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Dickenson, Murrell capture Safari


TREVOR THORPE

Dickenson, Murrell capture Safari

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IT’S OFFICIAL. Driver Gregory Dickenson and former champion novice navigator Andre Murrell are the winners of the Carter’s Pit-Stop September Safari of the Barbados Rally Club’s (BRC) Chefette MudDogs Safari Championship.

It was Dickenson’s first time in winners’ row, and Carter’s Pit-Stop store manager Rhett Watson said it was good to see a first-time winner in the Pit-Stop September Safari, and by such a close margin.

The difference between first and second place was only seven points in what was a very challenging rally.

“Congrats go to all the competitors, and a huge thanks to the route setters and marshals.

“With the recent weather, it must have been very tough both setting and marshalling in those conditions,” Watson said.

Since the start of 2010, Dickenson has not missed an event, claiming 19 top ten finishes. His best results before last weekend were a pair of fourth places in September last year and March this year, both achieved with Murrell as navigator.

His best year-end result came in 2013, when he finished fourth in the Driver’s Championship, having finished seventh for the previous three years.

It was the third time this season Dickenson and Murrell competed as a pair and, competing in a Toyota Hilux, they grabbed the top spot with 1 232 penalties.

 Leslie Alleyne and Chris O’Neal, in the Simpson Motors/Shell Spirax/Shell Rimula/Maxxis Isuzu D-Max, claimed second place with 1 239 penalties.

For Murrell, Sunday’s win was not his first as he won in October 2010 as navigator to Adrian Sinkler, with whom he had won the Novice Championship the previous year.

By finishing second, Alleyne and O’Neal have drawn level with fellow title contenders Derek “Drilla” Gill and Andrew Croney in the Insurance Solutions/Sweet Temptations Mitsubishi Pajero, who finished fourth, with 1625 

The Mendes brothers – George and Gary, in the G&G Sales & Service/Lunatics Inc Mitsubishi L200, finished third with 1 452 penalties.

The stage is now set for a thrilling climax to the championship. With just one event to go, even after a dropped score is taken into account, Alleyne/

O’Neal and Gill/Croney remain on equal scores, so it will be a straight fight for supremacy in the November finale.

After the 8 a.m. start in the car park at the Carter’s Complex, Wildey, the Mendes crew made the early running, winning the first route towards the lunchtime stop-over at Conset Bay, St John, by 71 penalty points from Alleyne and O’Neal, with Dickenson and Murrell third.

The eventual winners incurred only 50 penalties on route two, which ended in Kirton’s, St Philip. The consistent Alleyne and O’Neal finished second again, with Gill and Croney third.

In the MudDogs Safari Novice Championship, Damien and Brandon Johnson, in the Western Union Suzuki Samurai, have edged ahead and now lead Julian Kirton and Dominic Straker in the Kirts Connection Jeep Wrangler by two points.

 

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