Johnson wins High Speed Rally

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Barry Mckenzie

President TT Rally Club

Stuart Johnson, driving his Lucas Oil/Krazy Kustomz Subaru Impreza Group N Class car, with co-driver Wayne Persad, won the Junior Sammy/SM Jaleel Gravel /Ultra Lubricants/Hert/Lifestyle Motors/Massy Technologies/Rhino Rentals/Beluga Soft Wash High Speed Car Rally on Sunday at the Famous Jack N Jill stage location in Couva.

The rally winners were quite pleased to be in the championship points after a disastrous start to the 2018 season with a retirement in the Trinidad and Tobago Rally Club’s signature event, Rally Trinidad. Johnson won Sunday’s event with a comfortable lead of one minute and three seconds.

Rain threatened to dampen the spirits on Sunday, but except for a few sprinkles which worked well to keep the dust settled, the stages were completed with just one race being cancelled from the planned 10-race schedule.

Mathew Russell’s Evolution 3 kept the Lucas Oil driver on his toes most of the day, however, a broken rear diff carrier on Stage 7 would see his challenge dissipate. The team would do some repairs enough to keep on the road and to finish 2nd overall and 1st in Group A.

Missing from the top group fight was the Pinheiro teams’ Evo 5 which is currently being retrofitted from gravel suspension —used here in our offroad stages — to tarmac specification, as this team will be representing Trinidad and Tobago next month in Rally Barbados.

In third position overall was Surinamese racer Radj Pershad and local co-driver Schuravi Mallian in the Valvoline/Garage 61 Impreza Group N Rallycar.

They worked hard to stay with the front running pair and also keep Mahadeo’s Auto Impreza, piloted by the team of Gobin Mahadeo/Chris Ackee, off their tails. A rough start to the season did not discourage the Siparia-based team of Donald Gopaul and new co-driver Dereck Mohammed, driving the Saney Auto FWD Lancer turbo.

This team suffered major mechanical issues in Rally Trinidad and had to rebuild a lot of components to do battle last weekend and the results have been truly worth the efforts of this team and they were rewarded with a win in the 2WD category and 6th place overall,

History was made in Trinidad with the Bajan/UK entry of the first Porsche to race here in the TTRC’s 35 year history. Harold Morley has put his money where his mouth is to give fans an amazing display of Porsche power and rear wheel drive skills of the team. Co-driven by Shiva Maharaj, Harold’s first drive of the car was in his own words “amazing on gravel” for a 1973 model Porsche 911 RS 3Litre Vintage Rallycar. And he is expected to contest the remaining round of the Club’s championship in the Porsche. They finished 2nd in 2WD.

The Young Jedi squad of Craig Sumair/Simon Rodriguez in the unsponsored Evolution 9 Group N suffered a broken transfer case shaft on Stage 2.

They would repair and come back fighting, still in contention for a podium finish, but bad luck struck on stage 8 and they once again, had drivetrain issues and were forced to retire from the event with one stage to run.

Kumar Ramdass/Sanjeev Samaroo, driving the Shell Oil/Plant Solutions Evolution Group N machine, fought hard with the 4th placed Mahadeo’s Auto crew and the final results saw this team losing out on 4th by just one second. The Evolution 10 racecar driven by one of Trinidad’s most experienced rallymen, Peter Morris, with Jesu De Gannes on the note calling duties, looked and sounded awesome.

This team is now coming to grips with the suspension adjustment needed and are expected to improve as the championship continues.

OVERALL WINNERS

1st – Stuart Johnson /

Wayne Persad

2nd – Matthew Russell /

Brian Bhagwandass

3rd – Radj Pershad /

Schuravi Mallian

4WD CATEGORY, GROUP A

1st – Matthew Russell /

Brian Bhagwandass

2nd – Gobin Mahadeo /

Chris Ackee

3th – Peter Morris /

Jesu De Gannes

4WD CATEGORY, GROUP N

1st – Stuart Johnson /

Wayne Persad

2nd – Radj Pershad /

Schuravi Mallian

3rd – Kumar Ramdass /

Sanjeev Samaroo

SUPER MODIFIED 2WD

1st – Donald Gopaul /

Dereck Mohammed

2nd – Harold Morley /

Shiva Maharaj

Winning Team –

BLACK SHEEP

Stuart Johnson/Wayne Persad

Donald Gopaul/

Dereck Mohammed.

The post Johnson wins High Speed Rally appeared first on Trinidad and Tobago Newsday.

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