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Safari climax for MudDogs


EZRA STUART, FP

Safari climax for MudDogs

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After a hard-fought season, with three different crews winning the four events so far, the Barbados Rally Club’s Chefette MudDogs Safari Championship will climax tomorrow with the November Safari, sponsored by Toyota dealer Nassco for the tenth consecutive year.

Jean-Marc Cozier and Andrew Croney (Honda Pioneer) have a two-point lead in the standings over Leslie Alleyne and Chris O’Neal (Isuz D-Max), who are the route setters for the final showdown.

Cozier and Croney kicked off the 2017 season with victory in the March Safari – Alleyne and O’Neal were third – then finished second to the four-time champions in April and June.

In September, it was the turn of 2010 Safari champions Ryan Corbin and Dustin Edwards (Toyota Hilux) to claim a victory, their first race since the March Safari of their title-winning season, when Edwards was champion driver and Corbin the champion navigator.

With the 2012 MudDogs champions Chris Armstrong and Wayne Clarke (Toyota Hilux) also on the entry list, along with Michael Ward and Warrick Eastmond (Suzuki Jimny) and the crew of Trevor Manning and Derek Gill (Toyota Hilux), the outcome of tomorrow’s event is not easy to predict.

The first crew will leave the start at the Country View Bar in Market Hill, St George, at 8 a.m., to tackle two routes in the island’s central parishes.

After the lunch halt at Chefette Welches, at around 11:30 a.m., crews will head towards back to the finish at Country View Bar at approximately 4:30 p.m.

“We are very excited and pleased with what we have for the guys. In order, we pass through St George, St Michael, St Thomas, St Joseph and St John, then back to St George,” route setter Alleyne said.

“There will be a nice Driver Challenge near the finish in front of the Country View Bar at around 4 p.m. and an undisclosed challenge in Route 1, which will require team effort. There are four other exciting spots, if we get rain . . . but I have to see what the weather does first,” he added

MudDogs chairman Ricky Holder said it appears the route setters have come up with something special to end the season.

“As ever, thanks to the route setters, our eager band of volunteer marshals, our title sponsor Chefette and, of course, Nassco . . . . Without the involvement of all these individuals and organisations, we simply wouldn’t have a championship,” he said.

The event is the last of five staged between March and November to make up the 2017 championship.

Crews are required to compete in four out of the five Safaris to be eligible for year-end championship points.

If they compete in all five Safaris, then their best four scores will count. (PR/EZS)

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