Former Champions Chris Armstrong and Wayne Clarke returned to winner’s row for the first time since June last year when they saw off some top-class opposition in the Nassco November Safari (Sunday, November 9). . . and they did it in, appropriately, in the event sponsor’s brand, a Toyota Hilux.
  As the Barbados Rally Club’s (BRC) Chefette MudDogs Safari Championship drew to a close, the outcome was hanging in the balance: reigning champions Leslie Alleyne and Chris O'Neal (Simpson Motors/Shell Spirax/Shell Rimula/Maxxis Isuzu D-Max) were tied on points with Derek Gill and Andrew Croney (Insurance Solutions/Sweet Temptations Mitsubishi Pajero) – even after the dropped-score rule was applied - so the crew which finished higher would win the 2014 title.
  Alleyne and O’Neal were ahead on both routes, to finish second, with Gill and Croney third, after a day plagued with mechanical issues, giving the 2013 Champions back-to-back titles; while it is the second consecutive year that O’Neal has claimed the Sextant Challenge Trophy as Champion Navigator, Alleyne will hold the Peter Farmer Memorial Trophy awarded to the Champion Driver for the fifth time, having also previously won it in 2006, 2008 and 2011.
  After Friday’s (November 14) Prize-giving at the Barbados Clay Target Shooting Association Clubhouse at Searles, Christ Church, Alleyne said: “It was by far the most enjoyable event for the year. We had an absolute blast and Gary [Mendes, the route-setter] did a fabulous job. The first route was quite tricky and we had to hustle to keep with the timing. We had a bit of brain fade in a BRC section and neglected to do a loop in Carlton, even though we had it plotted. That cost us 200 points and from there we knew we had to tighten the belt in the second route. We thought we had a good second route but discovered that we had collected a traffic violation from stopping ahead of the line in the road.
  “It was a perfect way to end the year since the competition was so close . . . and it’s great that Chris and Wayne won in a Toyota! Hats off to Derek and Andrew, as they suffered from mechanical issues all day but persevered to the end with no power steering. Chris and I have been a great team and, as always, he did an outstanding job. Special thanks to all of our sponsors, without whom we could not have achieved this.”
  Armstrong and Clarke, who were MudDogs Champions in 2012, with two victories to their name, had not won since last year’s June Safari, in a season interrupted by injury; they won the Nassco November Safari’s first route from Chefette Charles Rowe Bridge, St George to Animal Flower Cave, St Lucy, by a margin of 34 penalties, with Gregory Dickenson and Andre Murrell second in a strong early showing for the Toyota brand, and Alleyne and O’Neal third. Gill and Croney were seventh, although they were only 112 penalties behind their championship rivals, so all was not lost.
  Novice crew Damien and Brandon Johnson (Western Union Suzuki Samurai) were the winners of route two, which led competitors back to the finish at the MudDogs’ spiritual home at Three Houses, St Philip, where Armstrong and Clarke’s second place for the route confirmed their victory. Only six penalties separated Alleyne/O’Neal and Gill/Croney – typical of the close competition enjoyed all season – but it was enough to secure the title for a second consecutive year.
  The Chefette MudDogs Novice Championship was also in the balance before the final event, with wins shared evenly in the first four rounds: the Johnsons won in April and September, while Julian Kirton and Dominic Straker (Kirts Connection Jeep Wrangler) prevailed in March and June. Totalling all four results, the Johnsons were four points ahead before Sunday, although just two, with the dropped-score applied. With a strong turn-out of five Novice crews, there was fierce competition, although the Johnsons maintained the upper hand on both routes to guarantee them the title.
Nassco November Safari – November 9
Chefette MudDogs Safari Championship - round 5
1st Chris Armstrong/Wayne Clarke (Toyota Hilux), 612 penalties
2nd Leslie Alleyne/Chris O’Neal (Simpson Motors/Shell Spirax/Shell Rimula/Maxxis Isuzu D-Max), 779pens
3rd Derek Gill/Andrew Croney (Insurance Solutions/Sweet Temptations Mitsubishi Pajero), 897pens
4th Nicholas Lorde/Brett Barber (NL Engineering/Comfeet Land Rover Discovery), 986pens
5th Ben Norris/Kirk Watkins (Birdies Restaurant Ford Ranger), 1020pens
6th Gregory Dickenson/Andre Murrell (Toyota Hilux), 1046pens
7th Damien Johnson/Brandon Johnson (Western Union Suzuki Samurai), 1097pens
8th Wayne Manning/Willie Hinds (Zephrins Bakeries/Quality Tyre Suzuki Samurai), 1183pens
9th Michael Broome/Warwick Eastmond (WOW Camp/12 Volt Auto Suzuki Jimny), 1382pens
10th Julian Kirton/Dominic Straker (Kirts Connection Jeep Wrangler), 1620pens
Route 1: 1st Armstrong/Clarke, 477pens; 2nd Dickenson/Murrell, 511pens; 3rd Alleyne O’Neal, 549pens; etc
Route 2: 1st Johnson/Johnson, 50pens; 2nd Armstrong/Clarke, 135pens; 3rd Alleyne O’Neal, 230pens; etc
Chefette MudDogs Safari Novice Championship - round 5
1st Johnson/Johnson, 1097pens - 7th overall
2nd Broome/Eastmond, 1382pens – 9th o/a
3rd Kirton/Straker, 1620pens - 10th o/a
4th Nicholas Pinto/Adam Hunte (Power King/Impulse Services Jeep Grand Cherokee), 3262pens – 11th o/a
5th Richard Hinkson/Nicola Clarke (Eastern Veterinary Clinic/No More Turns Racing Suzuki Samurai), 4526pens – 12th o/a
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