Kyle Gregg fires ahead

Observer writer

Friday, June 22, 2018

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THE Drivers' Rallysport Club's (DRC)'s Sprint championship opened up with its first event, dubbed Plains of Fury, on Sunday at the Tru-Juice Orchards in Bog Walk, St Catherine.

Current DRC champion driver Kyle Gregg took maximum points putting a strong start to his charge for the club's triple crown of sprint, rally, and overall champion for 2018.

“I'm glad to be back on top. Sprints always show who's the fastest and there was intense competition all day,” Gregg told the Jamaica Observer's weekly Auto magazine.

Gregg, whose rally car has been suffering mechanical issues over the past several events, costing him precious victories, ran flawlessly allowing him to post the fastest time in the event's points-scoring championship laps section.

“Sunday was huge plus for us. The car ran smoothly all day giving us no issues,” he said.

Hounding Gregg to the finish was Fraser McConnell in second place.

“The main goal when entering any event is always getting to the top of the podium. But as we all know, it is a lot easier said than done, especially when the competition is as tight as it is,” McConnell said.

The rest of the JN8 class competitors weren't so lucky as mechanical problems saw uneven performances keeping them from fully challenging the top two. Filling out the final podium position in third was Lee Vaz, a welcome present to his father Ricky, who was present.

“We are happy with our third place,” Vaz said.

He considered himself lucky to be on the podium as he suffered a gear linkage failure on the first run of the day. As usual, in the Rallysport community help wasn't far behind.

“Thanks to Tru-Juice for their sportsmanship. They opened up their welding facility to us and we were able to get back in time for the final run to qualify for the championship run,” Vaz explained.

Fourth-placed finisher Joel Jackson had an even rougher day.

“It wasn't a good day for Jetcon Racing. We were a lot slower since we were using old tyres,” Jackson explained.

Things got worse as, pushing to keep in contact with rivals, the steering column of his Subaru Impreza WRX STI came loose. Jackson would still have been able to make it to the championship runs, only for a slight error that caused a spin and contact with one of the infamous orange trees to dull his chances further.

Rounding out the top five was Thomas Hall. Hall spent most of 2017 within grasp of the sprint title due to his consistent driving, as his Mitsubishi Lancer continues to be one of the few naturally aspirated front-wheel-drive vehicles in the field.

“It was a great event for me. The car held up well,” he said.

However, Hall has tipped Bobby Marshall, also driving in his class, as a potential rival for the season.

“I need to upgrade some stuff on the car to be able to fight because they're going to be very fast.”

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