RECORD EQUALLED AT SOL GO FURTHER JUNE SAFARI
Leslie Alleyne claimed a record-equalling fifth victory in the Barbados Rally Club’s (BRC) longest-standing event, when he won the Sol Go Further 55th Anniversary June Safari at the weekend (June 23/24). Meanwhile, his Navigator in the Simpson Motors Isuzu D-Max, Chris O’Neal, added the 69th name to the roll of honour of the region’s oldest motor sport event with a continuous history.
Alleyne is one of only five competitors to have won ‘The June’ from both seats, having already won twice each as Driver (in 2003 & ’06, with wife AnnaLee navigating) and Navigator (1996, with Geoff Noel, and last year with Trevor Manning). His fifth win brings him level with Wayne Clarke, who reached that total in 2010, his third victory as Navigator to Chris Armstrong added to earlier triumphs with Don Hunte.
Appropriately, it was the Toyota Hilux of Armstrong and Clarke that came closest to Alleyne and O’Neal in last weekend’s event, which Alleyne described as “phenomenal”. The winners’ total of 1083 penalties compared with 1321 for Armstrong/Clarke and 1983 for third-placed Ryan Corbin and Dustin Edwards, who admitted to some tense moments during the night in the Corbin’s Catering Services/SDRR/Crane & Equipment Hilux.
The successful running of the first June Rally on June 16, 1957 was the catalyst to the founding of the BRC, and ‘The June’ is still considered the jewel in the crown of the BRC MudDogs Safari and Chefette MudDogs Novice Safari Championships. Divided into four to allow three refreshment breaks during the 19-hour marathon, the route was set by Peter Bradshaw and Renata Roett, who dealt with the early-morning route three.
Alleyne said: “The route-setting crew was phenomenal. It was masterful and the effort and detail was amazing.” At Monday’s (June 25) Prizegiving at the Barbados Clay Target Shooting Association (BCTSA) Club House at Searles, Christ Church, the winners received vouchers for $200 of Sol Go Further fuel, which they immediately presented to Bradshaw and Roett for a job well done. In turn Bradshaw, who had also hand-crafted the trophies, said: “Renata did a fantastic job as a first-timer.”
Route wins were shared between Alleyne/O’Neal (one and three), Armstrong/Clarke (two) and fifth-placed Gregory Dickenson/Rorie McConney (Hilux), who won the final route. The only other crew to battle in to the top three overall on any route were Ben Norris and Darnley Rayside, who finished second on routes two and three in the Electric Avenue Land Rover Discovery for an overall fourth place.
Among the 13 crews contesting the Chefette MudDogs Novice Safari Championship, competition was even closer, each route won by a different crew, with eight crews claiming top three finishes during the night, fewer than 100 points the winning margin . . . and victory snatched on the final route. Despite a disappointing start, nearly 500 points behind the leaders after route one, Dominic Straker and Nicholas Pinto (Hunte’s Auto Spares/Lucky Horsehoe/Sign Station Nissan Patrol) fought back steadily to win.
Early leaders were Michael Fields and David Lewis (Land Rover Defender 110), who won the first route by a comfortable margin, an impressive sixth overall, from Morgan Seale/Rhett D’Andrade (Bougainvillea Beach Resort/Rent-A-Tool Hilux), with Derek Pinto/Jamal Brathwaite (Jeep Grand Cherokee) third – they were to hit trouble later – and Straker/Pinto fourth.
Straker/Pinto won route two, drawing within 300 points of Fields/Lewis, with Aswad Bannister/Nyere Jones (Hilux) second and Samuel and Carlie Robinson (Forever Fitness Ford Ranger) third; on route three, where there was a change of pace, Matthew Durant/Trina Griffith (Green Leaf Design/Midas Magic Auto Valet Suzuki Jimny) were the winners, seventh overall, from Joshua Plaza/Rashid Nakhuda (Ramshackle Bar Suzuki Samurai) and Straker/Pinto – with Fields/Lewis fifth, their advantage was now just 29 points. Seale/D’Andrade took the final route, sixth overall, with Straker/Pinto ahead of Fields/Lewis to claim victory by just 81 points after a hard night.
Delighted with the closeness of competition and the healthy turn-out of Novices, BRC MudDogs Chairman Warren Gollop said: “Throughout the results, the battle was keenly contested. Although it would seem that each different route winner dominated their route, in reality, it all came down to one major trick per route either catching you napping . . . or making you grin with supreme accomplishment at getting into the route-setters’ heads! The Novice element was great; to see so many finish, and encouraged, after the most gruelling of our events bodes very well for the future of the sport.”
Sol’s Barbados Country Manager, Ezra Prescod, who made the presentations on Monday, said: “I wish to thank the Barbados Rally Club for allowing Sol to be a part of this. We had been wanting to get involved in a meaningful way, and finally the opportunity presented itself with the launch of Sol Go Further, and as a natural extension of our involvement with Sol Rally Barbados.”
The first crew left the start at Haggatt Hall, St Michael, at 2.01pm with the finish around 19 hours later at Mahogany Ridge, St Thomas, at approximately 9.00am the following morning. Driver Challenges were run back-to-back at Chapel Plantation, St Philip, just as the rain fell late on Saturday afternoon – this made the Challenges even more challenging, with a number of crews, including Alleyne/O’Neal and Norris/Rayside, who needed a tow.
Summing up, Gollop added: “It was a great weekend, from all accounts. Spectator response, even at the 4 am stopover, was fantastic. The entire team of route setters and officials and marshals, led by Pete and Renata, did a great job of delivering a quality event, worthy of the June. Everyone also spoke of the camaraderie, and enjoyed seeing senior club members like Tommy Bentley, John Corbin, David Edwards and others out for the entire weekend, and never missing a beat. Congratulations to everyone involved. Thanks to Chefette Restaurants for feeding the marshals throughout the night and to Mahogany Ridge for the most sumptuous breakfast feast awaiting competitors and marshals at the end.”
Sol Go Further 55th Anniversary June Safari
BRC MudDogs Safari Championship, round 3
1st Leslie Alleyne/Chris O’Neal (Simpson Motors Isuzu D-Max), 1083 penalties
2nd Chris Armstrong/Wayne Clarke (Toyota Hilux), 1321pens
3rd Ryan Corbin/Dustin Edwards (Corbin’s Catering Services/SDRR/Crane & Equipment Toyota Hilux), 1983pens
4th Ben Norris/Darnley Rayside (Electric Avenue Land Rover Discovery), 2490pens
5th Gregory Dickenson/Rorie McConney (Toyota Hilux), 2724pens
6th Adrian Sinckler/Andre Murrell (Suzuki Samurai), 3091pens
7th Michael Ward/Willie Hinds (Suzuki Samurai), 3403pens
8th Sean Gibbs/Brett Barber (Toyota Hilux), 3461pens
9th Wayne Manning/Kirk Watkins (Toyota Hilux), 3563pens
10th Mark Western/Dane McConney (Gomez & Western Services/Kar Parts Store Nissan Patrol), 3791pens
Route 1 – 1st Alleyne/O’Neal, 128pens; 2nd Corbin/Edwards, 418pens; 3rd Armstrong/Clarke, 470pens; etc
Route 2 – 1st Armstrong/Clarke, 456pens; 2nd Norris/Rayside, 540pens; 3rd Alleyne/O’Neal, 628pens; etc
Route 3 – 1st Alleyne/O’Neal, 75pens; 2nd Norris/Rayside, 140pens; 3rd Corbin/Edwards, 175pens; etc
Route 4 – 1st Dickenson/R McConney, 111pens; 2nd Armstrong/Clarke, 166pens; 3rd Alleyne/O’Neal, 252pens; etc
Chefette MudDogs Safari Novice Championship, round 3
1st Dominic Straker/Nicholas Pinto (Hunte’s Auto Spares/Lucky Horsehoe/Sign Station Nissan Patrol), 4267pens – 11th overall
2nd Michael Fields/David Lewis (Land Rover Defender 110), 4358pens – 12th o/a
3rd Morgan Seale/Rhett D’Andrade (Bougainvillea Beach Resort/Rent-A-Tool Toyota Hilux), 5160pens – 15th o/a
4th Matthew Durant/Trina Griffith (Green Leaf Design/Midas Magic Auto Valet Suzuki Jimny), 6124pens – 16th o/a
5th Aswad Bannister/Nyere Jones (Toyota Hilux), 6808pens – 18th o/a
6th Dave Gibson/Andy Williams (Suzuki Samurai), 9580pens – 20th o/a
Route 1 – 1st Fields/Lewis, 878pens; 2nd Seale/D’Andrade, 1370pens; 3rd Derek Pinto/Jamal Brathwaite (Jeep Grand Cherokee), 1471pens; etc
Route 2 – 1st Straker/N Pinto, 1122pens; 2nd Bannister/Jones, 1344pens; 3rd Samuel Robinson/Carlie Robinson (Forever Fitness Ford Ranger), 1457pens; etc
Route 3 – 1st Durant/Griffith, 305pens; 2nd Joshua Plaza/Rashid Nakhuda (Ramshackle Bar Suzuki Samurai), 430pens; 3rd Straker/N Pinto, 625pens; etc
Route 4 – 1st Seale/D’Andrade, 455pens; 2nd Straker/N Pinto, 936pens; 3rd Fields/Lewis, 1056pens; etc