Youngest MudDogs crew set for Chefette June Safari

courtesy Barbados Rally Club/Image Vault, With a combined age of just 33, Charles Clarke and Austin Barber will campaign this Mitsubishi Pajero on the 67th June Safari this weekend

 When the Barbados Rally Club (BRC) marks its 67th Anniversary this weekend (June 29/30) with the Chefette June Safari, the entry list will include the youngest crew by combined ages to start an event since the MudDogs Championship began 20 years ago. And their participation emphasizes one of the founding tenets of the Club in the 1950s, the importance of family for continuity.
  ‘The June’, as it is fondly known, is the longest-established motor sport event in the region with a continuous history, interrupted only by the pandemic in 2021, and salutes the Club’s roots in navigational rallying. At age 17, driver Charles Clarke and 16-year-old navigator Austin Barber are teamed together for the first time in a Mitsubishi Pajero in Class B, although both have competed in MudDogs events in the recent past.
  Charles is the son of Wayne Clarke, until last year the most successful navigator in ‘The June’ – he won six times between 1991 and 2013 - while Austin’s grandmother ‘Biddy’ Barber’s association with the Rally Club as competitor and volunteer dates back to the 1960s. Having been driver in the first two rounds this year for his mother Robyn, Charles will now be competing against his sisters, Chelsea and Rebecca, almost certainly the first time three siblings have contested a MudDogs Safari. Chelsea will be Navigator for another newcomer Alexander Gill (Isuzu D-Max), while Rebecca will drive with navigator Nynoka King in the family’s Mitsubishi Pajero iO.
  With 11 wins - two as navigator, nine as driver - Leslie Alleyne sits atop The June’s Roll of Honour, which lists 74 winning drivers and navigators, with his navigator Chris O’Neal last year adding a seventh victory in The June to his cv and eclipsing Clarke’s record. Alleyne first competed at age 13 in 1987 in the days when the event was called the June Rally and run for everyday road cars; his driver was 17-year-old Julian Challenor, all this long before the off-road MudDogs Championship was conceived.
  The first crew will start from Chefette Speightstown, St Peter, at 4.00pm for a roughly four-hour route which will travel through the northern parishes of St Lucy, St Andrew, St Peter and St Joseph returning through the central parishes to the Dinner Halt at Chefette Charles Rowe Bridge, St George, at around 8.00pm. Route two, which will bring the total distance to around 130 kilometres, will visit St Thomas, St John and St Philip, ending at Chefette Six Roads in that parish at approximately 2.00am.
  Route one has been set by Willie Hinds, route two by Mike Ward, who won The June in 2016 as driver with navigator Warrick Eastmond. With a weather system already being monitored, Ward says: “Should the rain fall, the event would become really interesting as there are many areas that have not been travelled frequently in both routes. I’m looking forward to some sport!”
  ‘The June’ is the longest-established motor sport event in the region with a continuous history, although it was not run in 2021 when prevailing Covid-19 protocols prevented driver and navigator sitting in a vehicle together; weeks after the inaugural event was run, the organising committee called the participants together – there had been a 60-strong entry when it was run for road cars in 1957 - and agreed to form the BRC, which is now the oldest organisation in the island devoted to a sport not played with a ball and the oldest motor sport club in the region still bearing its original name.

Chefette MudDogs Safari Championship
Round 3 – June 29/30 – Chefette MudDogs June Safari
Class A
1 Jaden Eastmond/Warrick Eastmond (Ford Ranger)
2 Leslie Alleyne/Chris O’Neal (POD Store/Maxxis/Lucky Locks Suzuki Jimny)
6 Gary Mendes/Johnathan King (G & G Sales and Service Daihatsu Rocky)
8 Simon Parravicino/Andrew Croney (Realtors Ltd/Serenity Pest Control Jeep Wrangler)
9 Damien Johnson/Ben Moore (Moore & Moore Services/Maxxis Isuzu DMax)

Class B
3 George Mendes/Leslie Evanson (F) (G & G Sales and Service Suzuki Vitara)
4 Alexander Gill/Chelsea Clarke (F) (Isuzu DMax)
5 Abdullah Patel/Bilal Patel (Patel’s Motoring Jeep Grand Cherokee)
7 Charles Clarke/Austin Barber (Lubriguard/Gunk/First Step Security Mitsubishi Pajero)
10 Rebecca Clarke (F)/Nynoka King (F) (Mitsubishi Pajero iO)

Chefette MudDogs Safari Championship – positions after two rounds:
Drivers: 1st Leslie Alleyne, 120 points; 2nd Simon Parravicino, 114pts; 3rd Stephen Moore, 108pts; equal 4th Gary & George Mendes, 104pts; 6th Christopher King, 102pts; etc
Navigators: 1st Chris O’Neal, 120pts; 2nd Andrew Croney, 114pts; 3rd Ben Moore, 108pts; equal 4th Leslie Evanson (F) & Johnathan King, 104pts; 6th Warrick Eastmond, 102pts; etc
Class B Drivers: 1st George Mendes, 120pts; 2nd Charles Clarke, 116pts; 3rd Rebecca Clarke (F), 112pts; 4th Bridget Garity (F), 54pts
Class B Navigators: 1st Leslie Evanson (F), 120pts; 2nd Robyn Clarke (F), 116pts; 3rd Nynoka King (F), 56pts; 4th Austin Barber 54pts

Chefette MudDogs Safari Championship – remaining rounds: Round 3 - Jun 29/30, Chefette MudDogs June Safari; Round 4 - Sep 15, KG Enterprises MudDogs September Safari; Round 5 – Nov 9, Savvy on the Bay MudDogs November Safari

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