Gregg off the mark

BY RORY DALEY Observer writer

Friday, March 31, 2017

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Reigning Driver’s Rallysport Club (DRC) Sprint champion Kyle Gregg made his intentions known to his rivals when he and long-time navigator Hugh Hutchinson captured the overall win at the Tru-Juice DRC Rally #1 held in Bog Walk, St Catherine, recently.


"This is two for two wins on gravel for us so far. The car had some issues, but we managed to scrape by with a 15-second win over a vastly improved Timothy Stewart," Gregg told Jamaica Observer’s Auto magazine.


During the day, the brake issues which have plagued Gregg’s Lancer Evolution since last year returned, along with some rear suspension problems that almost derailed his winning run. However, this time he adjusted to the glitches while trying to keep Stewart in his rear-view mirror.


"I had to step my game up on a couple of the stages to try and extend my lead, but yet not overdrive," he said of his strategy. Stewart, co-driven by veteran Stephen Gunter, managed to finish behind Gregg, taking his second career rally podium.


"The event went well for us. The car was great. It’s now just down to more seat time now. I was able to win a few of the stages throughout the day. Now I just need to focus on being faster from the start," he explained.


Rounding out the podium positions in third was Fraser McConnell, also paired with another veteran navigator, Peter Clarke. All three enjoyed a tight battle to the finish, especially when Gregg’s main rival Joel Jackson fell out. Still awaiting parts for his main rally car — a Subaru WRX STI — he entered the event with an older back-up version. "The car started feeling funny from stage one," he said.


By the third stage he and co-driver Dmitri Dawkins were watching from the sidelines as their engine suffered mechanical failure.


"Basically the thermostat seized, causing the engine to overheat and boom!" he explained.


Another significant "forced retirement" due to mechanical issues was that of 2016 DRC Drivers Champion Maurice Whittingham. Bobby Marshall and Sebastien Rae completed the top five finishers.

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