Garry Jennings Rally Ireland leg one summary

JENNINGS 11th AFTER GEARBOX CHANGE Garry Jennings and Rory Kennedy go back to Sligo for the overnight halt on Rally Ireland holding 11th place overall and third in Group N, despite taking a two minute penalty for being late out of ...

JENNINGS 11th AFTER GEARBOX CHANGE

Garry Jennings and Rory Kennedy go back to Sligo for the overnight halt on Rally Ireland holding 11th place overall and third in Group N, despite taking a two minute penalty for being late out of service.

The penalty was applied after the team went just over the allotted 20 minutes changing the gearbox on the Mitsubishi Evo 9. "The gearbox was playing up on the first two stages and we thought it would mean us retiring," explained Garry, "but the boys did a great job changing it at service and we've only dropped a couple of minutes."

The relieved pair set out to prove their intent by setting tenth and seventh fastest times on the next two stages. They finished stage four just six seconds adrift of Subaru works driver Chris Atkinson in his group N machine even after a spin in a slippery farmyard. After a routine service at Enniskillen, the Autocar Logistics liveried car set about the final pair of stages of leg one. Unfortunately they went out on slick tyres just as the heavens opened. This meant they had to tip-toe around stages that Garry knew well, posting another tenth quickest and finishing the day with a ninth. "It was really frustrating," said Garry, "the Kumho wet pattern is really good and we could have gone much quicker on roads I know."

Nevertheless the push has left the pair around eighteen seconds clear of friend and former Peugeot rival Shaun Gallagher, but they trail second placed Curran by a seemingly insurmountable margin of over three minutes. "We'll continue to go for it tomorrow," said Garry, "and without the penalty we'd have a go at Mike (Curran), but it will be a tall order to catch and pass him now if he doesn't have problems."

The event is due to re-start from the host town of Sligo in the early hours, followed by a service at Enniskillen at 06.30 and five more stages before returning to Sligo for the finish at 15.00.

-gjr-

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About this article
Series Other rally
Drivers Chris Atkinson , Rory Kennedy