Rally Trinidad 2018

Rally Trinidad 2018

March Madness comes to a dusty and historic end with the Trinidad and Tobago Rally Club hosting Rally Trinidad, the club’s season opener and premier event. Two days of jumps, drifts, dust, breakdowns, rebuilds, dust, rain…yes..rain…in the dry season….did I mention dust..and at the very end…history.

On Saturday Teams were to tackle the long and harsh Bronte Stage. Known to be a car breaker over the years, this year was no different. Varying gravel surfaces, from marbles to powder to golf ball size to boulders that dent shields and floor pans. Now try to keep up….here’s Saturday in a nutshell….Ryan Pinheiro and James Betts drew numbers out of a hat-ish to determine who was starting where, Ryan “lost” and was first on the road as sweeper. So….Ryan swept and kept sweeping all day long to the overnight leader. James chased until at the end of the second stage, the engine locked up. Game over. Stuart Johnson, reigning back to back Champion, was looking to be the first to 3 peat….except…..clutch failure before even making the end of the first stage. He was out. Matthew Russell chased down Ryan and by day’s end, was only a handful of seconds behind going into Sunday. Craig Sumair played it steady, there was a battle between Radj Persad, Gobin Mahadeo and Kumar Ramdass. They were trading times all day long as well as incidents. Harold Morley and Peter Morris bring up the tail end. Over in 2WD, drama. Donald Gopaul who is ever consistent, found problems and was for the first time in years….found himself chasing the pack by the end of the day. Ansel Ali and Ryan Peyrau traded blows all day long until Ansel found himself in a field after a bad tuck and roll. He was out. Bring on Sunday……

Rain and overcast skies Sunday morning were a departure of the heated conditions from Saturday, but one rain shower at the start of the third stage shook up the standings. Sssoooo….Ryan kept his cool and with his son co-driving, did all that was necessary to ensure the number on the car matched his finishing position. Matthew never let up from the start but that rain shower drowned his chances of catching Ryan. Craig held on, Radj, Kumar and Gobin, went back and forth and when the dust settled, they finished in that order, the latter two only separated by 6 seconds. Harold and Peter came finished in that order. For the first time, no two wheel drive finished as Ryan, who just had to cruise today, broke an axle and was out, as was Donald who’s gearbox did him no favours.

Now, the special mentions….firstly, Ansel and his Team, after the spill on Saturday, spent the entire night fixing the car and came back out on Sunday but only to have the driveshaft fail and retired them for a second time. Stuart and his Team also worked during the night and history repeated itself, he was out again on the first stage Sunday with gearbox failure. My best Team for the event, ,Matthew and his Team, in a car that has had more abuse than the seat in a PBR maxi, going up against the more established Teams and never backing down. He also get points for the best car livery. Congrats to Craig and Simon Rodriguez, who with Matthew and Brian, took Best Team honours. TTRC’s strongest man and supplier of half the club’s parts, Gobin took home honours for the best jump for the Rally. And in saving the best for last, the winner. First time Rally Trinidad has a father and son Team taking the overall and class win. A fantastic result for one of the Club’s best prepared Teams.

The TTRC would like to thank the Ministry of Sport, Jusamco, Ultra, Massy Technologies, Lifestyle Motors, Beluga Soft Wash and Dasani for all their help and support in pulling this event off. I personally will like to thank the Sumair family for Saturday’s lunch and Donald’s family for Sunday. My wife for scrubbin me down Sunday night with her magic cloth and my fellow snappers for making light work of the weekend, Devi Nath and Nicholas Dumplin Bhajan. As usual, full album can be seen on that website for all things speed, TriniTuner.com. Now….time to clean camera gear and relax for a couple weeks.

…..till next time.

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