Fresh from victory in last weekend's Rally Internacional de Curitiba in Brazil, Kris Meeke and Paul Nagle have cast serious doubts on their chances of returning to attempt a hat-trick of wins on Sol Rally Barbados.
Nagle told the recently maxrally.com
that they will almost certainly be unable to make it, because of the close proximity of the recce for Rally d'Italia-Sardegna, the fourth round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC), which takes place the following weekend [June 4-6].
“There's just no way we could do the rally and be ready for the start of the recce in Sardinia, because they're just one week apart,” Nagle explained. “It's not great, because it's a great event, but Kris and I know our priority is the IRC.”
Meeke's victory in the Kronos Racing-run Peugeot UK-backed 207 Super 2000 was his second in the two-day gravel rally in Brazil, and his fifth in the IRC, marking a new IRC record. Meeke and Nagle have won Sol Rally Barbados for the past two years, first in a Toyota Corolla World Rally Car, then last year in a Subaru Impreza WRC S9.
“Naturally, it will be disappointing not to see Kris and Paul competing this year, particularly as they have been such a hit with our fans and fellow competitors alike, but changes to the IRC calendar mean their next event is two weeks' closer to ours than it was last year,” added Sol Rally Barbados chairman Barry Gale.
“And, on behalf of everyone here, I must say 'congratulations' to Kris and Paul on their second win in Brazil. Caribbean fans have a habit of 'adopting' the overseas competitors who come all this way to entertain us, such as Kris and Mark Higgins, and we follow their exploits around the world with great interest.”