Richard Stewart Memorial Rally Jamaica 2019 set for this weekend

Kyle Gregg came back from the brink of mechanical failure in the opening stages of Rally Jamaica 2018 to win local rallying’s top honour.

The Richard Stewart Memorial Rally Jamaica is scheduled for this this weekend, beginning with a 6:00 p.m. opening ceremony on Friday (Dec 6) at B.D. Gregg & Bros South Camp Road store.

The rally will feature 12 teams fighting over a 159-kilometre spread across 22 competitive stages for two days in Bog Walk, St Catherine.

The teams are:

  • Kyle Gregg / Marcia Dawes
  • Lee Vaz / Michael Fennell Jr
  • Joel Jackson / Dmitri Dawkins
  • Timothy Stewart / Stephen Gunter
  • Thomas Hall / James Lechler
  • Leslie Madden Jr / Sean Williams
  • Bobby Marshall / Marcel Brandon
  • Raynor King / Rameses McGregor
  • Harold Morley / Terry Hamilton
  • Derrick McDowell / Matthew Isaacs
  • Roan Jones / Taneica Jones
  • Colin Whittingham / Jameil Dunkley
Richard Stewart Memorial Rally Jamaica 2018 winner Kyle Gregg (centre) is flanked by top contenders Lee Vaz (left) and Joel Jackson at Wednesday’s launch of Rally Jamaica 2019.

Saturday, December 7 sees the first car turn its wheels in anger at 9:48 a.m. at New Hall. The other stage for day one of Rally Jamaica 2019 will be Bybrook, known for its high-flying jump. These two will be run back and forth for a total of 11 stages. According to the organisers, both have been modified significantly to make them more spectator friendly and challenging for the teams. Day two starts earlier at 8:43 a.m. and uses the Mickleton and Wakefield stages. Rally fans will recognize the Wakefield stage as the signature water splash stage that has defined the December rally for decades. The New Works stage was dropped due to rain damage.

The Richard Stewart Memorial Rally Jamaica 2019 will see a strong JN8 class led by 2018 winner Kyle Gregg. Gregg will be trying to fend off challenges from the likes of Lee Vaz, 2016 winner Joel Jackson and Timothy Stewart, who came the closest to winning in 2018.

Gregg has won the only other rally on local soil and took Rally Trinidad earlier in the year. Vaz has upgraded his car and finds himself partnered with legendary navigator Michael Fennell Jr in a bid for victory. Jackson skipped the whole Rallysport season to focus on rebuilding his Subaru Impreza STI for Rally Jamaica. Stewart, who ended up in a river last year, received a brand new Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX for 2019.

Motorsport can be a cruel mistress as 2016 winner Joel Jackson found out when a tyre took his Subaru Impreza out of contention for the 2018 win.

Day one – December 7

SS#         NAME                   FCO

MTC 1   Sports Club         9:30

1             New Hall              9:48

2             Bybrook               10:19

3             New Hall              11:00

4             Bybrook               11:31

5             New Hall              12:12

MTC 2   Sports Club         12:36

MTC 3   Sports Club         13:46

6             Koorby                  14:13

7             New Hall R          14:44

8             Koorby                  15:22

9             New Hall R          15:53

10           Koorby                  16:31

MTC4    Sports Club         16:49 

Day two – December 8

SS#         NAME                   FCO

MTC 5   Sports Club         8:30

11           Mickleton            8:43

12           Wakefield            9:01

13           Mickleton            9:39

14           Wakefield            9:57

15           Mickleton            10:35

16           Wakefield            10:53

MTC 6   Sports Club         11:28

MTC 7   Sports Club         12:31

17           Wakefield R        12:59

18           Mickleton R        13:17

19           Wakefield R        13:55

20           Mickleton R        14:13

21           Wakefield R        14:51

22           Mickleton R        15:09

MTC 8   Sports Club         15:29

Article written by Nichola Beckford