Alleyne, O’Neal eye rally leaders
Defending?Barbados Rally Club (BRC) Chefette MudDogs Safari champions Leslie Alleyne and Chris O’Neal will start this weekend’s Sol Go Even Further June Safari four points off the leaders.
Driving in the Simpson Motors/Shell Spirax/Shell Rimula/Maxxis Isuzu D-Max, Alleyne and O’Neal have so far collected 114 points as they assemble with a number of crack pairs to contest the 58th running of the Caribbean’s oldest motor sport event with a continuous history.
It was the successful running of the first June Rally in 1957 that formed the catalyst for the BRC’s formation in the following months, and the event has been run annually ever since. However, the format was changed to an off-road navigational rally in recent years and since 2004, it has been the jewel in the crown of the club’s navigational championship.
Skilful teamwork of driver and navigator are believed to hold the difference between winning and losing the weekend event which finds route setters and current championship leaders Derek Gill and Andrew Croney at the top of the standings with 118 points.
It is being felt in off-road motor sport circles that this year’s event could be the toughest challenge of the season, given the experience and guile of the route setters.
Gill is also a former winner of the June Rally as navigator to Peter Bradshaw in 2002, and as driver to Kevin Yearwood in 2005, the year Gill was crowned champion driver. Croney was navigator with Gill in the Chefette April Safari.
The pair of Wayne Manning and Willie Hinds in Zephrins Bakeries Suzuki Samurai are sitting in third place overall on 112 points in a safari which is expected to be a true test of man and machine given the calibre of the competitors in the top ten.
The first crew is scheduled to leave Sol Warrens at 2 p.m. tomorrow for the first of four routes, which will take them across the island on an 18-hour adventure before finishing around 8 a.m. on Sunday, at the former Crane Palms Restaurant, now refurbished and relaunched and called the Marco Polo Bar & Grill in St Philip.
Damien and Brandon Johnson lead the Novice standings in their Western Union Suzuki Samurai, after two strong results in March and April. They are fourth overall with 104 points.
Chefette MudDogs Safari Championship
Positions after Round 2
Drivers & Navigators
1st. Derek Gill/Andrew Croney (Insurance Solutions/Sweet Temptations Mitsubishi Pajero), 118 points
2nd. Leslie Alleyne/Chris O’Neal (Simpson Motors/Shell Spirax/Shell Rimula/Maxxis Isuzu D-Max) – 114
3rd. Wayne Manning/Willie Hinds (Zephrins Bakeries Suzuki Samurai) – 112
4th. Damien Johnson/Brandon Johnson (Western Union Suzuki Samurai) – 104
5th. Ryan Corbin/Dustin Edwards (Corbins Catering Services/Crane & Equipment Toyota Hilux) – 102
6th (joint). George Mendes/Gary Mendes (G & G Sales & Service/Lunatics Inc Mitsubishi L200 Sportero) and Chris Armstrong/Wayne Clarke (Toyota Hilux) – 100
8th. Audley Croney/Jeremy Croney (CC Motor Sports & Friends Suzuki Vitara) – 96
9th. Gregory Dickenson/Andre Murrell (Toyota Hilux) – 90
10th. (joint). Julian Kirton/Dominic Straker (Kirts Connection Jeep Wrangler) and Simon Parravicino/Jonathan Millar (Sweet Temptations Suzuki Samurai) – 82