Jennings/Kennedy master tough Mayo rally conditions

Coping admirably with challenging conditions, the Fermanagh/Letterkenny partnership of Garry Jennings/Rory Kennedy (Subaru WRC) were too good for the opposition as they netted a convincing victory in the Hotel Ballina/Kennedy Motors Mayo Rally, the first round of the Triton Showers National Rally Championship.

Jennings/Kennedy master tough Mayo rally conditions

In addition, they also secured the three points from the Power Stage and at the finish were a minute and 34.8 seconds ahead of the Subaru of Peadar Hurson/Damien Connolly.

Niall Maguire/Enda Sherry also in a Subaru WRC were 41.2 seconds further behind in third.

The two-wheel drive category was won by Gary McPhillips/Ryan Moore (Ford Escort) who were fifth overall. In Group N, the spoils went to Monaghan’s Shane Maguire/Mac Kierans (Mitsubishi).

Jennings set the pace on the first stage and led by 12.3 seconds, a margin that was virtually quadrupled by the end of the opening loop of three stages.

He revelled in the wet and slippery conditions but clipped a rock that knocked a rear wheel out of camber on the third stage.

Niall Maguire (Subaru WRC) was his nearest opponent and admitted he was pushing to the limit.

Peadar Hurson while the Ford Fiesta WRC’s of Roy White and Declan Boyle were fourth and fifth respectively, both suffered with misted windscreens that stymied their progress.

Paddy McVeigh (Subaru) retired on the first stage with gearbox troubles, Stephen McCann didn’t even get that far as his Subaru stopped with a burst radiator.

Gary Kiernan (Escort) in sixth led the two-wheel drive category and Shane Maguire was the quickest of the Group N brigade.

Even though he slackened his pace, Jennings was imperious on the second loop and led by a minute and 23.1 seconds.

A change of tyres gave Hurson confidence and although his Subaru was still misfiring, he slotted into second. Maguire was six tenths of a second behind in third having lost significant time when his Subaru aquaplaned on SS4 and hit a bale.

Roy White also had an altercation, he lost fourth for a brief period to Declan Boyle, who bowed out on SS6 with transmission woes.

Jennings went on to win even though his Subaru was launched on two wheels when he clipped a rock that punctured a wheel on SS8.

Hurson netted second despite the electrical issue while Maguire had an eventful final loop, he spun in SS7 and then punctured on SS8. White, second on the Power Stage, was fourth, with Kiernan wining the Modified category after pacesetter Damien Tourish retired after his Escort sustained a puncture.

Meanwhile, and as expected, Welsh driver Elfin Evans (Ford Fiesta R5) won the Mid Wales Rally that marked the beginning of the British Rally Championship.

Jari Matti Latvala (VW Polo WRC) won Rally Mexico. He finished a minute and five seconds in front of team mate Sebastien Ogier.

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