King is crowned
IT was a tearful Daryl King who took home the 2013 Jamaica Millennium Motoring Club/Drivers Rallysport club rally sport title at the recently concluded Rally Jamaica in an epic battle that had fans on their toes from the entry list for the event was tabled.
"It's good to know that the King name is back on that trophy," King told Auto.
King has been on a mission to raise the trophy which was once held by several of his family members, including his late father Raynor King; his uncle, Strathon King; and his cousin Richard Rerrie.
The chase for Jamaica's top title reached a climax with both King and perennial rival Matthew Gore heading to Rally Jamaica tied on 550 points. Having an outside chance were Dave Lee and Joel Jackson. As Lee didn't enter the event, Jackson felt the edge was his as he stood to gain 150 points should he win his class, over the 130 points on hand for King and Gore. However, that optimism shifted when Gary Gregg, a former multiple Rally Jamaica winner, announced he'd be racing in JN8 with Jackson potentially taking valuable points should he win the class.
The pendulum then swung back in Jackson's favour when Gregg lost his Lancer Evolution IX to a fire on the opening day.
"I didn't even know the car was on fire. It was when I stopped and the marshal told me," Gregg explained.
Gore would also exit on the first day when mechanical issues affected his Toyota Starlet, causing him to retire and lose out on the chance to take his third Rallysport title.
"We lost too much time to make up," Gore said.
That left a straight fight between Jackson and King on day two. Given their finishing records, the odds were on Jackson as he led his class while being on target for a top-five finish. Fate would equalise things again as King slowed on the stage before the lunch halt.
"I saw oil coming from under the bonnet," said King.
Just as the dipstick in his Honda Civic had failed, Jackson's Subaru Impreza STi would also enter the major service area nursing a failed turbocharger. His team managed to change it for a new one, but it was all for naught.
"The remaining oil in the exhaust system caught fire and started to burn the car," his co-driver Dmitri Dawkins told Auto, as Jackson was too dejected to speak.
Once the rally resumed, after marshals put the fire out, it was smooth sailing for King to the end.
"It was a long time coming," King said.