Author : cmunroe

Many moons ago, Rally Jamaica was a highly anticipated spectacle. It was the highlight of the rallysport season – the perfect way to close the year. It was an exciting, thrilling, riveting, fun-filled event. It was a parade of local, regional and occasionally, international stars. It was an event that was littered with machines that were dipped in WRC-sauce. It was a mouthwatering treat.


Can you, unlike a rather famous Jamaican lady, recall when Rally Jamaica was a spectacle? A spectacle, that we would await and anticipate like a salivating canine. Can you recall when the streets of New Kingston would be transformed into Mardi Gras, but, devoid of beads and nudity? It was a celebration of the gladiators and their chariots (drivers and their machines).

Teams were immersed in spectator-admiration prior to the games commencing. It was an electric atmosphere for which JPS could submit no bill!

Can you recall when the New Kingston stage would constitute the Grand Finale, an epic, orgasmic conclusion to a suspense-driven event? Can you recall when the hip-Knutsford Blvd-strip would play host to Rally Jamaica’s final Stage? A Stage which was really an exhibition, a show of gratitude, machines and drivers saluting their fans with a soul-tingling concoction of power-slides and the most scrumptious donuts that combustion could deliver!

Can you recall when Jamaica’s most prolific and proficient proponent of the rallysport art – Jeffery Panton – would erupt into clear view along Knutsford Blvd? His machine would convulse with calculated spasms. It would yearn for straight-line stability, but it remained mindful of its master’s desires. His appearance and the blissful expectation he triggered would result in a cacophonous, cascading, explosion of cheers, screaming, whistles and Magic Bullet-whipped, unrecognizable sounds, disbursed from the ocean of fans which flooded New Kingston’s central street.

Can you recall when competitors from the region, most notably Trinidad and Barbados, would invade our shores and submit their best efforts to dethrone our rallysport surgeons? A certain sliding, irascible, drift-inspired BMW rises to the fore. Machine!

Can you recall the individual who would chase the machines along Knustford Blvd while waving a huge Bajan flag? He was an integral component of the entertainment package! Rally Jamaica was not merely a rally. It was the Humming Bird, the Lignum Vitae, the Ackee, Blue Mountain coffee. It was brand Jamaica. It was us. It meant a lot.





Who is the driver in the PASTRY clip?

If you can recall any of what I stated above, you too must also be in mourning when you consider how far we have fallen.

Cecil Munroe Gleaner On-Line Writer

The opinions on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of The Gleaner.
The Gleaner reserves the right not to publish comments that may be deemed libelous, derogatory or indecent.
To respond to The Gleaner please use the feedback form.

Leave a Reply