The Shell Report Sept. 2011

Watching the Italian Grand Prix at Monza this morning and listening to some of the reports and statements being made worldwide about Sebastian Vettel’s dominance of the 2011 season driving his Reb Bull Racing RB7 and the potential for Vettel to wrap up the championship if he scores a podium finish at the next grand prix, simply brought to mind what another talented young driver is in the midst of accomplishing right here in Jamaican motorsports.

Racing dominance
For those who haven’t been attendant at circuit, sprint or rally racing events on our fair isle since the start of 2011, ensure that the next few rounds of the Jamaican Sprint championship, the Rally championship and the final round of the national Circuit Racing championship at Dover on Heroes Day in October don’t miss you. If you attend, you will be on hand to witness history in the making, when second generation racer Kyle “Speedy” Gregg adds to his list of championships attained this season. Having already assumed an unassailable lead in the Jamaica Race Drivers Club (JRDC) Modified Production Class 2 championship and Thundersport 1 classes with a perfect score of 51 points in each category at the wheel of his Seaboard Marine/BD Gregg & Bros/Konig Wheels /Hero Tyres Honda Civic SiR, he also leads in the overall driver’s championship with 102 points over 2nd placed David Summerbell on 76 points and 3rd placed Douglas Gore on 75 points, as well as the National Driver’s championship of the Jamaica Millennium Motoring Club, contested in tarmac and dirt sprints and rallies.

Teamwork and preparation
To quote Louis Pasteur’s famous phrase: “chance (fortune) favors the prepared mind”.  To say that he was fortunate in winning his debut rally event: the Raynor King Memorial Stages rally run late in August, may be disputable, but saying that he and his team were prepared, is undeniable. From last position at the end of the first special stage to the top of the podium not only in his class but in the overall standings at the end of the day, guided by experienced co-driver Michael Fennel Jr., was a reminder of the oft repeated but seldom adhered lesson to all, “to finish first, first you must finish!” While his faster compatriots fell victim to their own speed or the lack of the preparation or capabilities of their cars to endure the event, young Gregg splashed his way through the mud puddles like a child at play to cop the win of the rain affected event. He now has 670 points in the overall driver’s championship, 180 points ahead of second placed Maurice Whittingham who won the championship in 2007 and is one of two competitors, the other being defending champion Matthew Gore, who were keen on acquiring the massive trophy a second time. The teams that are charged with the task of getting the two Honda Civics that Kyle campaigns ready for the tracks are renowned for their attention to detail and meticulous methods of preparation. Murrays Auto Development in Mandeville (Xavia Murray) in the engine and electronic management department and New Generation Racing (Peter Moodie Jr.) in the chassis, brake and suspension department are two of the building blocks on which the strong foundation for his success has been laid.

Beating the best.
I have already labeled Gregg the “Crown Prince of Jamaican motorsport for 2011,” as if, or when he secures the circuit racing and rally sport titles, he may be the first person to do so in the same year. Some say watching Vettel secure pole position then add another and another race win to his list of accomplishments is boring and makes them uninterested in watching Formula 1 races, but not I. I like to see how far someone can push the envelope, when the competition becomes themselves and their own mind and body…like doing repeated laps on the same track  in Gran Turismo on the Playstation game console when a youngster, spending hours trying to beat the “ghost” of your previous best lap. That level of dominance, discipline, preparation, fortune (or luck) elevates the competitor to a whole new level rarely achieved. Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Loeb are both seven time world champions in Formula 1 and World Rallying respectively and have set many records along the way. Watching them in action certainly was/is not a chore, as watching David Summerbell in the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII aka TA1 trying to achieve a lap record two years ago when no one else was remotely close in lap times to him wasn’t a chore either, but a nail biting, holding your breath in case you miss anything, sweat producing experience.

The road to success.
Now being prepared to take advantage of good fortune doesn’t come easy…or cheaply, in terms of time, talent, effort or money. I remember watching Kyle accompany his father to tarmac races at Vernamfield and Ironshore many years ago and seeing him stand up to drive the Toyota Hiace service vehicle as he was too short for his feet to reach the pedals if he were seated. From then I had said he would be a force to be reckoned with when he came of age (and size!), much as how Chris-John Addison, our 11 year old drifter, son of Christopher ‘Chippy” Addison, will be when he “grows up”. There are three young drivers that I have repeatedly said will leave the competition in the dust in their respective classes of racing. All three came up through the ranks doing several years of go karting. All three have a solid family structure around them with attendant fathers experienced in motorsports on several levels. All three fathers have a similar, dedicated and thorough approach to racing, and last but not least, all three have fathers and structures surrounding them that afford them the ability to make the most of the opportunities that present themselves…in other words, they also have the cash to care. The three I speak of are Andre Anderson, Joel Jackson and of course Kyle Gregg. I have watched these three youngsters display talent above and beyond the normal fare. I have witnessed the thorough preparation of their race teams. I have watched while their fathers and other family members offer the solid base of family support that many in our society call for as the solution to the degradation evident in that structure the world over. I have seen the grace and refreshing deportment exhibited by them in a society devoid of young, gentlemanly role models.

A bright future
That each of the three have suddenly become the stars on the track in 2010 and 2011 is not surprising. The writing was on the wall. As the Good Book says in Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
These three young men have been trained in the right and proper way for motorsports success.
These three are fine examples of what it takes to succeed at the highest levels not only on the track, but in the race that is life itself.
A solid family base of support
A studied approach
Dedication to the task at hand
Stick-to-it-ive-ness (remember Kyle at Lydford, not the fastest, but in the end, the best)
The realization and expression of the God given talent and skills embedded in each of us.

Shoot for the stars
I salute these three young Jamaicans who are setting records on a different kind of track than those in the world headlines in athletics. The mission of the governing bodies and “powers that be” in motorsports now is to provide the structure necessary for their talents to shine on a regional and then the world stage, blazing the way in a similar manner to that of the likes of Bolt, Powell, Blake, Campbell-Brown and Fraser-Pryce…a feat of which we can all be proud.

Written by jmmcsecretariat in: Club Stuff,NEWSLETTER |

No Comments »

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Ferry Industrial Terrace
10 Argyle Road, Kingston 10
Tel-(876)934-1288 / 322-5314. E-Mail: JMC@KASNET.COM,