MudDogs season set for exciting climax
Competitors preparing for this Sunday’s final round of the Barbados Rally Club’s (BRC) 2014 Chefette MudDogs Safari & Safari Novice Championships know that they will need to be at their best as the Nassco November Safari brings the 2014 season to a close.
The outcome of the championship is hanging in the balance. Reigning champions Leslie Alleyne and Chris O’Neal (Isuzu D-Max) are tied on 232 points with Derek Gill and Andrew Croney (Mitsubishi Pajero). Even applying the dropped-score rule – crews will count only their four best results towards their year-end total – fails to separate them, dropping them both to 178 points.
Everyone involved is looking forward to an exciting conclusion to what has been an extremely competitive season. Nassco boss Roger Hill said: “Nassco Ltd is once again pleased to be associated with the Barbados Rally Club in the sponsorship of the Nassco November Safari . . . and we would like to take this opportunity to wish all those teams participating a safe and successful rally.”
The route has been set by championship regular Gary Mendes, who was keeping his cards very close to his chest at last night’s briefing meeting at the Barbados Clay Target Shooting Association Club House at Searles, Christ Church. After the running order had been published, MudDogs chairman Ricky Holder observed that Mendes tried to be as specific as he could, without giving away too many details. Philip McConney, who was the route-checker, said that the route was very good and should bring about some interesting results.
The first crew is scheduled to leave Chefette Charles Rowe Bridge, St George at 8 a.m., with the lunch-time stopover at Animal Flower Cave, St Lucy, at around 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Three driver challenges are planned, which will please the faithful MudDogs following, who are expected to turn out in their numbers. The first is scheduled for around 11 a.m. at Maynards, St Peter, just before the lunch halt, with the second shortly after the break, at around 12:45 p.m. at River Bay, St Lucy.
As is appropriate for the final round of the season, the afternoon route will head for the MudDogs’ spiritual home at Three Houses, St Philip; the third and final driver challenge will be in the Three Houses Mudpit, immediately before the finish, which is scheduled for approximately 5 p.m.
The Chefette MudDogs Novice Championship is also in the balance, with event wins shared evenly in the first four rounds. Damien and Brandon Johnson (Western Union Suzuki Samurai) won in April and September, while Julian Kirton and Dominic Straker (Jeep Wrangler) prevailed in March and June. Totalling all four results, the Johnsons are four points ahead, although that is cut to two, once the dropped-score rule is applied.
Holder added: “We are all looking forward to Sunday, as everything hinges on this final event. I wish everyone good luck. I am also encouraged that we have a good turn-out of novices once again, which will keep the front-runners in that class on their toes. We have five definite entries and I am hoping that John Pinto receives the spare part he needs in time to fix his machine, to make it six, which would be the most for one event this year.”
Chefette MudDogs Safari Championship
& Chefette MudDogs Safari Novice Championship
1 Julian Kirton/Dominic Straker (Jeep Wrangler)
5 Michael Broome/Warwick Eastmond (12 Volt Auto Suzuki Jimny)
7 Richard Hinkson/Nicola Clarke (Suzuki Samurai)
9 Nicholas Pinto/Adam Hunte (Jeep Grand Cherokee)
11 Damien Johnson/Brandon Johnson (Suzuki Samurai)
tbc John Pinto/Nicholas Branson (GMC Sonoma)
2 Wayne Manning/Willie Hinds (Suzuki Samurai)
3 Leslie Alleyne/Chris O’Neal (Isuzu D-Max)
4 Nicholas Lorde/Brett Barber (Land Rover Discovery)
6 Derek Gill/Andrew Croney (Mitsubishi Pajero)
8 Gregory Dickenson/Andre Murrell (Toyota Hilux)
10 Kirk Watkins/Ben Norris (Ford Ranger)
12 Chris Armstrong/Wayne Clarke (Toyota Hilux)