ignis Sport, gearbox), Stan Hartling from Turks & Caicos (M3, driveshaft) and New Zealand’s Mike Marshall (Peugeot 106 S16, persistent brake problems).
Sol Rally Barbados (June 3-5) and Flow King of the Hill (May 29) are organised and promoted by the Barbados Rally Club, which will celebrate its 60th Anniversary in 2017; title sponsors are the Sol Group and Flow. Marketing partners are Simpson Motors, Automotive Art and Banks; official partners are Accra Beach Hotel & Spa, the Barbados Hotel & Tourism Association, Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc, Geest Line and the Tourism Development Corporation; associate sponsors are Chefette and Stoute’s Car Rental.

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Sol to Sponsor Elfyn Evans Fiesta

M-Sport World Rally Championship driver Elfyn Evans will carry the livery of the Sol Group when he competes in Sol Rally Barbados 2016 (June 3-5) and Flow King of the Hill (May 29), as the region’s largest oil company joins Intercontinental Shipping as sponsors. Evans and co-driver Craig Parry remain the WRC 2 points-leaders, despite rolling out of a strong third place in Rally Portugal this weekend.
Sales & Marketing Manager of Sol Barbados Gina Cummins said: “Since we heard the exciting news that Elfyn and Craig could fit a visit to Sol Rally Barbados into their packed schedule, we have been seeking ways to support the effort.
“This event is on the ‘bucket list’ of so many competitors, and we are delighted to join with the car’s owner John Powell and Intercontinental Shipping in making this visit possible, adding yet another world-class name to our list of visitors. That list already includes Kris Meeke, who won Sol Rally Barbados in 2008 & ’09, and gave us cause for celebration when he claimed his second WRC win in Portugal at the weekend.”
Sol Rally Barbados (June 3-5) and Flow King of the Hill (May 29) are organised and promoted by the Barbados Rally Club, which will celebrate its 60th Anniversary in 2017; title sponsors are the Sol Group and Flow. Marketing partners are Simpson Motors, Automotive Art and Banks; official partners are Accra Beach Hotel & Spa, the Barbados Hotel & Tourism Association, Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc, Geest Line and the Tourism Development Corporation; associate sponsors are Chefette and Stoute’s Car Rental.

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