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Dexterity takes spotlight on Sunday

BY RORY DALEY
Observer writer
daleyr@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, October 04, 2019

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TRU-JUICE Orchards in Bog Walk, St Catherine, will be the venue for Asphalt Assault: Dirt Splurt on Sunday. However, the final showdown will be in Montego Bay.

“The Montegonians will have their chance... The grand finale will be at Catherine Hall in Montego Bay, on December 15 and will find us back on tarmac,” Christopher James, an executive of event organisers Team Streetz Jamaica told Jamaica Observer's weekly Auto magazine.

The reasons for the return to the western end of the island are due to the success of the second event this June reignighting the rivalry between the Kingston and Montegonian drivers. Taking that event was Montego Bay's Maurice Whittingham. The third event on July 28, at the Advanced Driver Training Centre (ADTC), in Portmore, St Catherine, saw the pendulum swing back towards Kingston as rally ace Lee Vaz drove away with the victory.

“The rally drivers from Kingston put on a beating on the men from Montego Bay, leaving many crying foul and promising a return with similarly capable machinery,” James said.

For Vaz, he said the win wasn't as clear cut due to the difficulty of tackling the course with a four-wheel drive rally car.

“They have a restrictor on the turbo, which restricts the boost and makes them give less power than a road car of that model. But the rally car torque curves are very aggressive. Their anti-lag system makes them hard to drive and harder to find throttle control to get traction in these tight low speed courses. It's very difficult to be precise. Using the throttle is not always your friend, as it can create too much wheel spin. So control and finesse is required at all times, as you have to keep the momentum and the power band in balance at the same time,” Vaz explained.

Vaz squeezed out a three-second advantage in his Subaru Impreza WRX STi over the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX of Timothy Stewart posting a 1:28.294 to Stewart's 1:31.906. Holding fast to third and second in the championship laps was Joel Jackson, proving Vaz's point by driving a new car, a Mazda Miata, over his usual S15 Nissan Silva.

“The Silvia has very stiff short travel suspension, and at the last dexterity at ADTC I couldn't get any grip. So I needed something with softer, more stock-like suspension,” Jackson said.

His efforts netted him 1:33.436 for third fastest overall, and he put down a 2:12.556 for the second fastest championship run lap time.

“I didn't expect to beat one of the rally cars, so beating one was more than I expected,” he said.

This saw Kingston dominating the podium positions and the class honours. In the top 10, only two were Montegonians — Raynor King, fourth fastest; and Mark-Anthony March in 10th spot.


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