Flow King of the Hill & Sol Rally Barbados 2020

With the world being brought to its knees by the Covid pandemic, many major global sports events were cancelled or postponed. Many local events sufferered the same fate and Sol Rally Barbados was no exception. Initially scheduled to run the last two weekends of May, organizers postponed the event given interrupted world travel and the general uncertainty that the pandemic brought.

With travel somewhat returning and the island being open for business, organizers rescheduled the event for the last two weekends in October, starting with Flow King of the Hill. A handful of overseas drivers joined with our 3 Speed Team drivers and other local crews to complete the entry. There was one notable change in the Speed Team lineup with Roger not being at the wheel of his exciting WR Starlet.  With the Starlet waiting on a part delivery affected by Covid,  his chariot of choice was a Bimmacup car stickered in Chefette's Frosteez Ice Cream livery, responsible for Car 0 duties over the two weekends. Roger said in the two weekends the speed was missing but there was loads of fun being able to check out the stage before the rest of the field comes through and also putting on a bit of a show for the rally fans in the slow speed corners in the wet.

On the competitive end Rhett and Barry were once again competing in SM2 and looking to see how high up the overall standings they could reach. Barry set things off for King of the Hill by posting a Top 10 time early on against the WRC and R5 cars. This put him as fastest 2WD, a position that he would maintain throughout the event and 6th overall. Rhett however had his hands full as he engaged with Andrew Jones for 2nd in class and 2nd fastest 2WD. They traded times throughout the day with Jones narrowly edging Rhett out to take 2nd position and 9th overall with Rhett rounding out the Top 10.

On the actual rally weekend, wet conditions would prevail, leaving stages tricky. Barry fell out of contention for overall honours before the event even got going when a throttle sensor failed on the way to the start; in 22 years of motorsport, they'd never had such a failure before. It would take the entire day to find a working replacement, meaning they would rejoin the following day in the Sunday Cup. For Rhett it was a steady start keeping in the Top 3 fastest 2WD but the failure of a belt on the engine meant that he too dropped out of the overall runnings though returning late in the day. He said that the disappointment was not huge this time as it really was unavoidable and there was no disappointment for the spectators "It was good sport driving without a care about stage times" which meant that there was a lot skating and flamboyant driving.

Barry made good on his return the Sunday competing in the Sunday Cup. For him though, another car failure for Sol Rally Barbados was an extreme disappointment especially having done so well in the preceding events and making the necessary preparations. He and co-driver Ben did comfortably take the honours in the Sunday Cup which for him was an OK consolation but the goal is always to do well in the overall rally.

Article published November 18, 2020

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