Report prepared by Sean “Autotronix” Campbell
The fourth and final event in the JMMC KING MIDAS MUFFLER RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP and also the final event of the Spot Valley Million Dollar challenge, which was sponsored by King Midas Mufflers, Xsomo International, True Juice and KFC, in association with CVM Group, Hot 102 and Jamaica Beverages Limited, took place at the True Juice orchards of Bog Walk in the parish of St. Catherine on Sunday October 12, 2008. This event, also noted as the final of the Rally Championship Series did not fail to come to an exciting finale as competitors vied for valuable championship points as well as the coveted purse being offered by Spot Valley. With just 10 points separating leaders Team M.A.D. Autosource and Team RMS Racing (1100 and 1090), followed by Team Slidewayz on 920 points, completing the gravel stages of Bog Walk proved to be the usual hazardous, car-breaking task that prevented a few significant entrants from completing the event. Richard ‘Sir Rich’ Rerrie of Team RMS (class JA8) with his Puma Subaru WRX Sti failed to make it through the first stage due to equipment failure, while two-wheel drive favorite Dion ‘Baby Bomb’ Gardner of Team M.A.D. Autosource with his Mitsubishi Mirage (class JA3) also experienced difficulty just before lunch and was unable to finish. With one entrant from Team M.A.D. Autosource and a missing competitor in the rear wheel drive class for Team RMS, this might prove to be a spoiler as all entrants from Team Slidewayz were able to complete the rally, and in thrilling fashion. Team flagship driver Thomas Hall driving a Turbo Starlet was able to secure wins in class (JA4) and front wheel drive to a 3rd overall finish behind Gary Gregg (JA9-Ford Focus WRC) and Dave Lee (JN8-Mitsubishi Evolution). While some key entrants did not finish the rally, the attrition rate usually boasted by the True Juice Bog Walk Gravel Stages Rally was not very overwhelming, as, from a total of 17 entrants, 13 competitors were able to complete the event.
Gary Gregg and co-driver Hugh Hutchinson were the lone competitors in the JA9 class finishing the stages with a total elapsed time of 35:49.687. Dave Lee with co-driver Colin ‘Stuffy’ Chambers continued to outclass all other competitors in the JN8 class with their devilishly quiet Mitsubishi Evolution VIII, finishing in a total time of 40:21.473. Noel Sloley Jr. was second in class, while Gordon Brandon and Salvador Solis were 3rd and 4th respectively. Thomas Hall finished third overall and first in the JA4 class, far ahead of the other two class competitors (Jeremy Groves/Sean McDonald and Orville Johnson/Matthew Isaacs) both driving Toyotas. His elapsed was 43:09.169. The JA3 class was won in tense fashion by Julian Gordon and Rohan Clarke in an old school VW Golf Gti, ahead of Michelle Delfosse and Keith Saunders. Andrew Forsythe and Basil McIntosh won the JA2 class in their Honda CRX to cop valuable points for Team RMS Racing.
With the increasing popularity of quad motorcycles, amid speculations, Jeffrey Panton was among a number of entrants who participated in that category. He thrilled us on the Frome Rally Stages with his newly acquired Ford Focus WRC, but was this time astride a single-seater. There were a total of thirteen entrants covering two classes. Jeffrey was able to get the class and overall win in an elapsed time of 17:22.108 on a Yamaha Raptor 700 (class 2), ahead of Neil Andrade Jr. on a Suzuki 450R (Class 1) in a time of 17:30.922 and Julian Mair (Yamaha Raptor 660, Class 1, 18:24.409). One might opt to speculate that Jeffrey has received enough seat time in his WRC Focus and is ready for the always spectacular end of year rally.
Another noted competitor missing from the event was Doug Gore with his Evolution X. In previous media reports, he noted that he was now preparing it for another upcoming circuit racing event. Albeit, this may have been the only time he stood a very good chance of finishing ahead of ‘Sir Rich’.
With its thrilling conclusion, we are all now awaiting the final tally of the scores from the Spot Valley Million Dollar series.
This joint JMMC/King Midas event was made possible by our event partners KFC, Xsomo International, True Juice and Jamaica Beverages Limited. Special thanks to Mr. DaCosta of True Juice and Tank Weld Equipment for stage preparation.
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