RALLY RE­PORTS JEN­NINGS BEATS RI­VALS AS MCGARRITY BOOSTS TI­TLE BID

Mourne Rally

Motor Sport News - - Rally Reports - By Ja­son Craig Re­sults Pho­tos: Roy Demp­ster, Pro-rally Pho­tog­ra­phy

Or­gan­iser: Newry and District Mo­tor Club When: June 11 Where: Newry and Mourne Cham­pi­onship: North­ern Ire­land Stages: nine Starters: 77

Garry Jen­nings’ prepa­ra­tions for the Done­gal In­ter­na­tional Rally could not have gone any bet­ter as he and co-driver Rory Kennedy recorded a com­fort­able vic­tory on the Mourne Rally.

The pair ended the short­ened rally al­most three min­utes clear of sec­ond-placed Derek Mcgarrity, with Damian Toner de­fy­ing the odds in his rear-wheel-drive Ford Es­cort Mk2 to come home in third.

Last Satur­day’s meet­ing was round four of the North­ern Ire­land Rally Cham­pi­onship and more or less mir­rored the event from 2013 – the last time it took place on closed public roads.

With the route back then prov­ing so pop­u­lar with crews, rally or­gan­is­ers adopted an ‘If it isn’t broke why fix it?’ at­ti­tude, herald­ing the re­turn of three clas­sic stages – Black Hill, Dead­man’s Hill and Bal­ly­dougherty.

How­ever, stages one and three both had to be can­celled be­cause of a lack of mar­shals mean­ing Jen­nings ar­rived at first ser­vice in his freshly re­built Subaru Im­preza as the leader by 19.1 sec­onds.

It was their first out­ing in the car fol­low­ing a crash on the sec­ond day of the Kil­lar­ney In­ter­na­tional. “We wanted to give the car a proper shake­down,” ex­plained Kennedy. “We haven’t done this be­fore – the Satur­day be­fore Done­gal – but it al­lows us to do a sys­tems check and to get back up to speed.”

Toner was sec­ond, with the Ford Es­cort of David Arm­strong and Paul Mul­hol­land a pro­vi­sional third.

With mi­nor tweaks to his car at ser­vice Jen­nings con­tin­ued to turn up the wick, set­ting fastest times on stages four, five and six to put fur­ther day­light be­tween him­self and Toner. Mcgarrity, mean­while in his refet­tled Ford Fi­esta WRC, man­aged to leapfrog Arm­strong, push­ing him back to fourth place.

The weather re­mained largely fine and dry in the Newry and New­town­hamil­ton ar­eas for the clos­ing loop of tests, with Jen­nings high­light­ing his supremacy by mak­ing it a clean sweep of quick­est times.

Mcgarrity, with stand-in nav­i­ga­tor James O’reilly, con­sol­i­dated sec­ond which was enough for him to score max­i­mum points and boost the stop­start de­fence of his North­ern Ire­land Cham­pi­onship ti­tle. Hav­ing suf­fered over­heat­ing is­sues on the Sper­rins Rally his car was back on song thanks to M-sport.

In the bat­tle for third, Toner had enough in re­serve to hold off Arm­strong, the pair sep­a­rated at the fin­ish by 22s. Camil­lus Bradley was a mere 0.9 of a sec­ond in ar­rears of Arm­strong.

Ford Es­cort duo Trevor and Glenn Wil­son took home the spoils for two-litre cars in sixth, while Clive Kil­patrick and Conor Mcgin­nity (Mit­subishi Lancer) were clear Pro­duc­tion Class win­ners in sev­enth po­si­tion.

“We had a new gear­box fit­ted for the rally and it made such a dif­fer­ence,” said Kil­patrick at the end. “It was a great event, and to set fastest Group N times on our way to win­ning the class is fan­tas­tic.”

Kil­patrick was be­ing chased hard by Si­mon Wood­side up un­til stage seven when the lat­ter rolled out.

The crew were deemed OK by John Mul­hol­land af­ter he stopped his Skoda Fabia S2000 to check on them.

If such an award ex­isted, then drive of the Mourne Rally cer­tainly would have been the prop­erty farmer Alas­tair Cochrane.

He put his Ford Es­cort MK2 off the road on the first timed test – Dead­man’s Hill – and af­ter get­ting back on the hard sur­face again and elect­ing to take a stage max­i­mum worked his way up from 68th to 20th over­all.

An hor­ren­dously wet G&P Me­mo­rial Rally was won in con­vinc­ing style by Tony Harrison/andy Pul­lan in a Pro­ton Com­pact.

David Whi­taker/terry Martin led ini­tially, but they were then over­hauled by the win­ners and soon af­ter­wards with­drew when they missed a code board.

Harrison/ Pul­lan had built up a healthy lead over Paul Buckel/steven But­ler (Pro­ton Sa­tria) by Petrol and main­tained the ad­van­tage to the Fin­ish.

At the end Buckel/but­ler fell be­hind Ade Green/ Ian Gib­bins (Sa­tria), who took fastest time on the last ‘drop­per’ of the night. This made the re­sults a Pro­ton 1-2-3.

Al­lan Storer/tom Fen­ton were third at the half­way halt but re­tired in the sec­ond half due to a bro­ken shaft. Top seeds Richard Hunter/gary Evans were also on the re­tire­ment list as they put their Ford Es­cort off the road just af­ter Petrol.

No­tably the Novice Class was won by Josh Town­ley/ Nick Town­ley, they fin­ished in eighth place on what was the driver’s first rally. Re­sults

Or­gan­iser: Garstang & Pre­ston Mo­tor Club Cham­pi­onships: ANCC & ANWCC

ROUND-UP

Ol­lie Chad­wick came into Sil­ver­stone on a roll, hav­ing won six of the first eight Ginetta GT5 Chal­lenge races, but he looked un­likely to add to that tally when a fuel pump fuse blew early in qual­i­fy­ing, strand­ing him with­out set­ting a time.

It meant Chad­wick started 39th in the 40-car field, but he pro­duced a stun­ning drive to sal­vage a podium.

Chad­wick’s is­sues opened the door for Matt Chap­man to take pole, and he led the group of Jonny and Ryan Had­field and Matt Flow­ers. Chad­wick man­aged to vault in­side the top 15 within a sin­gle lap be­fore a mid-race safety car pe­riod stunted his progress. Upon the restart Chap­man couldn’t pull away, and the top five soon ran as one. Their squab­bling al­lowed Chad­wick to close in, and his cause was helped fur­ther when Chap­man slipped down the or­der af­ter a tan­gle at The Loop. Jonny Had­field stole through to lead Flow­ers home, as Chad­wick de­posed Ryan Had­field on the last lap for third.

With Chad­wick near the front for the wet sec­ond race, the writ­ing was on the wall. Chad­wick was into the lead af­ter pole-man Jonny Had­field skated off at Mag­gotts and then never looked back. Jonny re­cov­ered for sec­ond ahead of Chap­man.

Chad­wick made it two from three af­ter pass­ing early leader Jack Min­shaw in the tricky third event. Jac Con­sta­ble com­pleted the podium.

Mark Hal­stead and Stu­art Mcpher­son crushed their op­po­si­tion by lapping the en­tire Innes Ire­land Cup field in their Ginetta G4. The Lo­tus Twin-cam­pow­ered G4 qual­i­fied 11.4s clear of the pack and lapped even quicker, with Hal­stead stretch­ing out a lead in ex­cess of one-minute by the time he stopped for Mcpher­son. Martin Melling and Ja­son Min­shaw led the chase in their Ford Fal­con, beat­ing Alex Thistleth­wayte’s Mus­tang for sec­ond. Josh Sadler and Mark Hen­der­son ran third be­fore their Fal­con was re­tired with over­heat­ing is­sues. Robi Bern­berg won the 50s Sportscar el­e­ment in fourth place.

Tom Black won the AMOC In­ter­mar­que af­ter a close fight with Christo­pher Kemp. The two Van­tage GT4 driv­ers each took a spell in front, with Kemp dom­i­nat­ing the first half of the race be­fore Black vaulted past af­ter the manda­tory stops. Kemp lost time with a mis­take, but fought back to fin­ish just 0.6s be­hind his ri­val at the flag.

Tor­ren­tial rain af­flicted the Volk­swa­gen Rac­ing Cup, as Phil House won the solo race af­ter weather can­celled the sec­ond.

De­spite the lack of vis­i­bil­ity and con­tin­u­ing rain, Phil House made it two wins in as many rounds af­ter hold­ing off Bobby Thomp­son.

“It was a real strug­gle at the end of that,” added House.

Those strug­gles were en­hanced by Thomp­son, who hounded the lead­ing Scirocco through­out the en­tire race, but ex­pert de­fend­ing meant the Polo driver could only take sec­ond ahead of Toby Davis.

The Ginetta Rac­ing Driv­ers’ Club was also hit by the weather, with a slow for­ma­tion lap in the rain mean­ing there was only time for three laps.

Phil In­gram won the short sprint, but he had to work his way back into the lead af­ter sec­ond-placed Richard Tet­low made the su­pe­rior start.

In­gram re­turned to the front at Abbey, hold­ing on to take vic­tory in what is fast be­com­ing a dom­i­nant sea­son for the Ginetta man.

Jen­nings had the per­fect warm-up for Done­gal

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