David Summerbell

Kingston, Jamaica

Sponsors: SuperClubs/Breezes Resorts, Air Jamaica

David Summerbell, who has won two rallies (Rim of the World and Lake Superior PRO Rally) on his way to the 1998 Michelin PRO Rally Championship, started rallying in his native Jamaica after doing motocross and road racing. His competitive career started at the age of eight in swimming.

Fellow Jamaican rallyist Peter Moodie got him into rally, and he hopes to drive in the FIA World Rally Championship. Summerbell, 28 years-old, has worked with Murray Thomas' T.A.D. Motorsports to upgrade the stock Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IV with a larger fuel tank, the latest GAB suspension, and more boost since the car's debut in April, 1998.

Fellow Jamaican Michael Fennell co-drove for most of his U.S. rallies, with former Henry Joy co-pilot Chris Griffin filling in for David's win at Rim.

His championship was not uneventful, and both Carl Merrill and Paul Choinier chased him all year. While the rally wins were highlights, the most significant finishes were the seventh-place at STPR after running out of gas, and the two second-place finishes (Ojibwe and Prescott) while showing restraint in not trying to chase the leader.

Things looked bleak after Maine, where he was running a close second when an off-road excursion on the last stage caused a rally-ending flat tire.

Summerbell capped his season by winning the lake Superior PRO Rally after losing his engine at the press stage. With no spare engine, he turned to fellow Mitsubishi Lancer competitor Henry Joy, who gave up his ride to lend David his car, and Summerbell won the rally and the championship.

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