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Rally Jamaica 2011
The following weekend, it was the turn of the rally cars competing in the 20th anniversary Jamaica Millennium Motoring Club’s (JMMC) Petcom Rally Jamaica 2011 to take centre stage, and over the tree day event that started on Friday December 2 with the ceremonial start on Knutsford Boulevard in the capital city’s business district to the spectator friendly Tru Juice stages in Bog Walk for a day in the orange groves (for special stages in Bybrook and New Works) on Saturday morning and then through to Sunday morning using the famous Wakefield “watersplash” stage which is a photographer’s paradise as the cars splash spectacualrly through one of the many rivers watering the lush, green orange groves.
From there the cars headed back closer to Kingston for the Bernard Lodge canefield stage then finally to the waterfront of downtown Kingston for the Festival of Speed super special stage, which had a mixture of classic cars, stunt bikes and circuit racing cars all on show in addiion to the rally stars. The prizegiving ceremony closed the series of events on Monday, December 5th at the Knutsford Court Hotel, which is the official rally headquarters, where the Trinidad based team of John Powell/Nicolas Telfer who drove the Shell Subaru Impreza S14 World Rally Car walked away with the 1st place trophies followed by the Bajan pair of Sean Gill/Micael Cummings in the Automotive Art/Stewarts Motors Suzuki SX4 World Rally Car followed in 3rd by last years champions Gary Gregg/Hugh Hutchinson in the BD Gregg & Bros/Maxxis Tyres Ford Focus World Rally Car – all in the JA9 class.
4th overall and 1st in class JN8 was past event winner Jeffrey Panton co driven by Mike Fennel in the Shell Helix Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X on loan from John Powell, while 2nd in class and 5th overall was gentleman racer Harold Morley co-driven by Mark Nelson in the Net2Vu Subaru mpreza. Macklin Peterkin/Wayne Chuck were the winners in the JA8 category in the Valvoline/Kinn’s Auto Parts Subaru Impreza WRX Sti, finishing 12th overall.
The Class JA4 winners and fastest two wheel drive team were the determined pairing of Thomas Hall/Dmitri Dawkins in a Toyota Starlet (6th overall) who were followed home by the 2nd placed team of Alan Chen/Marcia Dawes in a rear wheel drive Toyota Corolla SR5 (9th overall).
Class JA3 held undoubtedly the most popular team entered in the event: the Scottish pair of Alan McKay and Mo Downey in a 1959 Ford Anglia, brought up to “WRC” specs and being the toast of the crowd. Although sidelined on day 2 of the event when a rear suspension component took leave of the car, the crew were able to effect repairs and rejoined on Sunday moring, much to the delight of the many fans who never failed to cheer the pair on. The class was won by Christopher McFarlane/Wayne Piper in their showroom stock Stewarts Auto Sales/Dunlop Mitsubishi Lancer Gt (10th overall).
The JA2 class was won by Matthew Gore/Raymond Farquharson in the WATA Toyota Starlet, earning them the 2nd place two wheel drive trophies and 7th overall as well. The husband and wife pair of Jason and Katryna Lawson in a rear wheel drive Toyota Corolla GTS completed the event in the JN2 class as well as Glen Campbell/Joseph Gallagher in a Nissan Micra in the JA1 category, both teams earning 1st place trophies.
The running of the final stage in downtown Kingston provided an exciting climax to the weekend’s activities, as thousands of fans descended on the venue to indulge in their varying degrees of automotive passion, bringing life and color to the original business district bordering the waterfront.