Jean-Joseph and Britain’s Roger Duckworth were also confirmed as participants, when the Barbados Rally Club (BRC) released the provisional entry list of 91 crews today (Monday) during a Media Briefing at the Accra Beach Hotel & Spa in Rockley.
Double European Rally Champion Jean-Joseph returns with co-driver Jack Boyere in the John Powell-owned Ford Focus WRC08, in which they finished second in Sol RB15, 2secs behind Jamaica’s Jeff Panton (Focus WRC06). While he is retired from regular competition, Jean-Joseph is still heavily involved in the sport, as gravel crew for Volkswagen Motorsport and triple World Rally Champion Sebastien Ogier.
In the three years since WRC-2 (for cars built before 2004) was introduced to island regulations, double UK National Champion Duckworth has won the class twice in his ex-Juha Kankkunen Subaru Impreza WRC S6 – fifth overall both times – with Kevin Procter (ex-Markko Martin S7) the winner last year, eighth overall.
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, Sunday’s SuperSpecial will give drivers the chance to let their hair down head-to-head, safe in the knowledge that the times are not included in the results . . . although they will be required to take the SuperSpecial start to be considered overall finishers.
Title sponsor since 2008, Sol was represented today by General Manager (Barbados), Ezra Prescod: “Every year, the event expands and continues to attract the finest local, regional and international drivers, as well as visitors and supporters from across the globe. We want to take this opportunity to welcome all of our new visitors and to also welcome back our ‘Rally Nation’ of die-hard supporters.”
Corporate Communications Manager of Flow, Alan Harris, agreed: “Flow is especially pleased to be strengthening its support of local rallying, and as the excitement steadily builds, we are also very proud to be the title sponsor of Flow King of the Hill, an event that continues to provide motorsport fans with the perfect warm-up for Sol Rally Barbados. Year after year, the profile of rallying continues to be raised and we now look forward to yet another outstanding edition of Caribbean’s largest annual motorsport International.”
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.