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18 down for mud action

†Eighteen crews were confirmed for this Saturday’s Chefette April Safari at a well-attended briefing meeting at the Barbados Clay Target Shooting Association Club House at Searles, Christ Church yesterday evening.

Seven combinations are making their first appearance of the season, bringing to more than 40 the number of drivers and navigators so far to line up for the 2013 Barbados Rally Club’s Chefette MudDogs Safari Championship.

“I must say that I was again impressed with number of people that turned out last night. Among the 18 entries, as well as those returning for the first time this year, we have one completely new competitor in the novice class, who will be facing even more of a challenge, having been unfortunate enough to pull car 1, so will be the first to tackle the routes,” MudDogs chairman Darnley Rayside said.

He added: “Again, we are without last year’s champions Chris Armstong and Wayne Clarke, who had already missed the March Safari after Chris injured his back. We all wish him well for a speedy recovery, and hope they will be out for The June. After all, since Leslie Alleyne equalled Wayne’s record of five wins last year, there’s really something to go for.”

During the evening, route-setter Jason Downey gave a brief talk about the event, highlighting a couple of changes to the timetable, bringing the event forward an hour. The first crew is now scheduled to leave Chefette Wildey, St. Michael, at 2 p.m. for route one before the dinner stop at Sand Dunes, St. Andrew. Crews then head back west towards the finish at Chefette, Warrens, St. Michael, at approximately 11 p.m. There will be a driver challenge in each route, the first at Edgecombe at around 3 p.m., the second at Maynard’s at approximately 9 p.m.

The enthusiastic MudDogs crowd also heard news of the May Day MudFest (May 1). The event, being organised by Johnny Pinto and Mark Western, is already in the final stages of planning, with more details to be released shortly.

All the leading points-scorers in the 2013 Chefette MudDogs Safari Championship are entered for this weekend’s event, with Leslie Alleyne and Chris O’Neal (Isuzu D-Max) currently followed in the standings by Audley and Jeremy Croney (Suzuki Vitara) and Mark Western/Robin Hinds (Nissan Patrol).

The novice championship is led by Damien Johnson/Corey Williams (Suzuki Samurai) from Joshua Plaza/Rashid Nakhuda (Suzuki Samurai). Johnson is swapping seats this weekend, joining his closest rival Plaza as navigator. Their competition will include Dave Gibson/Andy Williams (Suzuki Samurai), who finished fourth and third respectively in the novice driver and navigator standings last year.

The prize-giving for the Chefette April Safari will be held at the BCTSA Club House on April 15 as long as results are made final. (RB)†

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