Photo: Heading toward another record-breaking victory are Leslie Alleyne & Chris O’Neal (Simpson Motors/Shell Spirax/Shell Rimula/Maxxi
courtesy of Corey Reece/Image Vault

Johnson and Lynch win Class B in Sol June Safari

Following their victory in the weekend’s (June 23/24) Sol June Safari, Leslie Alleyne and Chris O’Neal will need the Barbados Rally Club (BRC) to re-write its record books one more time. Despite a nerve-wracking last few hours before the Saturday morning start – O’Neal’s return flight from Canada was delayed – the experienced pair prevailed in an event which Alleyne described as a “well thought-out rally, which tested all aspects of the competitors”.

  Campaigning the Simpson Motors/Shell Spirax/Shell Rimula/Maxxis Isuzu D-Max, Alleyne and O’Neal finished the overnight event with 998 penalties, giving them a winning margin of 223 over Ben Norris/Kirk Watkins (Toyota Land Cruiser) – a third top-three finish for them - with Benjamin Moore and Andrew Croney (Country View Bar/Market Hill Farms/Westside Security Services Mitsubishi L200) third, another 196 penalties behind.

  Alleyne’s ninth win extends his advantage over fellow ‘June’ veteran Wayne Clarke, who claimed the first of his six victories in 1991, while O’Neal’s fifth moves him to third in the Roll of Honour, ahead of four-time winners Chris Armstrong (Clarke’s driver for his last four victories), Sean Gill, Don Hunte, Andrew Mallalieu and Richard Rose. Two of Alleyne’s wins have been as Navigator (with Geoff Noel in 1996, Trevor Manning in 2011), the rest as Driver, two with wife AnnaLee, the last five with O’Neal. The partnership has also bettered the record established last year for the highest number of wins in the shortest time frame, which is now five in seven years.

  Damien Johnson and Justin Lynch (Dre Tuned Toyota Hilux), who finished ninth overall and top Novice crew last year, showed that “a year is a long time in MudDogs”, to reconfigure a well-known political phrase; they finished fourth, won Class B on all three routes - overall winners on route two - and also topped the Shelbury Construction Trophy points for the five Driver Challenges.

  Route-setter for the third round of the Chefette MudDogs Safari Championship was Gary Mendes, who earned high praise from Alleyne: “Gary did an excellent job. It was a very well thought-out and planned rally, which tested all aspects of the competitors, from physical and mental endurance to driving skill and vehicle capability. The new forms of navigation introduced were very well received and very creatively done.

  “It was a bit nerve-wracking for us before the start, as Chris was in Canada on Saturday morning, due to land at GAIA at 2.18pm. His plane was 30 minutes late and finally landed at 2.47pm. AnnaLee collected him from home and he arrived at the start at 4.15pm . . . just 15 minutes for us to get ready! We knew that five Driver Challenges would make a significant difference if you did poorly in them, especially given our not-so-good record so far for the year. We adopted a strategy in each one trying to optimize the situation and reduce any potential negative impact on our score. Once again, the Isuzu never let us down.”

  Alleyne and O’Neal scored top points in the first Driver Challenge near Four Square Factory in St Philip, not slipping below sixth in the rest, while Willie Hinds and Wayne Manning (Black Bess Group Suzuki Samurai) won the second Challenge in the Colleton Plantation Yard in the same parish. Stephen Mayers and David Reece (Toyota Hilux) topped the tables in the next two, at Boarded Hall, Christ Church, and then shortly after midnight to the south of Vaucluse in St Thomas, while Moore and Croney came out on top in Challenge five in the Shooting Swamp in St Lucy.

  Alleyne concluded: “It was a hard-fought event and we would like to congratulate all competitors for their achievements and, of course, thank the marshals for their tireless commitment throughout a long night. Also Brett Barber and his team for the huge effort in putting together all the challenges, which added a nice twist to the event.”

  Mayers and Reece led after route 1, which ran from Sol Wildey through the eastern parishes before doubling back to the dinner halt at Sol Warrens; the leading crews were closely matched, with a spread of just 272 penalties from first to fourth. Alleyne and O’Neal were second, Ryan Corbin and Dustin Edwards (Corbins Catering Services Mahogany Ridge Toyota Hilux) third, with Class B leaders Johnson and Lynch fourth.

  While Johnson and Lynch won route 2, which headed north, taking a morning break at Sol Speightstown, third place for Alleyne and O’Neal promoted them in to the lead, just 107 penalties ahead of the Class B leaders, with Norris and Watkins now third. Johnson and Lynch could manage only seventh place on route 3, which ended at the Wreck Bar and Restaurant in Mullins, St Peter, however and slipped to fourth in the final standings, behind Norris and Watkins and route 3 winners Moore and Croney.

Sol June Safari, June 23/24 Chefette MudDogs Safari Championship – round 3

1st Leslie Alleyne/Chris O'Neal (Simpson Motors/Shell Spirax/Shell Rimula/Maxxis Isuzu D-Max), 998 penalties 2nd Ben Norris/Kirk Watkins (Toyota Land Cruiser), 1221pens 3rd Benjamin Moore/Andrew Croney (Country View Bar/Market Hill Farms/Westside Security Services Mitsubishi L200), 1417pens 4th Damien Johnson/Justin Lynch (Dre Tuned Toyota Hilux), 1681pens 5th Chris Armstrong/Wayne Clarke (Toyota Hilux), 1979pens 6th Stephen Mayers/David Reece (Toyota Hilux), 2832pens 7th Willie Hinds/Wayne Manning (Black Bess Group Suzuki Samurai), 2908pens 8th Yosuf Patel/Bilal Patel (Aquarius Faucets/ToolCraft/Goodyear Tyres Mitsubishi L200), 4970pens 9th Ryan Corbin/Dustin Edwards (Corbins Catering Services Mahogany Ridge Toyota Hilux), 5140pens 10th Richard Hinkson/Kevin-Jon Manning (Windforce Tyres Suzuki Samurai), 5686pens etc Route 1: 1st Mayers/Reece, 238pens; 2nd Alleyne/O’Neal, 338pens; 3rd Corbin/Edwards, 364pens; 4th Johnson/Lynch, 510pens; 5th Norris/Watkins, 548pens; etc Route 2: 1st Johnson/Lynch, 245pens; 2nd Norris/Watkins, 291pens; 3rd Alleyne/O’Neal, 320pens; 4th Moore/Croney, 390pens; 5th Corbin/Edwards, 786pens; etc Route 3: 1st Moore/Croney, 248pens; 2nd Alleyne/O’Neal, 350pens; 3rd Norris/Watkins, 382pens; 4th Armstrong/Clarke, 504pens; 5th Mayers/Reece, 608pens; etc

Class B

1st Johnson/Lynch, 1681pens

2nd Y Patel/B Patel, 4970pens

3rd Hinkson/K-J Manning, 5686pens

4th John Pinto/Adam Hunte (Structural Systems/Amsoil GMC Sonoma), 7188pens Route 1: 1st Johnson/Lynch, 510pens; 2nd Y Patel/B Patel, 2372pens; 3rd Hinkson/K-J Manning, 2424pens; etc Route 2: 1st Johnson/Lynch, 245pens; 2nd Y Patel/B Patel, 1582pens; 3rd Pinto/Hunte, 1771pens; etc Route 3: 1st Johnson/Lynch, 926pens; 2nd Y Patel/B Patel, 1016pens; 3rd Hinkson/K-J Manning, 1434pens; etc

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