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Gass to use the Cavan Stages to gear up for his Donegal mission



Rally return: Darren Gass

Rally return: Darren Gass

Rally return: Darren Gass

Former Irish Tarmac champion Darren Gass is set to return to rallying at this weekend's Cavan Stages - a prelude to an appearance at the Donegal International.

Since winning the Tarmac title in 2012, Gass has made only a handful of appearances, his last victory coming in the 2015 Mourne Rally, but he is listed to contest one of his favourite events, the Joule Donegal International, next month.

He will use Derek McGarrity's S14 Subaru Impreza WRC and is planning a test run on Sunday's third round of the Irish National Championship.

Gass joins an entry list which features all the major contenders in the national series, including leader Declan Boyle, Donagh Kelly, reigning champion Roy White, Joe McGonigle and Josh Moffett, all in WRC cars.

Taking part, too, is another former Tarmac champion Garry Jennings, who is also using the event as preparation for Donegal. In 2013, he and Gass were locked in a battle for the lead on the Saturday until the Armagh driver crashed his Subaru on the penultimate stage of the day.

It left Jennings with a commanding lead, but in a controversial incident he was penalised for leaving early from the final Saturday service halt and dropped back to finish third behind Sam Moffett. Now Gass and Jennings are shaping up for a rematch on June 15-17.

Meanwhile, there was heartbreak for Callum Devine in the final stages of Rally Portugal.

The young Derry driver, the British Junior champion, was on course for second place behind Sweden's Thomas Radstrom in the JWRC category when he clipped a bank on the penultimate stage, breaking the steering of his R2T Ford Fiesta.

It was a disappointing race for the Ulster drivers in the Blancpain European GT Endurance series at Silverstone with the McLaren of Andrew Watson finishing in 15th place. The Bentley of Steven Kane was 21st.

Charlie Eastwood had been on course for third in the Silver Driver category until a clash with a Lamborghini led to a puncture. He lost a lap to replace the wheel on his Aston Martin.

Belfast Telegraph