Jennings and Kennedy supreme in Mayo
Mayo Stages Rally
Organiser: Mayo and District Motor Club When: March 6 Where: Ballina, Co. Mayo Championships: Sligo Pallets Border Rally Championship; Triton National Rally Championship Starters: 107 Stages: 9
Galway Rally winner Garry Jennings and co-driver Rory Kennedy won the Mayo Stages Rally in their Subaru WRC. They also won the powerstage on this opening Triton Showers National Championship round, which puts them into a commanding position for the series.
Peadar Hurson and Damien Connolly bounced back from a misfire in their Subaru Impreza WRC to overhaul Niall Maguire/ Enda Sherry’s similar machine for second place.
Wet conditions prevailed as the crews tackled the opening stage, Kilcummin and, while many struggled for grip, Jennings sailed down the 9.4km (5.8-mile) test in his usual flamboyant style to record a time 12s better than his closest pursuer, Maguire. Hurson was a further 3s back.
Stage by stage through to second service Jennings extended his lead. Hurson was 14s behind Maguire by first service, and then on the middle loop, whittled away at Maguire’s advantage until eventually he squeezed ahead of his fellow Subaru pilot. That was despite the fact Maguire did lose a few seconds when his Impreza hit a chicane bale. Conditions were so slippery that many cars showed signs of damage after sliding into either the scenery or chicanes. Hurson increased his pace as the day wore on and scored a fastest time in stage seven, although by then Jennings was very comfortable in the lead.
Declan Boyle was badly hampered by a misted-up screen. A broken differential in stage six put Declan out of his misery. Mick O’brien had problems when his Focus WRC went on to three cylinders. He ended off the road.