Garry Jennings put in an almost faultless performance to take a convincing win through the trees of Lurgan Park on Saturday.
Co-driven by Michael Moran in his Subaru, Jennings finished 12 seconds ahead of Banbridge man Kenny McKinstry and his co-driver Claire Gamble in the Orchard Motorsport Lurgan Park Rally. Kevin Kelleher took the final podium place and made it a Subaru top three.
This was a satisfying victory for the Kesh driver who already won the Rally of the Lakes this year and is the current leader of the Irish Tarmac Championship.
Jennings led the event from the start and en-route to victory set fastest time on six of the eight stages.
Jennings said after the event that he had a good margin in the end over McKinstry, who was chasing a record twelfth victory, but that the Banbridge driver made him work all the way for the win.
Over the first three stages last weekend Jennings and McKinstry were indeed swapping tenths of seconds. Stages 4 & 5 however included a gravel section. Current Irish Forestry Champion Garry Jennings really cut loose on these two. He was fastest over both by three seconds.
The final three stages were almost a formality for Jennings and he won by 12 seconds, a lifetime in Lurgan Park terms.
Garry has won GpN many times in Lurgan, generally finishing in the overall top six. This was his first time in Lurgan in a WRC car, and his first outright win in the Park.
McKinstry has taken victory in Lurgan 11 times over the years. He will have to wait at least another 12 months to make that a dozen on this unique North Armagh Motor Club event.
Kevin Kelleher’s third place was also very impressive. It was his first time competing in the Park. He worked his way up from 6th initially to take the final podium place.
Ballinamallard’s Jonny Leonard, who had his mum Geraldine co-driving in his GpA Lancer, made a conservative start, then scythed through to take 4th. Kenny McKinstry’s daughter Emma also had a fine drive to 5th and got ahead of Derek McGeehan in his Mini WRC on the final stage.