Belfast Telegraph

Jennings targets double win after stroll in the Park

By Sammy Hamill

With a first Lurgan Park Rally win behind him, Garry Jennings now turns his attention to the Todds Leap Ulster International and the chance to pull off a rare double.

Only Gwyndaf Evans has ever been successful in Lurgan Park and the Ulster Rally in the same season, the Welshman winning both in 1989.

But it will be Jennings' aim as he seeks to defend his lead in the Irish Tarmac championship later this month. And he will go into the Enniskillen-based international buoyed up by a near perfect performance in the park on Saturday.

The Kesh driver led from start to finish in his S12 Subaru, setting fastest times on six of the eight stages to win by 11.5 seconds and deny the 'King of the Park' Kenny McKinstry a 12th victory.

"I had a good margin in the end but Kenny made me work for it all day. It was my first time on gravel in the S12 and it was great but now I have to focus on the Ulster Rally and the Tarmac championship," said Jennings.

Although McKinstry was fastest on stages two and three in his S14 Subaru, he had no answer to the pace of Jennings in the second half of the rally.

But if he was disappointed it didn't show, the Banbridge team boss beaming at the finish as he saw his daughter Emma claim fifth place in her first rally in six months. Fast all day in her S8 Subaru, she edged out the WRC Mini of Derek McGeehan by two-10ths in a blistering last stage.

Emma was one of the 'drivers of the day', sharing the plaudits with Kevin Kelleher and Jonny Leonard.

Kelleher came up from west Cork last year as a spectator but brought his Subaru this time and put in a strong performance to take third ahead of the smoothly driven Group A Mitsubishi of young Leonard who had his enthusiastic mum Geraldine co-driving.

Wesley Patterson won a thundering battle of the Ford Escorts, taking seventh overall and beating Frank Kelly by three seconds.

But the battle of the Biggerstaffs faded as dad Denis, who had been third, overshot a junction and later had to retire his Subaru while son Stuart slipped back from fourth to ninth, nursing his Metro 6R4 over the finish line with a broken throttle.

Mark Massey won the production category in his Mitsubishi and there were also class wins for Alan Smyth (Citroen), James Kennedy (Ford Escort), Stephen Mawhinney (Lotus Sunbeam) and Ian Millar (Ford Escort).

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