Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Gass in title frame after Jennings quits chase

Garry Jennings has opted out of the Cork ‘20’ Rally this weekend, effectively handing the Irish Tarmac championship to Darren Gass.

Jennings was the only driver with even an outside chance of preventing fellow Ulster driver Gass from becoming champion for the first time. But he has called time on his Tarmac campaign and instead will concentrate on his attempt to win the Irish forest series.

“I never set out to try to win the Tarmac championship, I got sucked into it, especially after winning the Donegal International,” said reigning production champion Jennings.

“But it is a long shot. I would have to win in Cork, which would be difficult enough with last year’s winner Daragh O’Riordan in the field, and then hope that Darren hit some kind of trouble.

“I thought long and hard about it but I’ve pushed my budget to the limit this year.

“I’ve had to say enough is enough.”

His decision ensures 24-year-old Gass will take the Tarmac title no matter the outcome in Cork where the former British junior champion from Armagh will start the rally tomorrow morning despite being convicted of drink-driving two weeks ago.

A court in Monaghan banned him for three years following an incident in early June but Gass has claimed: “The facts of the case are not correct and I will be appealing.”

Gass confirmed last night that he had lodged an appeal which is expected to be held next year and that leaves him clear to drive until the case is heard.

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