Wednesday 10th May, 2006

 

Lochan dethroned

 
 
 
 
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Rezan Mohammed (left – driver) and Arshad Mondro (right – co-driver) pose with their Lancer GSR 1800 Turbo - 2 Wheel Drive winner.

The spectators were just settling in to their seats on Sunday April 30, at the Stag/ Ultra Rally Preysal Stages event as the action heated up very early on the Snake Run Stage with a spectacular barrel roll courtesy the team of Jerome ‘Bench’ Lum Hung and Sean Ramcharitar in the Trinidad Cement Limited Mazda 323 GTR.

According to reports the team miscalculated their approach to the fast right over the crest and hit a bank on the left side, causing the car to drift and eventually roll five times.

Emergency Medical Technicians from the Fire Service were on hand to examine the crew. Both Jerome and Sean were thankfully diagnosed with nothing more than badly bruised egos and given clearance to return to the service park. This incident reiterated the importance of the safety measures enforced by the Rally Club and the build quality of these vehicles.

Soon after the Snake Run got off to a blistering start amid the dust and heat with the Ultra/ Stag/Josefs first car on the line and the already harvested canes provided great photo opportunities.

Ainsley Lochan and Scott Sheppard posted a time of 1:54 sec, but a Trini Sheriff was on his Tail in the form of Barry Mckenzie and Max Jallai in the Castrol/ Rallymac/ Sweet Tambran Evo 6 and they set a record run for the Snake of 1:47 Sec.

Barry was out to prove his ability to win in 4WD and this he did in all but one of the Snake runs in the morning. Ainsley and Scott were put on alert now that Barry and Max were hunting a win.

As Ainsley and Scott tried to retaliate to Barry’s attack they were hampered by a broken axle on SS2, which caused them to miss SS3, putting them even further back in the field. Barry took full advantage of Ainsley’s misfortune and winning three of the four morning stages.

Rezan Mohammed and Arshad Mondro in the unsponsored Mitsubishi Lancer GSR dominated the 2WD class once again and even challenged some of the 4WD guys by matching and bettering their times on several stages. Their nearest rivals Shelford Robinson and Rajesh Ganar in the Tire Clinic Nissan Sunny lamented “Is time fuh them fellas to move up to four” as they continuously fell short of Rezan’s times.

There was a keen battle in the newcomer’s box between the Simon Rodriguez/Wesley Nandoo team in the Toyota Corolla sporting its 1600cc turbocharged engine and the Tropical Engineering Nissan Sunny team of James Harris/Nishard Mohammed with its two litre naturally aspirated engine. James successfully kept ahead of Simon on three of the four morning stages proving the old adage “there’s no replacement for displacement”.

At the lunch break the Listerine/ Flower Time/ Esso Subaru Impreza piloted by Colin Khan and Richard Ramsingh was second to Barry trailing him by 41 seconds. In third place overall at lunch was Rezan Mohammed and Arshad Mondro trailing Colin and Richard by 26 seconds. During the lunch break, the picong between competitors heated up as the engines cooled, and the spectators’ taste buds were treated as the now famous Sham whipped up his award winning Curried Duck and Cassava Oil Down in the pits.

Barry Mckenzie again showed his dominance as he set stage times 4 seconds quicker than all other competitors. Vishal Dhanraj and Kevin Mohammed in the their first outing in an AWD car, struggled to find their form in the Esso/ Mileage Mack/ AA Chemdry/ Lucozade Sport/ BT Rentals Subaru Impreza, eventually plowing some of the cane beds. We can only speculate that they are in discussions with the farmers for a possible sponsorship deal and were demonstrating the Subaru’s harvesting skills. Their last run of the day however proved to be somewhat competitive, but came to late to make a difference to their overall standings. With a little more practice under their belt, we look forward to this team being a contender for the title in the 2006 Rally Trinidad in August. Ainsley Lochan again showed his car control on the Seego Zig Zag, and earned the crowd’s respect with a two wheeler of all two wheelers at the hairpin left at the back of the hill.

James Harris, who, up to SS6 was finding the better of his rival Simon Rodriquez, suffered a puncture on SS7 and in true rally form continued to drive! However the car’s protest overcame his desire to finish as he also popped an axle on the same stage. His retirement from the rally at this point allowed Simon to step up and claim third place honors in the 2WD category.

Barry Mckenzie/ Max Jallai in the Castrol/ Rallymac Motors/ Sweet Tamarind Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 6 powered on to extend their lead winning the rally a full 1 minute and 11 seconds over second place Colin Khan and Richard Ramsingh. Rezan Mohammed and Arshad Mondro were able to maintain their lead over the Ainsley and completed the podium, with a brilliant third place finish.

After the rally Barry had this to say:

“My ultimate goal for today was to challenge Ainsley who has been the dominant 4WD Driver for the last 2 years , after the first stage I knew I had a good chance of finally knocking Ainsley off the throne. I focused on the task at hand and after the lunch break I had built up such a lead I could have cruised to victory, but that’s not my style. Balls to the wall I told my co-driver Max. I went at the Zig Zag to win all the stages and I did!”

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