Sport News

Barbados Rally2 Championship starts this weekend

With a new title, new marketing partners and an increase in competitors from home and overseas, the 2024 Barbados Rally2 Championship gets under way this weekend. Season three of the Barbados Motoring Federation’s (BMF) first-ever national motor sport championship also features a revised points system and a new two-day finale, while support for island charities remains a key commitment.
  The first of nine rounds will be the Motoring Club Barbados Inc’s (MCBI) Spring Blaze Double-Header Sprint over a 7.5-kilometre course between Kendal Woods and Society in St John on Sunday (March 24). The remaining events, spread over six further weekends between April and December, will be organised by the Barbados Rally Club (BRC), the MCBI and Vaucluse Raceway Motorsport Club (VRMSC).
  Championship Promoter BeSocial has confirmed CIBC Caribbean as a new Major Partner of the Championship. James Amow, Marketing Director at CIBC, said: “CIBC Caribbean relishes this opportunity to be a partner in the Rally2 Championship. Speed is the name of the game when it comes to rally, as it is when it comes to the provision of our services through our new digital platform where clients can go from “hello to funded” in minutes. And just as safety is paramount in an event of this calibre, so it is with the provision of our services to our clients”.
  BMF Vice-President David Williams, who is also the Championship Manager, said: “The new title moves us in line with international classes, as R5 has evolved into Rally2. And, as we have more competitors coming on board, we have changed up the points system to spread further down the field, also changed the rewards for classified overall finishers in Rally Barbados. What has not changed is that the top three drivers at year-end will win $5,000, $1,000 and $500 respectively for their nominated charities.”
  Over the past two years, 13 drivers from Barbados, the wider Caribbean and the UK have scored championship points, while another six from overseas have competed in the FIA R5 class as non-scoring guests, along with ‘The Boy from Barbados’ Zane Maloney, who became the youngest winner of King of the Hill in 2022 in a Skoda Fabia R5. Those visitors have included New Zealand’s Hayden Paddon, who won Rally Barbados 2023 in a Hyundai i20 R5, and British regulars Roger Duckworth and Tom Preston.
  In its first season, the championship was won by Stuart Maloney in a Fabia Rally2 evo, while Josh Read (Ford Fiesta R5) got the nod in a tie-break with Roger Hill (Fabia R5) for second place. Last year, Jamaica’s Jeff Panton (Fabia Rally2 evo) claimed the title with Maloney second and Panton’s countryman Kyle Gregg (Fiesta Rally2) third in his debut season in the category. Mark-Anthony Hinkson has won back-to-back titles in the parallel E-Sports series, administered by Caribbean Sim Motorsport (CSM).
  Confirmed as championship newcomers are local drivers Logan Watson, who has already debuted his ex-Zane Maloney Fabia Rally2 evo, and Adam Mallalieu, who will appear in a Fiesta R5 next month, along with American George Sherman (Fiesta Rally2), whose participation brings to six the countries represented on the Rally2 entry list.
  Under the revised scoring system, the points-paying positions will now extend to 15th for all rounds, while success in the year’s most demanding event, Rally Barbados, will also be better rewarded. In addition to the points awarded to the top 15 after Day 1 and Day 2 (Friday night is combined with Saturday’s action to make Day 1), last year’s sliding scale of points awarded to the top 10 drivers classified as overall finishers has been replaced by a 10-point bonus for every overall finisher.
  At year-end, there will be a new trophy awarded to the highest-placed driver of a car homologated under the original FIA R5 regulations; while a driver may swap between R5, Rally2 and later specification vehicles with all points counting towards the Rally2 Championship, only points scored in an R5 will be considered for the new award.

For media information only. No regulatory value.

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