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Safari crews face fuel test

Trevor Thorpe

Safari crews face fuel test

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THE ABILITY of crews to “go further”’ will be tested in this weekend’s Barbados Rally Club (BRC) Sol Go Further June Safari, round three of the 2013 Chefette MudDogs Safari Championship.
It is the 57th running of the Caribbean’s oldest motor sport event with an unbroken history, and route setters Leslie Alleyne and Chris O’Neal said crews taking part in the event could look forward to a scenic journey around the island.
The Safari will start at 3:01 p.m. at Sol Redman’s Village and competitors will stop for dinner at Sol/Chefette Speightstown between 6 and 7 p.m. This will be their last opportunity to fill their tanks before a gruelling 140-kilometre night stage that will not pass an open service station.
Their next official fuel stop will be at Shell Six Roads tomorrow morning.
In addition to sponsoring the event, Sol will also present each competing crew with a $100 Sol Go Further fuel voucher. The company will also be supporting veteran competitors Alleyne and O’Neal in a Shell Rimula/Shell Spirax/Simpson Motors Isuzu D-Max.
“It is the second year of Sol’s association with the event, and the company is proud to reinforce the link between vehicle performance and fuel economy to its performance fuel offering in Sol Go Further,” said Kirk King, sales and marketing manager, Sol Barbados Ltd.
Several MudDog competitors, whose larger-than-life vehicles represent the pinnacle of innovation and engineering, will be coming under starters’ orders in the two-day event and will tackle a route that tests their navigational prowess and ability to overcome preset challenges, as well as the naturally occurring terrain of the rugged Barbados countryside.
“The theme for the event is a ‘scenic’ safari, and we will be making a special effort to ensure all competitors are supplied with enough information to keep them on route and happy. We encourage everyone to come and be part of the rich tradition of June rallies,” Alleyne noted.
He said the road surface ratio was approximately 70 per cent tracks and the remainder on paved roads, while navigation was 85 per cent tulip and 15 per cent BRC. The Driver Challenges will be timed, so the driver has more of a bearing on the overall result, but these will not be designed to drown, damage or destroy vehicles.
Alleyne said crews’ ability to ‘go further’ would be tested as there would be a night section of approximately 140 kilometres during which there will be no arrangements for refuelling.
“Crews who think their vehicle may not make this trip on a tank of fuel will need to make arrangements to have fuel brought to them during the night. At the end of this haul they will arrive at Shell Six Roads for an official fuel stop,” Alleyne added.
The successful running of the first June Rally in 1957 was the catalyst for the BRC’s formation, and the event has been run annually ever since. In recent years, it has been an off-road navigational rally, where the skilful teamwork of driver and navigator is key and, since 2004, the “jewel in the crown” of the club’s navigational championship.