The provisional results from the final day (Sunday, Dec 8) have shown that the team of Kyle Gregg and Marcia Dawes has won the Richard Stewart Memorial Rally Jamaica 2019.
The teams of Thomas Hall and James Lechler; and Timothy Stewart and Stephen Gunter completed the top three podium positions.
Gregg entered the second day of the event with an over two-minute lead to Stewart. By rally’s end that lead had shrunk to one minute and three seconds, still enough margin to secure victory over Hall who moved into second place during the day. Co-driver Dawes explained that the time loss was a calculated strategy.
“We worked out that Timothy would need to beat us by at least ten seconds a stage on day two for him to close the time gap, so we just kept a pace that wouldn’t damage the car and maintain enough of a gap for us to win at the end of the day,” she said.
The 2019 win means Gregg retains his 2018 Rally Jamaica trophy and marks a third career win of the event. Hall, who normally campaigns in the two-wheel-drive naturally aspirated class, made good use of his promotion within the Stewart’s Automotive Group rally team to the more powerful JN8 class for showroom based four-wheel-drive turbocharged cars.
He emerged the unlikely challenger to Gregg overhauling his teammate Stewart. Hall impressed the rally fans with a mature drive to second. Stewart addressed the mechanical issues he suffered on day one and did his best to come back from the massive time deficit it caused. In 2018 he was stuck in a river gaining a Did Not Finish on the rally, so his third place was a substantial improvement for this year.
Fourth went to Montegonians Leslie Madden Jr and Sean Williams, the two making a return to the sport after a lengthy period of time. Bobby Marshall and Marcel Brandon were the first two-wheel drive over the line in fifth position.
The only retirement for the day came late when Lee Vaz, another driver trying to recover lost time from day one, clipped a rock damaging the steering of his Subaru Impreza STI and sending him and co-driver Michael Fennell Jr. out of the rally on the final stage.
Provisional Results Up To SS22
1. Kyle Gregg / Marcia Dawes – 01:49:12.012
2. Thomas Hall / James Lechler – 01:50:15.966
3. Timothy Stewart / Stephen Gunter – 01:51:46.012
4. Leslie Madden / Sean Williams – 01:1:57:53.155
5. Bobby Marshall / Marcel Brandon – 02:06:59.700
6. Raynor King / Rameses McGregor – 02:08:29.308
7. Derrick McDowell / Matthew Isaacs – 02:34:10.305
8. Lee Vaz / Michael Fennell Jr. – DNF
— Article written by Nichola Beckford