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Garry Jennings makes Mitsubishi move ahead of bid for Ulster Rally hat-trick

By Sammy Hamill

Published 05/08/2016

Switch: Garry Jennings will try his hand at an R5 car in the Ulster Rally
Switch: Garry Jennings will try his hand at an R5 car in the Ulster Rally

Garry Jennings is to join the R5 revolution at the Ulster Rally in two weeks' time, the two-time winner revealing he will make the switch from his WRC Subaru Impreza to a Mitsubishi Mirage.

The John Mulholland Motors-sponsored event is a round of the British and Irish Tarmac championships which this year focus on the new R5 cars and although Jennings' S12 Subaru - in which he won in 2013 and '14 - is still eligible to take part, he has elected to make the move to the Mitsubishi.

Although built to the R5 specifications, the Swedish-designed R5 Mirage has yet to be officially homologated so Jennings will run in the national category. Crucially, it is right-hand drive which is why he agreed to use it.

"I have resisted switching to R5 mainly because all the available cars from Ford, Skoda, Citroen etc are left-hand drive which I don't feel comfortable with," explained the former Tarmac champion from Kesh.

"The plan is to homologate the Mitsubishi in both left and right-hand drive so it might be an option for me. But this will be purely a test run for the car, a chance to evaluate it on Irish tarmac."

Developed by Swedish Mitsubishi specialist Tomas Weng, the British operation is being run by Spencer Sport in Wales with Mirages appearing on all rounds of this year's British championship. Indeed, former Rally NI winner Osian Pryce drove one to victory in the National Cup category of the Mid Wales Rally at the start of the season.

Three of them are scheduled to appear at the August 19-20 Ulster Rally, Jennings to be joined by Swede Robert Blomberg and team owner Jamie Jukes.

Meanwhile, Joe McGonigle heads a packed entry list for tomorrow's Dogleap Rally which takes place within the former Shackleton military base at Ballykelly. McGonigle starts at No.1 in his S2000 Skoda followed by the WRC Minis of Alan McGeehan (2) and Alan Carmichael (4) and the WRC Ford Fiesta of Martin Cairns (3).

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