Ice fails to stop Jennings on his race to second Galway victory
Garry Jennings's second successive Galway International Rally win had to be put on ice for a time but it all came good in the end.
Heavy overnight frost left the west of Ireland roads around Tuam ice-bound and the organisers of the opening event of the Irish Tarmac championship deemed the first two early morning stages of the rally's second leg too dangerous.
It meant Jennings and co-driver Rory Kennedy had to wait for the frost to clear before they could resume their march to victory. They were already almost a minute in front from the first leg where Jennings was fastest on eight of the nine stages in his WRC Subaru Impreza.
Jennings maintained the margin, returning to the finish yesterday evening 59 seconds in front of the WRC Ford Fiesta of Irish national champions Roy White and James O'Brien.
For a time it looked being an Ulster one-two with Alastair Fisher and Gordon Noble holding second place in their R5 Fiesta until the final stage where White clawed back an eight-second deficit to finish runner-up.
But Fisher still had cause to celebrate for with the WRC cars of Jennings and White ineligible for Tarmac championship points, he takes the lead in Ireland's premier series ahead of Sam Moffett who finished in fourth place half a minute behind. Robert Barrable was fifth and Stephen Wright sixth, also in R5 Fiestas.
Josh Moffett recovered from a first day puncture to take seventh, overhauling Joe McGonigle's Skoda on the final stage.
Declan Boyle was Jennings' nearest challenger early on but a puncture dropped him back and he later retired his WRC Fiesta with engine trouble. A double puncture brought Jonny Greer's Citroen to a halt after he had climbed to fifth.
William Creighton topped the two-wheel-drive category, finishing 11th in his R2 Peugeot, and the national division was won by Damien Tourish in his Ford Escort.