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Local, int'l drivers for Rally Ja 2015

Published:Friday | November 6, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Kyle Gregg
Harold Morley at Rally Jamaica 2012.
Doug 'Hollywood' Gore

JAMAICA’S JEFFREY Panton and Mike Fennell Jr headline a competitive field at the two-day Rally Jamaica 2015, to be held in three weeks’ time. The rally starts in the St Catherine communities of Bog Walk and Wakefield on Saturday, November 28, and concludes the following day in downtown Kingston.

“For the past two years we have been rallying in Barbados. Coming back to compete in Jamaica, without a doubt it is going to be a challenge. Rally Jamaica this year is going to be very competitive, but we are confident,” Panton told Automotives on Friday. According to Cathleen Moodie, the FIA/NACAM, Jamaica Millennium Motoring Club Rally Jamaica 2015 publicist, at least 19 entries have already been confirmed.

These include several overseas-based entrants. Among them are the teams of Ricardo Trivino and Marco Hernandez; Francisco Name and Armando Zapata; Andres Molina and Eduardo Corrales Castro (all from Mexico); Craig Sumair and Joshua Plaza (Trinidad and Tobago); Raj Perahd, John Powell and Harold Morley. Morley, a British national residing in Barbados, is among the eldest drivers down to compete. A retired dental surgeon who studied at the University of Manchester, United Kingdom, he has been consistently competing in Rally Jamaica and has developed a fan base in the country.

An interesting local entry is the combination of Kyle Gregg and Hugh Hutchinson. The latter, who lives in the United States, has long been a friend of and rally co-driver with Kyle's father, Gary. The older Gregg will be taking part in this year's event, but not with the multitalented Hutchinson.

Kyle Gregg was on last year's winning team.

"I have been focusing more on helping Kyle, so I did not bother to take away Hugh (Hutchinson) because both of us have won this event several times. A number of friends will be taking part and it will be just fun for me," said Gary Gregg, who has opted for Peter Clarke as his co-driver.

Among other local entries are Doug Gore/Dwight Ian Banks, Richie Rerrie/Winston Hutchinson and Maurice Whittingham.

The 335-kilometre-long rally will concentrate on the New Works and New Hall areas of Bog Walk on day one. On day two, the areas will be Wakefield and Bybrook, before the final stage is run on the streets of downtown Kingston. The finish line is at the car park across from the Bank of Jamaica, near to the Harbour Street end.