Belfast Telegraph

Jennings good to go as he gets set for Sperrins title challenge

 

By Sammy Hamill

His appearances on Northern Ireland Championship rallies are rare, but Garry Jennings is back for Saturday's Tour of the Sperrins, round two of the McGrady Insurance series.

Indeed, the former Irish Tarmac champion heads the 100-strong entry list for the Cookstown-based event which features six closed road stages, the Kesh driver lining out in his WRC Subaru Impreza S12 to support one of his main backers, fuel company Go, who are the rally sponsors.

It will only be Jennings' second outing of the season - he retired with car trouble on the Birr Rally - and he will also use it as preparation for one of his main targets of the year, the Donegal International next month.

He will be joined at the top of the seeding list by seven-time NI champion Derek McGarrity, winner of the first round in his S14 Subaru, and with four previous Sperrins victories to his credit.

Another driver joining the Championship regulars for the Magherafelt Club round is Desi Henry, fresh from taking second-place Tarmac points on the Rally of the Lakes at the weekend.

His R5 Skoda Fabia is seeded at three ahead of the WRC Mini of Joe McGonigle and the S12 Subaru of Paddy McVeigh, two drivers more regularly seen in the Irish National series.

Alan Carmichael is at six in another of the McGeehan Motorsport WRC Minis with Connor McCloskey, a former NI champion, at seven in his Ford Fiesta.

Frank Wray's Subaru is at eight and Philip Allen, son of another past champion, the late Glenn Allen, gets the opportunity to drive close friend Eugene Donnelly's R5 Hyundai i30 for the first time at No.9.

The rally starts from the Meteor Electrical base at 10.30am.

Meanwhile, Robert Barrable's victory on the Rally of the Lakes has blown the Tarmac Championship wide open. With Josh Moffett, winner of the first two rounds, battling brake problems throughout the two days and finishing fifth, Barrable has closed to within one point of the lead.

Josh Moffett is on 42 points, Barrable 41, Sam Moffett 40, Jonny Greer 25 and Henry 24 heading into round four.

Belfast Telegraph

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