Jennings’ joy around Lurgan Park

Lurgan Park provided the perfect setting for the latest North Armagh Motor Club rally. Back row, from left, are Michael Moran, Noel Orr, Kenny McKinstry, Declan Boyle. Front row, from left, are Garry Jennings, Christian Patterson, Rowan, Brian Boyle. Pic by Gary Craig.
Lurgan Park provided the perfect setting for the latest North Armagh Motor Club rally. Back row, from left, are Michael Moran, Noel Orr, Kenny McKinstry, Declan Boyle. Front row, from left, are Garry Jennings, Christian Patterson, Rowan, Brian Boyle. Pic by Gary Craig.

Garry Jennings’ command of the Lurgan Park rally competition extended to a fourth consecutive triumph on Saturday.

Jennings - with support from co-driver Michael Moran - steered his Subaru Impreza WRC to top spot in the Orchard Motorsport-sponsored showpiece.

Kenny McKinstry from Banbridge provided a consistent challenge to the defending champion before finishing as overall runner-up within the North Armagh Motor Club-promoted field.

The eight special stages offered Jennings the perfect setting to continue his modern control of the area’s rally highlight, with 11-time champion McKinstry forced to settle for second.

Jennings managed to maintain his advantage over the pack despite a collision with a straw bale on the sixth stage and the winner also battled against engine issues on the path to success.

A third-place finish in his Fiesta WRC by Declan Boyle - with Brian Boyle as co-driver - rewarded the former Irish Tarmac and National rally champion for his drive from Lettermacaward in Donegal to tackle the test despite a lack of Lurgan Park experience.

The 2WD category featured Armagh’s Damian Toner home first in his Escort to add to a Loughgall win recorded earlier in 2016.

Keith White and Frank Kelly wrapped up the top three. Shane McGirr had to retire his rear-wheel drive Starlet following mechanical problems entering the final two stages.

The Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council-backed event - now in year 37 - provided family fun alongside the motorsport action.

The full top-10 running order is as follows:

1, Garry Jennings/Michael Moran (Impreza WRC) 15mins 55.6secs.

2, Kenny McKinstry/Noel Orr (Impreza WRC) 16mins 09.5secs.

3, Declan Boyle/Brian Boyle (Fiesta WRC) 16mis 17.8secs.

4, Derek McGeehan/Laurie Smyth (Mini WRC) 16mins 27.4secs.

5, Derek McGarrity/Diarmuid Falvey (Fiesta WRC) 16mins 32.6secs.

6, Stuart Biggerstaff/Fraser Mulholland (Impreza WRC) 16mins 33.1secs.

7, Robert Woodside/Rachel Robinson (Fiesta R5) 16mins 50.2secs.

8, Pat O’Connell/Adam Coffey (Lancer) 16mins 50.3secs.

9, Damian Toner/Thomas Treanor (Escort) 16mins 53.6secs.

10, Ray Brammer/Mo Downey (Impreza WRC) 17mins 07.4secs.

The class winners were as follows:

CL2, Alan Smyth/Richard Kinloch (Suzuki Swift S1600).

CL3, Martin Teggart/Arnold Lutton (Ford Escort Mk2).

CL4, Damian Toner/Thomas Treanor (Ford Escort Mk2).

CL5, Robert Woodside/Rachel Robinson (Ford Fiesta R5).

CL6, Garry Jennings/Michael Moran (Subaru Impreza S12b).

CL7, Stephen Mawhinney/Nigel Magee (Sunbeam Lotus).

CL8, Drew Wylie/Barbara English (Ford Escort RS1800).

Pics provided by Gary Craig.

Thanks go to Orchard Motorsport and Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council for support.

The organisers would also like to thank the sponsors for continued backing.

For further information visit the North Armagh Motor Club website on www.namcc.com.