Garry Jennings warmed up for the Donegal International rally with a second place finish on the Cavan Stages Rally on Sunday.

After a lengthy absence from the stages he returned to the seat of his Subaru Impreza and declared himself happy with the result as he took the runners up position behind the WRC Fiesta of Declan Boyle.

“I was happy enough with how it went,” said Garry.

“It is five months since I was in the car and I didn’t sit in it until the morning of the rally. On the first stage I wasn’t too far away and I know there is more left in me. It was all about getting the mileage done and making no mistakes and not damaging the car that close to Donegal. I wasn’t disappointed. I wasn’t pushing that hard and I was happy enough with where I was.”

The stages on the Cavan event were different in character to the fast flowing roads that will make up most of the Donegal rally route, and although the stages suited the nippy Fiesta rather than the Subaru, Garry was happy to get some extra mileage under his belt as he got the car ready for the next round of the Irish Tarmac Championship.

“They were very tricky tight stages,” he said.

“They were narrow with grass growing up the middle of the road in places. It didn’t suit our car at all. It was square left, square right, square left, no distance between and all between big high banks.

“It will be nothing like that in Donegal. We started with the Galway set up and by the end of the day we had got to where we need to be for Donegal. We made a lot of adjustments. Adjustments to the diff and the dampers and ride height to get it near enough to where we think we should be for Donegal.

“It was just about getting some miles in before it. Donegal is three long days so you don’t want to abuse it too much. It was good to get around clean because it was a very tricky rally. The car feels very good.”

Marty McCormick set the early pace in Cavan in his R5 Skoda Fabia and held the lead after two stages with Garry back in third, but the Subaru driver then set about hauling in McCormick.

On stage three Declan Boyle claimed the overall lead, with Garry getting past McCormick after six of the nine stages.

McCormick fought back and the pair entered the final stage of the rally locked together on the same time, but Garry posted a time almost two seconds faster on the last test to claim second.