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MudDogs in action this month

After a two-month break from competition, crews competing in the Barbados Rally Club’s 2014 Chefette MudDogs Safari Championship are making plans for their toughest challenge of the season.

The Sol Go Even Further June Safari is scheduled for June 28 and 29 when the BRC will mark the 58th running of the Caribbean’s oldest motor sport event with a continuous history.

The successful running of the first June Rally in 1957 was the catalyst for the club’s formation in the following months, and the event has been run annually ever since. In recent years, the format has been an off-road navigational rally, where the skillful teamwork of driver and navigator is key and, since 2004, it has been the jewel in the crown of the club’s navigational championship.

Route-setters for 2014 are the current championship leaders, Derek Gill and Andrew Croney, who won the Chefette April Safari, and Audley and Jeremy Croney, who finished a close second in the championship race last year. Gill is also a former winner of ‘The June’, as navigator to Peter Bradshaw in 2002, and as driver to Kevin Yearwood in 2005, the year Gill was crowned champion driver.

Given the expertise of the route-setters, crews can expect a demanding event. The first crew is scheduled to leave Sol Warrens at 2 p.m. on June 28, for the first of four routes, which will take them across the island on an 18-hour adventure. The finish will be at around 8 a.m. on Sunday, at the recently refurbished and relaunched Marco Polo Bar & Grill in St Philip (formerly Crane Palms Restaurant).

Gill and Croney (Mitsubishi Pajero) are the early leaders in the 2014 championship standings, just four points ahead of reigning champion driver and navigator Leslie Alleyne and Chris O’Neal (Isuzu D-Max), with Wayne Manning and Willie Hinds (Suzuki Samurai) another two points behind.

After two strong results in March and April, fourth overall are the leading novice crew, Damien and Brandon Johnson in their Western Union Suzuki Samurai, with former champions Ryan Corbin and Dustin Edwards (Toyota Hilux) fifth.

In the Chefette Novice standings, the Johnsons lead Julian Kirton and Dominic Straker (Jeep Wrangler) by four points.  Entries for the Sol Go Even Further June Safari are now open at Motorsport Services in Haggatt Hall and will close June 24 at 1 p.m.

The briefing meeting will be at 7 p.m. the same evening, at the Barbados Clay Target Shooting Association Club House at Searles, Christ Church, after which the entry list will be published. The prize-giving will be held at the same venue on July 1. (RB)


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