Following his sensational win on the Killarney Rally of the Lakes this year, and then dominating the recent Donegal International timesheets, Garry Jennings could just be the man to take the coveted Lurgan Park Trophy this time.
Garry has won the GpN category in Lurgan Park many times over the years, and in doing so has beaten all the odds by finishing in the top six as well.
Speaking from his Fermanagh base earlier this week, Garry said: “Lurgan Park is a rally I always enjoy. It is very competitive and as well as that a great day out for families and kids. I would love to win it, but at the same time I`ll have to take care of the car, because the rally is so close to the Ulster.”
One thing is for sure. Whoever wins the rally will almost certainly earn their plaudits. No.1 seed Kenny McKinstry, also a former Tarmac Champion, as well as just about every other sort of former motorsport champion, first won the rally 30 years ago. He is the master at getting every stage just right, which is so important in Lurgan Pk. Kenny would dearly love to round his winning tally up to a dozen.
Derek McGarrity, like Jennings and Donnelly, has loads of Lurgan Park experience, but has never won it. Derek`s race begins in the middle of this week, when his Focus WRC`s rebuilt engine returns from England. It will then be a two day job re-installing it in the Focus WRC - a race against the clock for the Saturday morning 10.15 start in the Park.
The rally is organised by Armagh Motor Club and also backed by Craigavon Borough Council. Lurgan Park itself is in beautiful condition at the moment, and the whole idea is to give families, as well as the out and out motoring enthusiasts, a really enjoyable day out. The event will again have the centralised paddock service area concept, making the teams and cars totally accessible, which all adds to the unique ambience and atmosphere which Lurgan Park has generated since the late Bertie Fisher took victory on the first one back in 1980.
At a reception held this week in Craigavon Civic Centre, the Mayor of Craigavon, Councillor Mark Baxter, who was hosting the reception, said: “The Lurgan Park rally is always an important date in the Craigavon calendar. We are delighted to support it and wish the North Armagh Motor Club, as well as all the competitors a successful day. We are very proud of Lurgan Park and it is always great to see so many people enjoying the facility.”
The rally enjoys support from many quarters, especially from overall sponsor Brian Stinson of Orchard Motorsport who said: “It is an honour to be involved again with Lurgan Park. The rally is very special to the area.”