Rally 'round Kyle Gregg


Rally 'round Kyle Gregg

Friday, July 17, 2020

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AFTER participating in the inaugural Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Sprint Trophy Latin America last month, champion driver Kyle Gregg is forgoing with his own virtual event — JamRock E-Rally.

The three-day speed fest is scheduled for Friday, July 17 to Sunday, July 19.

“Virtual racing has been very popular due to COVID-19 cancelling most racing worldwide. We thought we should have an event with a Jamaican theme and try to build the Jamaica brand itself in rallying. Barbados did it earlier this year and had over 200 entries,” Gregg told the Jamaica Observer's weekly Auto magazine.

Entries opened on July 10 and closed yesterday on July 16. Up to press time, more than 70 people had signed up from Jamaica and around the region.

“The event is open to anyone who has Dirty Rally 2.0, whether it be on Playstation, Xbox, and PC,” Gregg explained.

Competitors must also be a part of the Carib Rally Club (CRC), the in-game hosts. JamRock E-Rally 2020 uses the video game Dirt Rally 2.0. The event uses 22 virtual stages in the New England location in the game. The stages are then split over the three days, two on Friday, 10 on Saturday, and 10 on Sunday. Drivers then have any time within that 24-hour period to run the stages and post a time. Competitors have the option of using a standard controller or a driving rig using a wheel and pedal set-up.

“We have big names from the rally scene like Fraser McConnell, Thomas Hall, Collin Daley Jr, and Lee Vaz. Internationally we have Trinidadian Kristian Boodosingh and Bajan Dane Skeete,” he said.

There are 14 eligible vehicles from which drivers can choose to use. These vehicles span three types, front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, and four-wheel drive. This will see the stages tackled by the classic Ford Escort Mk2 to the equally historic Subaru Impreza WRX STI. Final classification at the event will go to the top three fastest overall finishers, top three in the rear and front-wheel drive categories. Competitors who post a DNF over any of the three days will not be able to take overall, but can still shoot for the so-called Sunday Cup, for the top three fastest on the event's final day.

The JamRock E-Rally 2020 will not be streamed live on social media channels, but individual drivers may do so while they tackle the event.

The move to the virtual stage for motorsports has swelled in the last few months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many professional series, including NASCAR and V8 Supercars, have joined the ranks of the online e-sports racing leagues, bringing real life drivers into the mix.

Gregg got his first taste of virtual racing with the June 27 staging of the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Sprint Trophy Latin America. He represented Jamaica through Porsche dealers, ATL Motorsports — part of ATL Automotive division. That event was streamed live on The Dominican Finest YouTube channel with more than 12,000 subscribers.

In April, Gregg shared with Auto that he was using online videogame racing to keep his skills sharp.

The following month, CRC hosted RallyE-Barbados which had huge entry numbers.

JamRock E-Rally 2020 is Gregg's effort to bring a professional virtual rally league to Jamaica. He added that's he not sure about the future of the event, but it's already a success in his eyes due to the local and regional interest.

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