The penultimate event in the JMMC/Taboo Energy Drink Sprint Championship Series took a highly entertaining turn at the Spot Valley Sport Complex in the vicinity of Montego Bay, St. James on September 6, 2009. The event dubbed as JMMC/Taboo/Turnkey Promotions Spot Valley Extravaganza Sprint 5, proved to not only be well attended by competitors and patrons, but also, highly entertaining. In addition to the 26 competitors across a wide range of highly competitive classes, the event also brought back the fun and excitement so badly needed in Rally Sport competition in Jamaica. By the cheering of the spectators, the exhibition Rally Cross proved to be among the most entertaining motorsport contests that have been witnessed this year. The sheer excitement of the five competitors jostling for position on a narrow loose surface was more than even fellow competitors were expecting.
Jeffrey Panton, the sole JA9 entry, with his Castrol/Bar Code/ Bearings & Seals Ltd/ Active Traders WRC Ford Focus emerged the top car in the Sprint with a best time of 2:20.673 around the two lap dirt track. Winner of the JA8 class with only two entries, was Doug Gore in his Motor Sales & Service/Slam Condoms/ Sherwin Williams Paints/Amsoil/Goodyear/Hamilton’s Machine Shop/Frankies Restaurant/ Western Wheel Alignment/ Wings for Life Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X with a best time of 2:25.331, just ahead of event sponsor Junior Barnes in his Bay Waata Evolution 9 with a best time of 2:33.176; rounding out the top 3.
One of the more highly contested battles saw Salvador Solis (JN8) in his Intec Research/Tazmanian Motorsport tuned Mitsubishi Evolution II, barely edging Natasha ‘Chiney Dolly’ Chang in her popular Tropical Battery/Castrol/Goodyear/Code Blue/Forza Mitsubishi Evolution V in the final of three runs by approximately four tenths of a second (Salvador: 2:35.397, Natasha: 2:35.772).
There was also another highly contested battle between the two wheel drives, as Mathew ‘The Magnet’ Gore with his newly refurbished Liquid Lightning/Hilton’s Pharmacy sponsored Toyota Corolla (JA2) came to prove his mettle against fellow Team Mobay driver Dean ‘Duct Tape’ Corrodus in his revamped Kumho Tires/Tropical Battery/Automotive Performance centre/Castrol Honda Civic Type R, and the highly competitive Dion ‘Baby Bomb’ Gardner in his Petcom Mitsubishi Mirage RS. Mathew finished the day fastest two-wheel drive and winning the JA2 class with a best time of 2:36.371 ahead of Richard Chan (2:40.689) and Maurice Whittingham (2:45.041), while Dean won the JA3 class with a best time of 2:38.094 ahead of Dion Gardner (2:39.106) and a distant Julian Gordon (2:51.975).
Defending Drivers Champion, Thomas Hall in his Xsomo International sponsored Toyota Turbo Starlet, defended his first place in JA4 by posting a best time of 2:41.890, ahead of Andre Anderson in an old school Mitsubishi Lancer (2:50.078). First time loose surface entry, Sebastian Rae represented the JC1 class in his turbo charged Mitsubishi Mirage was also impressive with a best time of 2:46.790.
The winner of the JC2 class, Ian Edwards in his Ford Laser finished ahead of Charles Maxwell with a best time of 2:47.972. In addition to winning his class in the sprint championship, Ian also proved to be the star of the event. Not by competing in the Sprint Championship, but by competing in the exhibition Rally Cross. The exhibition also entered by Nigel Edwards, Richard Chan, Marvin Porteous and Mark Groves Jr., had the spectators in awe by the highly competitive, loose, sideways action, which eventually introduced a few light collisions and near misses. At the end of the four lap event, Ian exited the track short of a windshield as well as a bonnet. A visible flame was also seen underneath Richard Chan’s Starlet, which even added to the excitement of the event in the eyes of the spectators. The fire however, was due to an oil leak. Rally Cross, as displayed at Spot Valley Entertainment Complex on September 6, 2009, has proven to be a good benchmark for sparking the interest of sponsors, spectators and more competitors to a sport that has been on a very thin lifeline in recent times.
The three lap championship run was expectedly won by Jeffrey Panton (3:25.696), ahead of Doug Gore (3:33.371) and Junior Barnes (3:45.522).
This event was organized by the Jamaica Millennium Motoring Club and Turnkey Promotions, in association with Spot Valley Entertainment; and made possible by CVM, The Gleaner, Tru Juice, KFC, Xsomo, Taboo Energy drink and Bay Waata.
Look for the final event in the JMMC/Taboo Sprint Championship series on November 1, 2009. The next event on the JMMC Calendar will be Meshugata Racing/Marcus Barnes Dexterity 4 at Junction, St. Elizabeth, then, the penultimate event in the Rally Championship on October 4, 2009.
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