Jennings and McGarrity enjoy good weekend

Published: 13 Jul 2012 13:000 comments

Fermanagh drivers and co-drivers were to the fore at the weekend, with Garry Jennings and Martin McGarrity spraying champagne in Mitchelstown and Sligo respectively.

Garry Jennings enjoyed overall victory in the Sligo Rally.

On a busy weekend for Garry Jennings, the Kesh driver started as favourite for the Sligo Stages Rally on Saturday. Driving the ex-Eugene Donnelly Toyota Corolla, Garry's run of recent success came to an abrupt end when the car stopped on the first stage, dropping an unrecoverable 18 minutes.

"It was the same problem we had in Birr," he explained. "The car just stopped seven miles into the first stage. I changed all the sensors I could under the bonnet and she started again. We were fastest on most of the stages after that, even though we were catching cars on the stage because we were running so far down the field. We could have won the rally except for that delay."

Garry's misfortune was to the benefit of Martin McGarrity, navigating for Shane Maguire. The pair were locked in a fierce battle with Trevor and Kenny Bustard with the duo swapping the lead several times during the day. With two stages remaining the Bustard brothers held a slender 10 second advantage, but crashed heavily on the penultimate stage, handing victory to Maguire and McGarrity.

There was frustration for both Jon Armstrong and Jonny Leonard. Jon Armstrong continued his disappointing run of retirements when he initially broke a drive shaft on the first stage, and after limping back to service, suffered a similar mechanical problem on stage three to end his event. Jonny Leonard fared even worse, failing to get through the opening stage when he bent the axle of his Fiesta.

The following day presented Garry Jennings with an opportunity to put his disappointment behind him, as he travelled to Michelstown for the Sean Conlon Memorial Forestry Rally. Switching to the Subaru Impreza he acquired at the beginning of the season, Garry posted second fastest time on the opening stage, before snatching the lead after stage two. It was a lead he was never to relinquish. "It has been a long time since I was in the woods so it took me the first stage to bed myself in," he explained. "After that we put the pace up a bit and I felt in control from the second stage on. We had no problems with the car. It's a 19 year old car and it never gives a problem."

Garry's' overall win further strengthens his position at the head of the Irish Forestry Championship, and a top two finish on the Omagh based Bushwhacker Rally in September could see him wrap up the title with one event still to run.

Trillick brothers Leroy and Gary Mills were bidding for class honours in Mitchelstown, and brought their Vauxhall Corsa home first in class one.

Gary was home from Australia for his brother's wedding, and he and Leroy switched their normal seats as Gary took the steering wheel.

Despite a minor off road excursion on the second stage which cost them a minute in lost time, they posted some impressive stage times on their way to class success.

Jump to first paragraph.


comments powered by Disqus

Get more stories from our Motorsport section

17 Apr 2014 13:15

Jennings hoping for Circuit of Ireland joy

Garry Jennings is hoping his lack of rallying time this season will not hinder his attempt to win the Circuit of Ireland rally as he continues the defence of his Irish Tarmac Rally Championship this weekend.


10 Apr 2014 13:00 • Editorial Department

Fisher crashes out in Portugal when leading

Alastair Fisher’s Junior World Rally Championship title bid got off to a disappointing start when he crashed out of the lead of Rally Portugal at the weekend.

Social: Comments0 comments

27 Mar 2014 13:00 • Editorial Department

Fisher sets sights on Junior WRC crown

Alastair Fisher has set his sights on winning the 2014 Junior World Rally Championship this season.

Social: Comments0 comments

20 Mar 2014 13:00 • Editorial Department

Elliott snapped up by Homer Racing

19-year-old Josh Elliott has been snapped up by National Superstock champions Homer Racing, who will run the talented Ulsterman in this season’s series in partnership with GA Racing – whom the former IDM German Supersport competitor rode for in 2013.

Social: Comments0 comments

13 Mar 2014 13:00 • Editorial Department

Great turnout for 49th night Navigation Rally

Enniskillen Motor Club [EMC] hosted their first competitive event of 2014 on Friday with the 49th running of the Erne Safari Navigation Rally, sponsored once again by McAleer’s Spar, Irvinestown and McAleer’s Spar was also the start venue of this popular event.

Social: Comments0 comments

6 Mar 2014 13:00 • Editorial Department

McGirr the overall champion at 50th anniversary awards

Enniskillen Motor Club celebrated their 50th anniversary last week with Shane McGirr claiming the overall Champion driver award at the Gala dinner.

Social: Comments0 comments

27 Feb 2014 13:00 • Editorial Department

McNulty helps steer Donnelly to Spring win

Enniskillen’s Barry McNulty navigated Mark Donnelly to victory on Saturday’s Spring Rally in their Subaru Impreza.

Social: Comments0 comments

13 Feb 2014 13:00

Jennings content with second spot in Galway

A brief off road excursion on last weekend’s Galway International Rally cost Garry Jennings any chance of victory, but the Kesh driver declared himself content with second place as the defence of his Irish Tarmac Rally Championship title got underway. In difficult conditions he finished 25 seconds behind the Subaru of Declan Boyle after a close battle with the Donegal driver that was ultimately decided when Garry slid off the road on stage nine and lost 40 seconds to his rival.


23 Jan 2014 13:00 • Editorial Department

Motor Club gears up for massive 50th year

The Belmore Court Motel was the venue for Enniskillen Motor Club’s 50th AGM on Wednesday last.

Social: Comments0 comments

19 Dec 2013 13:00 • Editorial Department

Stunning class win for Mulholland

After 100km of competitive action over some of Ireland’s most famous rally stages, including Molls Gap and Ballaghbeama, local driver John Mulholland and navigator Aidan O’Connor steered their mark 2 Ford Escort to a stunning class win at the Killarney Historic Car Stages Rally to open their haul of championship points for the 2014 season.

Social: Comments0 comments

28 Nov 2013 13:08 • Editorial Department

McShea and Clarke lead all the way for China win

Niall McShea and Marshall Clarke rounded off their rally season with victory on the last round of the Chinese Rally Championship.

Social: Comments0 comments

21 Nov 2013 13:11 • Editorial Department

Crash ends Clarke bid for WRC2

Marshall Clarke and Keith Cronin missed out on the prestigious Citroen Top Driver Award after going off the road on Rally GB.

Social: Comments0 comments

14 Nov 2013 13:00 • Editorial Department

Rally GB win would seal dream WRC2 seat for Clarke next year

Marshall Clarke heads into this weekend’s Rally GB knowing that victory in WRC3 will secure him and driver Keith Cronin a dream seat in WRC2 next season.

Social: Comments0 comments

7 Nov 2013 13:00 • Editorial Department

McShea and Clarke win in China

Niall McShea and Marshall Clarke took their first outright victory of the season when they won the latest round of the Chinese Rally Championship.

Social: Comments0 comments

24 Oct 2013 13:00 • Editorial Department

Fisher narrowly misses out on podium finish

Alastair Fisher missed out on a podium finish in the British Rally Championship by two tenths of a second after finishing in fourth place on the final round in Poole.

Social: Comments0 comments

24 Oct 2013 13:00 • Editorial Department

Leonard secures third overall in Championship

Johnny Leonard’s third place finish on Saturday’s Down Rally secured him third overall in the Northern Ireland Stage Rally Championship.

Social: Comments0 comments

10 Oct 2013 13:00 • Editorial Department

Garry’s delight as title is ‘done and dusted’

Garry Jennings has been crowned 2013 Irish Tarmac Rally Champion after finishing second on the Cork 20 International Rally last weekend.

Social: Comments0 comments

10 Oct 2013 13:00 • Editorial Department

Third place for Clarke in France

A third place finish for local co-driver Marshall Clarke in last weekend’s Rally France has set up a ‘winner takes all’ battle with French driver Sebastien Chardonnet as they duel for a prize drive in next year’s World Rally Championship worth half a million pounds.

Social: Comments0 comments

10 Oct 2013 13:00 • Editorial Department

Josh delighted but knows it could have been better

Ballinamallard racer Josh Elliott was back in action at the Silverstone round of the British Superstock 1000 championship last weekend and he finished an excellent seventh but felt that had it not been for a clutch problem and poor start, a podium would have been within reach.

Social: Comments0 comments

3 Oct 2013 13:00 • Editorial Department

Jennings only needs top five position to emulate legendary Fisher

Garry Jennings needs to finish in the top five at this weekend’s Cork 20 International Rally to claim the Irish Tarmac Championship title for the first time.

Social: Comments0 comments