Belfast Telegraph

Garry Jennings clinches Tarmac title

By Sammy Hamill

Daragh O'Riordan made it three wins out of three on his home Cork '20' International Rally but he couldn't prevent Garry Jennings from winning the Irish Tarmac championship for the first time.

Jennings took a strong second place, 23 seconds behind O'Riordan, to see off his main rival for the title Donagh Kelly who finished third.

But it was another tense rally for Fermanagh man Jennings and co-driver Rory Kennedy who saw the cooling system trouble of the Ulster International return to haunt their Subaru Impreza.

The engine was losing water and overheating, forcing Jennings to turn down the power output almost from the start and manage the situation as best he possibly could.

It put to rest any thoughts of winning the rally but he again produced the result he needed to wrap up the championship as O'Riordan and his Derry co-driver Tony McDaid made their own little bit of history with the first Irish victory for M-Sport's WRC Ford Fiesta.

O'Riordan had been outgunned initially by the Subaru of Declan Boyle but once the new Irish national champion had got stuck in a ditch for more than five minutes on stage five, he moved ahead and maintained a steady advantage over Jennings.

Stephen Wright finished seventh in his Mitsubishi, sandwiched between the Moffett brothers, Sam and Josh, to win the production championship.

Meanwhile, Sebastien Ogier wrapped up his first World championship in style, winning Rally France, his home round of the series.

Belfast Telegraph

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