Close-fought Chefette Championship developing


Reigning Champions Leslie Alleyne and Chris O’Neal returned to winners’ row for the first time since last June at the weekend (Saturday, April 11), when they won round two of the Barbados Rally Club’s (BRC) Chefette MudDogs Safari Championship in the Simpson Motors/Shell Spirax/Shell Rimula/Maxxis Isuzu D-Max.

Combined with their sixth-place finish in the March Safari, Alleyne and O’Neal are now tied for second in the standings with Audley and Jeremy Croney (Mitsubishi L200), who have finished third and fourth so far this season. They are two points behind Derek Gill and Andrew Croney (Insurance Brokers & Solutions Inc Mitsubishi Pajero), who won last month’s season-opener and finished fifth on Saturday.

Even at this early stage, the Chefette Championship is shaping up to be a close-fought contest, with former Champions Chris Armstrong and Wayne Clarke finishing second at the weekend in their first appearance for the season. There is now a two-month break before the June Safari, although the first of two MudFests is scheduled for Sunday, May 3, details of which will be confirmed shortly.

To enthusiastic applause from the crowd gathered for last night’s (Tuesday) Prizegiving at the Barbados Clay Target Shooting Association (BCTSA) Club House at Searles, Christ Church, Lisa Carter from Chefette Restaurants confirmed the company’s continued commitment to the BRC and to the MudDogs Championship, before she presented trophies and vouchers to the winners.

Despite the best efforts of route-setters Gary and George Mendes to outfox crews, Alleyne and O’Neal were on good form throughout, winning the longer daylight route from Chefette Speightstown to Chefette Six Roads by a margin of more than 300 penalties; once night had fallen after the dinner stop, they kept up the pressure heading for the Chefette Warrens finish, with another strong performance, ending the day on 584 penalties, compared with 1278 for Armstrong/Clarke, who had been second throughout.

Alleyne sad: “Mendes did a fabulous job. Generally, all the competitors enjoyed the event and the route was very well thought out. The average speeds were quite high, which made it a high-pressure event from start to finish. Added to this was the unusually high volume of mud at this time of year. Our Isuzu worked flawlessly and Chris and I were firing on all cylinders! It was one of the more enjoyable events in a while.”

Fourth on both routes placed the consistent Ben Norris and Kirk Watkins (Birdies Restaurant Ford Ranger) third at the finish, ahead of Audley and Jeremy Croney and points-leaders Derek Gill and Andrew Croney.

In the Chefette Novice Championship, Derek Pinto and Adam Hunte (Impulse Services Toyota Hilux) claimed their second win in a row, 10th overall, with rookies Alvin Leon and Nathan John (Suzuki Samurai) narrowly beating Richard Hinkson and Kevin-Jon Manning (Samurai) into second place by a margin of only 230 points in more than 9,000.

MudDogs Chairman Ricky Holder said: “Thanks to Gary and George for setting such a challenging route, which produced a good competition. The Driver Challenges were good fun for competitors, particularly in the gravel in Cane Garden, and then for spectators who turned out in their numbers by the highway for the challenge in The Belle.

“The Championship is shaping up nicely, too, with close competition at the top of the table. With three more Safaris yet to come, I really think we are in for a good season.”


Chefette MudDogs Safari Championship – round 2

April Safari, April 11

1st Leslie Alleyne/Chris O’Neal (Simpson Motors/Shell Spirax/Shell Rimula/Maxxis Isuzu D-Max), 584 penalties

2nd Chris Armstrong/Wayne Clarke (Toyota Hilux), 1278pens

3rd Ben Norris/Kirk Watkins (Birdies Restaurant Ford Ranger), 2517pens

4th Audley Croney/Jeremy Croney (Mitsubishi L200), 2891pens

5th Derek Gill/Andrew Croney (Insurance Brokers & Solutions Inc Mitsubishi Pajero), 3936pens

6th Nicholas Lorde/Brett Barber (NL Engineering Mitsubishi L200 Sportero), 4168pens

7th Damien Johnson/Brandon Johnson (Western Union Suzuki Samurai), 4356pens

8th Michael Ward/Warrick Eastmond (Suzuki Jimny), 4392pens

9th Sean Lashley/Willie Hinds (AS Auto Stop/Zephrins/Quality Tyre Suzuki Samurai), 4862pens

10th Derek Pinto/Adam Hunte (Impulse Services Toyota Hilux), 5329pens


Route 1 – 1st Alleyne/O’Neal, 188pens; 2nd Armstrong/Clarke, 493pens; 3rd Croney/Croney, 800pens; 4th Norris/Watkins, 867pens; 5th Gill/Croney, 1811pens; etc

Route 2 – 1st Alleyne/O’Neal, 396pens; 2nd Armstrong/Clarke, 785pens; 3rd Lorde/Barber, 1650pens; 4th Norris/Watkins, 2091pens; 5th Croney/Croney, 2125pens; etc


Chefette MudDogs Safari Novice Championship – round 2

1st Pinto/Hunte, 5329pens – 10th overall

2nd Alvin Leon/Nathan John (Suzuki Samurai), 9225pens – 13th o/a

3rd Richard Hinkson/Kevin-Jon Manning (Suzuki Samurai), 9455pens – 14th o/a

Route 1 – 1st Pinto/Hunte, 2223pens; 2nd Leon/John, 4225pens; 3rd Hinkson/Manning, 4255pens

Route 2 – 1st Pinto/Hunte, 2329pens; 2nd Hinkson/Manning, 4926pens; 3rd Leon/John, 5000pens


Chefette MudDogs Safari Championship

Positions after round 2

Drivers & Navigators

1st Gill/Croney, 112 points

equal 2nd Alleyne/O’Neal & Croney/Croney, 110pts

4th George Mendes/Gary Mendes (Mitsubishi L200 Sportero), 108pts

5th Johnson/Johnson, 106pts

6th Norris/Watkins, 104pts


Novice Championship:

Drivers & Navigators

1st Pinto/Hunte, 120pts

2nd Hinkson/Manning, 114pts

3rd Leon/John, 58pts