Sol Rally Barbados has joined the list of postponed rallies due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with two cases of the coronavirus confirmed on the Caribbean island.
Rally Barbados and the Flow King of the Hill event the weekend prior are two of the most popular rallies in the world, attracting competitors from across the globe.
With several of those drivers travelling from the UK, the escalation of the COVID-19 situation in Britain has been a contributing factor in the organizer’s decision.
The event, scheduled for 29-31 May, has been postponed until further notice.
BRC and Sol RB Chairman Mark Hamilton said: “As the world continues to grapple with, and react to, the effects of the coronavirus, it has become very apparent that very few of us will not be impacted in some way.
“With the first two known cases in the island confirmed, it is anticipated that we will see an escalation similar to that seen around the world, in both the number of persons infected, as well as the Government’s reaction in an effort to limit the spread of the virus.
“Given the above, I have to unfortunately advise that all sprint and all stage rally motorsport run by the club will be suspended until further notice.
Hamilton added: “The club remains totally committed to running our major events in the latter part of the year, when we hope the environment allows.
“We have already identified a number of potential dates, but it is critical that we provide the best options for all our stakeholders, from the competitors, to the club’s commercial partners, as well as the thousands of spectators.
“To this end, we are already in talks with all concerned, so that we are ready to go when the situation improves.”
Rally Barbados was first run in 1990.
Local driver Roger Skeete holds an impressive 13 wins on the island, with Jamaican Jeffrey Panton, who survived a terrifying accident last year, next on the list with five.
World Rally Championship exile Kris Meeke took back-to-back Barbados wins in 2008 and 2009, behind the wheel of a Toyota Corolla WRC and a Subaru Impreza S9 WRC respectively.
This year’s rally was set to be the next installment in Ken Block’s 2020 Cossie World Tour, but the announcement adds more woe to what has been a difficult beginning to the year for Block (pictured above).