Belfast Telegraph

Jennings: I won't be dwelling on penalty

By Sammy Hamill

Garry Jennings has taken the penalty which cost him a second Donegal International Rally win "on the chin" and will move on.

He insists on looking on the bright side, pointing out that he has maintained his advantage at the top of the Irish Tarmac championship, but is annoyed that a fellow competitor raised the issue of leaving the Milford service three minutes early on Saturday evening.

"Yes, we did go early but there is no advantage to be gained and it happens all the time. Some organisers even encourage it to stop the exit to the service area getting clogged up," said the Kesh driver who had seen off the fierce challenge of Tarmac champion Darren Gass and was set to take a comfortable lead into the final day.

"But another competitor raised it with the organisers and because it was technically wrong they had no option but to impose the three minute penalty.

"Neil (Doherty, his co-driver) and I could have lodged an appeal and delayed everything – the finish ramp ceremony, the prize-giving – but we decided against it. We didn't want to ruin things for Sam Moffett who took his chance brilliantly and won the rally.

"I've taken it on the chin and we'll move on. My third place still keeps me on top of the championship table and we'll go even harder to win the Ulster Rally in August."

Before then Jennings plans to have a "fun run" in the Orchard Motorsport Lurgan Park Rally where he is likely to come up against Gass again.

"It was a great battle in difficult conditions.

"Both of us were flat out all the way and either of us could have gone off at any time," said Jennings.

"It was Darren who made a mistake but it could as easily have been me.

"Unfortunately we were also caught out in a different way and had to pay the penalty."

The Lurgan Rally is on August 10 and event details are on the North Armagh Club's website.

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