Having lost out by the narrowest of margins in a close fight for last year’s Chefette MudDogs Safari Championship, Derek Gill and Andrew Croney (Insurance Brokers & Solutions Inc Mitsubishi Pajero) kicked off their 2015 campaign in fine style last Sunday (March 8) with victory in the season’s opening event, the March Safari, which had been postponed by a week.

They amassed 555 penalties, winning by a margin of 390 points. Reigning Chefette Novice Champions Damien and Brandon Johnson (Western Union Suzuki Samurai), who had finished second to Gill and Croney in last year’s April Safari, repeated that result at the weekend, as they start their first season in the Pro class.

Audley and Jeremy Croney, the runners-up in the 2013 title chase, finished third in their Suzuki Vitara, a further 83 penalties adrift, and 70 ahead of fourth-placed George and Garry Mendes (Mitsubishi L200 Sportero). The top six was completed by Michael Ward/Warrick Eastmond (Suzuki Jimny) and the Reigning Champion Navigator and Driver Chris O’Neal and Leslie Alleyne (Simpson Motors/Shell Spirax/Shell Rimula/Maxxis Isuzu D-Max).

Route-setters for the season-opener were Phillip McConney, Brian Fernandes and MudDogs Chairman Ricky Holder - the event started from Chefette Wildey, St Michael, with two routes in the centre of the island, with the lunch halt and the finish at Chefette Charles Rowe Bridge, St George.

Gill and Croney signalled their intent on route one, collecting 401 penalties, to take the early lead from Audley and Jeremy Croney, with the Johnsons in third place. The eventual winners were never headed, also coming out on top of route two, ahead of Alleyne and O’Neal, with the consistent Johnsons again third, consolidating their runners-up spot at the end of the day.

Only two Chefette Novice crews started the event - Derek Pinto and Adam Hunte (Toyota Hilux) were ahead after route one and, although they slipped behind Richard Hinkson and Kevin Manning (Suzuki Samurai) on route two, their early advantage was sufficient to keep them ahead to the finish.

After last night’s (Tuesday) Prize-giving at the Barbados Clay Target Shooting Association (BCTSA) Club House at Searles, Christ Church, MudDogs Chairman Holder said: “We had a great start to the new season, with good weather on Sunday after the rain during the week. That, and some construction work, did cause the guys some difficulty in the early part of the route, as the rain had washed away some of the tracks, but everyone certainly seemed to enjoy our first Safari for the year. As usual, a note of thanks to Chefette for their continuing support for the Championships, and for the teams of marshals whose commitment and enthusiasm is what keeps our events on track.”

Date changes for MudDogs events

There have been two date changes for MudDogs events in 2015 since the calendar was first published last month. The April Safari will now take place on Saturday, April 11, and not over Easter weekend, as originally scheduled; the year’s first MudFest will now be staged on Sunday, May 3.

March Safari, March 8

Chefette MudDogs Safari Championship – round 1 1st Derek Gill/Andrew Croney (Insurance Brokers & Solutions Inc Mitsubishi Pajero), 555 penalties 2nd Damien Johnson/Brandon Johnson (Western Union Suzuki Samurai), 945pens 3rd Audley Croney/Jeremy Croney (Suzuki Vitara), 1028pens 4th George Mendes/Gary Mendes (Mitsubishi L200 Sportero), 1098pens 5th Michael Ward/Warrick Eastmond (Suzuki Jimny), 1124pens 6th Leslie Alleyne/Chris O’Neal (Simpson Motors/Shell Spirax/Shell Rimula/Maxxis Isuzu D-Max), 1182pens 7th Ben Norris/Kirk Watkins (Birdies Restaurant Ford Ranger), 1183pens 8th Nicholas Lorde/Brett Barber (NL Engineering/Comfeet/Sam Lorde’s Enterprises Range Rover), 1482pens 9th Wayne Manning/Willie Hinds (AS Auto Stop Suzuki Samurai), 1543pens 10th Noel Edwards/Mark Western (Rubis West Indies/Barbarees Service Station Toyota Tundra), 1985pens Route 1 – 1st Gill/Croney, 401pens; 2nd Croney/Croney, 678pens; 3rd Johnson/Johnson, 737pens; 4th Mendes/Mendes, 784pens; 5th Ward/Eastmond, 814pens; etc Route 2 – 1st Gill/Croney, 154pens; 2nd Alleyne/O’Neal, 195pens; 3rd Johnson/Johnson, 208pens; 4th Lorde/Barber, 225pens; 5th Norris/Watkins, 241pens; etc Chefette MudDogs Safari Novice Championship – round 1 1st Derek Pinto/Adam Hunte (Toyota Hilux), 2226pens 2nd Richard Hinkson/Kevin Manning (Suzuki Samurai), 3112pens Route 1 – 1st Pinto/Hunte, 1332pens; 2nd Hinkson/Manning, 2300pens Route 2 – 1st Hinkson/Manning, 812pens; 2nd Pinto/Hunte, 894pens

Chefette MudDogs Safari Championship

& Chefette MudDogs Safari Novice Championship Round 2 - April 11 – BRC MudDogs April Safari MudFest - May 3 Round 3 - June 27/28 – BRC MudDogs June Safari Round 4 - September 20 - BRC MudDogs September Safari MudFest - October 4 Round 5 - November 8 - BRC MudDogs November Safari


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