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Safari dogfight enters last lap

Trevor Thorpe

Safari dogfight enters last lap

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A tie at the top seems likely in this year’s Barbados Rally Club’s (BRC) Chefette MudDogs Safari & Safari Novice Championships.

For today’s Nassco November Safari, the final round of the season, competitors are expected to be at their best as the outcome of the championship is hanging in the balance.

Reigning champions Leslie Alleyne and Chris O’Neal, in the Simpson Motors/Shell Spirax/Shell Rimula/Maxxis Isuzu D-Max, and Derek Gill and Andrew Croney, in the Insurance Solutions/Sweet Temptations Mitsubishi Pajero, are tied on 232 points.

The dropped-score rule which allows crews to count only their four best results towards their year-end total – failed to separate them, both dropping to 178 points.

MudDogs chairman Ricky Holder said everything hinged on the final event.

“I am also encouraged that we have a good turnout of novices once again, which will keep the frontrunners in that class on their toes,” Holder told the SUNDAY SUN.

“We have five definite entries and I am hoping that John Pinto receives the spare part he needs in time to fix his machine, and make it six, which would be the most for one event this year.”

The course was set by Gary Mendes.

The first crew is scheduled to leave Chefette Charles Rowe Bridge, St George, at 8 a.m., with the lunchtime stopover at Animal Flower Cave, St Lucy, from 11:30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m.

Three driver challenges will get the attention of the competitors. The first is scheduled for 11 a.m. at Maynards, St Peter, and the second at around 12.45 p.m. at River Bay, St Lucy.

The afternoon route will head for the MudDogs’ spiritual home at Three Houses, St Philip, for the third and final driver challenge in the Three Houses Mudpit immediately before the finish, which is scheduled for around 5 p.m.

Competition in the Novice Championship is also difficult to predict.

Damien and Brandon Johnson, in the Western Union Suzuki Samurai, won in April and September, and Julian Kirton and Dominic Straker, in the Kirts Connection Jeep Wrangler, prevailed in March and June.

The Johnsons are four points ahead, although that is cut to two, once the dropped-score rule is applied.

Roger Hill, head of Nassco Limited, said the company was once again pleased to be associated with the Barbados Rally Club and wished all those teams participating a safe and successful safari.