Rally NI: Wealth of incentives for Jonny Greer
Jonny Greer’s sights are set on more than maintaining his British championship lead in this weekend’s Toddsleap.com Rally NI.
The 22-year-old Carryduff driver is also eyeing up an end-of-season trip to Cyprus.
As well as topping the BRC standings going into the penultimate round, Greer has a healthy lead in the UK Mitsubishi Challenge series which carries with it a sponsored entry in the Cyprus Rally, final round of the Intercontinental Challenge championship.
There are similar incentives for the winners of the Irish and Swedish Mitsubishi Challenges which could mean Greer making the trip alongside another of his DGM stablemates, Neil McCance, joint-leader of the Irish series with Sam Moffett.
They will all be in action together in the NI event which starts from Antrim on Friday, but it is Greer who has one hand on the UK prize. Three wins have given him a 26-point lead over closest challenger Daniel Sigurdasson.
With 50 points still at stake over the final two rounds, Greer may not be able to fully secure the Cyprus prize on home ground but he aims to keep his rivals at arm’s length with another solid result.
He has good memories of his debut appearance in the Intercontinental Challenge series, finishing third overall and winning the Group N category.
“I’m hoping to do the Scottish round again this year but it would be great experience to do a rally like Cyprus too,” he says.
Greer’s lead in the British championship is far more tenuous, just four points ahead of Welshman Gwyndaf Evans with reigning champion Keith Cronin a further two behind. And with just five of the six rounds to count, the consistent Greer has accumulated his total with points on every event whereas Evans and Cronin have already dropped a score.
“To be honest, I need a bit of miracle to stay in front in the BRC,” admits Greer.
“But this is a tough rally and if the other two guys are fighting in out they could get into trouble.
“And they also have Alastair (Fisher) to contend with as well as Craig Breen who is going to be on a high after getting through to the global final of the Pirelli shoot-out at the weekend.
“I would like to think I could be in the mix too but I’ve got to keep the Mitsubishi points in mind as well,” he adds.
“But you never know, I might just slip in under the radar.”
McCance, meanwhile, will hope to get his Irish Evo challenge back on track.
The 2009 champion seemed on course to retain his title with back to back wins only to crash out while leading the last round, allowing Moffett through to take the win and a share of the championship lead.