ALLEYNE AND O’NEAL WIN CHEFETTE APRIL SAFARI

  Experience was the key to success for the crews that tackled last Saturday’s (April 14) Chefette April Safari, second round of the Barbados Rally Club’s (BRC) MudDogs Safari Championship. After a rough drive on some very hard terrain, Reigning Champion Driver Leslie Alleyne prevailed, driving a borrowed Huzier Ltd Mahindra Pik-Up and with navigator Chris O’Neal alongside.   They had trailed in third place after route one, but were the strongest on route two, with an overall winning margin of 122 penalties; Ryan Corbin and Dustin Edwards in the Corbin’s Catering Services/Mahogany Ridge/Crane & Equipments/SDRR Toyota Hilux beat Chris Armstrong and Reigning Champion Navigator Wayne Clarke to second place by just seven penalty points in more than 700.   Armstrong and Clarke, who had won the season-opening Chefette March Safari in their Hilux, started Saturday’s event strongly, dominating the first route in the south-east corner of the island by a comfortable margin, amassing just 75 penalties. Early pressure came from Michael Ward and Willie Hinds (Suzuki Samurai), who were tied for second on 158 penalties with Alleyne and O’Neal.   The second route proved to be a greater challenge; Alleyne/O’Neal, Corbin/Edwards – they had been eighth after route one – and Armstrong/Clarke finished the night-time route in the same order as their overall result, with Ben Norris/Darnley Rayside (Electric Avenue Land Rover Discovery) the only other crew below 1000 penalties for route two.   At the finish, Alleyne said: “I would like to congratulate the route setters on the effort they put in - there were a few errors, but that happens. There were some awesome tricks and navigational challenges; it was difficult. I must also thank Huzier for lending us the Mahindra, which worked flawlessly.   “Route two was challenging for several reasons: it was difficult to interpret in the night, but it was also hard to maintain average speed, because you had to drive fast . . . but then you ran the risk of missing something. You had to have your thinking cap on and your right foot down - you had to keep pace.”   The prolonged dry spell had presented particular problems for the route-setters, because the Mud Dogs rely on tricky terrain as part of the challenge, so Sean Dowding and Kirk Watkins sought out roads and tracks that had not been used for a long time.   Winning Navigator O’Neal enjoyed that aspect of the event: “The route setters used everything available to them, and we covered a lot of mileage over the eight hours of rallying and used roads not used in a while. It was nice for a change. It was a good rally and you really had to work for it.”   Alleyne, whose family has been involved in motor sport for decades, enjoyed the challenge, but did have a word for the Novices: “I fear it might have been too frustrating for the Novices, particularly route two, but I hope that they are not discouraged.” His fears seem unfounded, according to MudDogs Chairman Warren Gollop, who said after the Prizegiving: “I was happy to see that, despite the challenges, all of the Novices who I spoke to were still very much encouraged and said that they had fun on Saturday. Some of them spoke to the welcome that they felt from the Club, in lending them assistance and encouraging them to continue the sport.”   Chefette MudDogs Novice winners were Dominic Straker and Nicholas Pinto (Hunte’s Auto Spares Nissan Patrol), who were the only Novice crew to break into the top 10, finishing 10th overall; they were second Novice crew on route one, by a margin of just two points behind John Pinto and Nick Branson (Suzuki Jimny), with last year’s inaugural Chefette Rookies of the Year, Aswad Bannister and Nyere Jones (Toyota Hilux), third. Straker/Pinto were comfortably the best of the three on route two, with Bannister/Jones coming through to finish second, demoting Pinto/Branson in the process.   Monday’s Prizegiving (April 16) was held at the Barbados Clay Target Shooting Association Club House, Christ Church. Gollop added: “We had a good turn out for our pizza and chicken party, thanks to Chefette Restaurants, whose continued support is much-appreciated - advertising manager Lisa Carter and her assistant, Marquez Griffith, were both there to present awards and to enjoy the company of our competitors.”   Chefette April Safari, April 14 BRC MudDogs Safari Championship, round 2 Results 1st Leslie Alleyne/Chris O’Neal (Huzier Ltd Mahindra Pik-Up), 622 penalties 2nd Ryan Corbin/Dustin Edwards (Corbin’s Catering Services/Mahogany Ridge/Crane & Equipments/SDRR Toyota Hilux), 744pens 3rd Chris Armstrong/Wayne Clarke (Toyota Hilux), 751pens 4th Ben Norris/Darnley Rayside (Electric Avenue Land Rover Discovery), 986pens 5th Audley Croney/Jeremy Croney (CC Motorsports/Sweet Temptations Suzuki Samurai), 1282pens 6th Michael Ward/Willie Hinds (Suzuki Samurai), 1292pens 7th Mark Western/Robin Hinds (Yardman/Kar Parts Store Nissan Patrol), 1434pens 8th Gregory Dickenson/Rorie McConney (Toyota Hilux), 1639pens 9th Simon Parravicino/Andrew Croney (Sweet Temptations Suzuki Samurai), 1919pens 10th Dominic Straker/Nicholas Pinto (Hunte’s Auto Spares Nissan Patrol), 1986pens   Route 1 – 1st Armstrong/Clarke, 75pens; 2nd Ward/Hinds, 158pens; 3rd Alleyne O’Neal, 158pens;  Route 2 – 1st Alleyne/O’Neal, 464pens; 2nd Corbin/Edwards, 540pens; 3rd Armstrong/ Clarke, 676pens;   Chefette MudDogs Safari Novice Championship, round 2 1st Straker/Pinto, 1986pens – 10th overall 2nd Aswad Bannister/Nyere Jones (Toyota Hilux), 3295pens – 13th o/a 3rd John Pinto/Nick Branson (Suzuki Jimny), 3734pens – 14th o/a 4th Justin Inniss/Chris Choat (ACE Engineering/Amalie Oil/Quik Liners VW Baja Manx), 4573pens – 17th o/a 5th Damien Johnson/Daniel Christie (Suzuki Samurai), 4850pens – 18th o/a 6th Michael Fields/Roslind Jackson (Land Rover Defender 110), 5368pens – 19th o/a   Route 1 – 1st Pinto/Branson, 359pens; 2nd Straker/Pinto, 361pens; 3rd Bannister/Jones, 600pens;  Route 2 – 1st Straker/Pinto, 1625pens; 2nd Bannister/Jones, 2695pens; 3rd Pinto/Branson, 3374pens;    For further media information, robin@bradfax.com Web sites: www.barbadosrallyclub.com, www.muddogsbarbados.com

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