'Wurl Boss' takes Portland

By Rory Daley Observer writer daleyr@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, July 04, 2014    

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THE experiment of holding round two of the dexterity championship at Ken Jones Aerodrome in Portland last Sunday by the Drivers Rallysport Club (DRC) seemed to pay dividends based on the crowd that was present at the event. However, it was the dexterity of Maurice 'Wurl Boss' Whittingham that kept them fully entertained.

"I feel that my boots are well dusted off now," Whittingham told Auto.

The Montegonian had patrons cheering in delight as he 'danced' his Toyota Starlet between cones from the minute he took to the course to his winning run in the championship lap. However, as he admitted, it wasn't an easy win despite the absence of his main rival Kingston's Joel Jackson.

"I had to adapt to the surface conditions because it looks smooth to the eye, but it's far from that. I had to play with the tyre pressures to find the right grip," he explained.

Whittingham brilliant car control kept him from near disaster in his opening attempt that saw him get uncomfortably sideways due to the tricky conditions in the slalom section of the course. His second run was cut short when an errant plug wire caused an engine problem. The audience, already hungry for more, applauded when he returned to put in his winning run.

"I think the people of Portland now understand the sport for what it is," he said.

Second-place was taken, Dmitri Dawkins, co-driver of Jackson, who was sharing cars with the third-placed winner Terry Hamilton.

"I didn't expect to race or do so well and felt challenged by the newcomers. The course had the perfect amount of slip and flowing motions to barely require a handbrake. We need more flowing open layouts like that," Dawkins said about his drive.

Hamilton was one of the two female entrants and availed herself well given a field that consisted of both more powerful cars and season veterans.

"It's a great feeling to be competing again after four years out. I realised after my second run in this event that I still have a lot to learn about car control," she said.

Hamilton also put down the fastest front-wheel drive time.

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