JENNINGS' ENGINE CRIES ENOUGH Garry Jennings and Rory Kennedy's defence of the 2005 Irish Tarmac Championship Group N title got off to a disappointing start on the Galway International Rally this weekend. The opening round of the series, ...
JENNINGS' ENGINE CRIES ENOUGH
Garry Jennings and Rory Kennedy's defence of the 2005 Irish Tarmac Championship Group N title got off to a disappointing start on the Galway International Rally this weekend.
The opening round of the series, based on the West coast of Ireland, was the first event for the young businessman from Fermanagh in 2006, but the crew did not have a chance to sample the lanes to the east of Galway. The engine expired in their Mitsubishi Evo 8 even though the team had made a monumental effort to rebuild it after a failure in testing late in the week.
"We tested in the week before the event," said a glum Jennings, "and when the engine let go we were short on time to fix it before the start, but we were relieved it had happened when it did and not on the rally."
It was an upbeat team that had started, even finding time to give the car a run on the night before the start from Eyre Square in Galway City. However, by the end of stage one there was no sign of the newly liveried Autocar Logistiics Mitsubishi.
"We were really up for it," explained Garry, "and our plan was to catch everyone by surprise with a fast first stage time. The first few corners were spot on and the car felt really crisp." he continued, "We had picked the right Kumho tyre and the conditions were perfect. So when the engine went onto three (cylinders) after about the fifth corner I couldn't believe it."
The crew realised straight away that the problem was terminal and pulled up at the side of the road. "It felt just like the problem we had before and we realised there was no point going any further and damaging the engine any more." shrugged Garry, "I'm absolutely gutted especially when we thought we had sorted it before the event, but I suppose in the rush we only fixed the result and did not find the cause."
The team's budget will be even further stretched by the engine setback but Garry was in a reflective mood. "It would have been good to start the season off with a win after last year's second place, but we did not finish all the events in 2005 and still won the (Group N) championship. There is a big gap until the Circuit of Ireland so we will have the problems ironed out by then."
The next round is not until mid April and is based in Garry's own back yard in Enniskillen. Another classic Irish event, The Circuit of Ireland will be Garry and Rory's new starting point in their efforts to retain the Group N title.
The Autocar Logistics team would like to thank Kumho Tyres, Walker Contracts, J&M Enterprises, Sligo Pallets Sydare Eggs, Euro Auto Salvage, OMP, Shell Racing Fuels and KG Motorsport for their support in 2006