There was no stopping Garry Jennings as he roared his way to an impressive fourth Lurgan Rally Park success in a row.
The Fermanagh man, co-driven by Michael Moran in his Subaru Impreza WRC, scored a start to finish win in last Saturday’s Orchard Motorsport event.
Banbridge man Kenny McKinstry, also in Subaru, kept the pressure on Jennings throughout the eight short sharp special stages. Eleven times a winner over the years and dubbed ‘King of the Park’, McKinstry had no answer to Jennings’ stunning speed. Even a collision with a sixth stage straw bale did not make too much of a dent in Jennings’ lead. A smoky, low oil pressure engine didn’t slow his progress either.
Former Irish Tarmac and National Rally Champion Declan Boyle, co-driven by his cousin Brian Boyle, made the trip to Lurgan from Lettermacaward in North-West Donegal and, although a comparative stranger to the specialised nature of the Lurgan Park lanes, gave the rally a real good go and finished an impressive third in his Fiesta WRC.
There was particular interest in the 2wd category, and Armagh man Damian Toner in his Escort, who won the Loughgall Rally earlier this year, took the honours against very strong opposition. Keith White and Frank Kelly, also in Escorts, were second and third in the 2 wheel drive race, but despite much wheel spinning in the at times slippy conditions, could make no impression on the flying Toner.
There was a chance that Shane McGirr in his rear wheel drive Starlet could upset the Escort apple cart, but Fivemiletown man McGirr was forced to call it a day two stages before the end when his Starlet blew a head gasket.
Once again the rally, now in its 37th year in Lurgan Park, attracted a large crowd of spectators, undeterred by changeable weather conditions.
The event ran on schedule and without incident and the Park remained in pristine condition.
The event is supported by the Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council and organised by the North Armagh Motor Club Ltd.