Kyle Gregg dominates at Rally of the Kings

With early brake problems, Kyle Gregg and co-driver Marcia Dawes attacked the competition at their maximum to win the Rally of the Kings on September 29.
With early brake problems, Kyle Gregg and co-driver Marcia Dawes attacked the competition at their maximum to win the Rally of the Kings on September 29. (Photos: Contributed)

Kyle Gregg showed why he continues to be one of the top drivers rally drivers in Jamaica, as he overcame significant mechanical difficulties to win the Drivers Rallysport Club Rally of the Kings in Bog Walk, St Catherine, recently.

Alongside co-driver Marcia Dawes, the pair suffered severe brake failure on the second stage of the rally putting them down the order when the event was held on September 29. With their Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX repaired during the lunchtime service halt, Gregg and Dawes went for maximum attack all the way to the end of the event, bringing home their car in first place. Along with their victory were six stage wins of the eight.

Derrick McDowell with Matthew Isaacs played the slow but steady strategy for a podium finish in their BMW.
Derrick McDowell with Matthew Isaacs played the slow but steady strategy for a podium finish in their BMW.

With Rally of the Kings the only rally event so far for the DRC season, Gregg’s performance is sobering for those wanting to dethrone the 2018 Rally Jamaica winner in 2019. While he is bullish on his chances of retaining the Rally Jamaica 2019 crown, Gregg doesn’t feel it is done deal as yet because several of his key rivals, such as Joel Jackson and Timothy Stewart, were missing at the event. Jackson indicated that his focus this year was Rally Jamaica at the end of the year, and to that effort, his Subaru Impreza STI has been pulled down to a bare shell to be rebuilt in time for it.

One rival, who was present, Lee Vaz made his overall intentions for Rally Jamaica known, hitting the Tru-Juice dirt stages in a new car. He and co-driver Andrew Grahame used the event as a baptism of fire for their 2010 Subaru Impreza STI, which he noted was a significant upgrade from his previous car, an older 2007 model STI. Vaz moved to the front of the field due to Gregg’s brake problem, and he kept the pressure on for the rest of the day. The result was second place.

 With a fresh rally car, Lee Vaz hopes to capture Rally Jamaica this year.
With a fresh rally car, Lee Vaz hopes to capture Rally Jamaica this year.

Both drivers said they’ll be testing their cars before the upcoming Rally Jamaica. Behind them was a trio of front-wheel-drive cars, as the only other turbocharger four-wheel-drive car driven by Roan Jones went out early. He was later joined in the DNF column by Thomas Hall and James Lechler. Derrick McDowell with Matthew Isaacs, and Colin and Spencer Whittingham were the remaining finishers. The two teams driving BMW 318Tis.

Written by Nichola Beckford