Second place overall on the Orchard Motorsport Cork ‘20’ International Rally was enough to give Garry Jennings from Kesh Co. Fermanagh his first Tarmac Championship title. With the experienced Rory Kennedy on the pacenotes for the weekend Jennings held his nerve despite some concerns about his Impreza WRCs engine on the first day. Although the Millstreet based event was won by Daragh O’Riordan in a Ford Fiesta WRC for the third year in a row, something that hadn’t been done since the great Billy Coleman in 1972, the runner up spot was enough to secure the title for Jennings. Declan Boyle had led the event initially, but in keeping with his bad luck throughout the year, went off the road on the fifth stage handing the lead to O’Riordan. Donagh Kelly from Donegal finished in third place in Cork and as a result took the runner up spot in the championship. Kellys best chance of overall success depended on Jennings not finishing the rally which would give him the title. However having finished runner up in 2012, Jennings was not to be denied this time and took the title deservedly after taking overall victory in both the Rally of the Lakes and the Ulster Rally. Sam Moffett who had won the Donegal International Rally in June took third place in the championship after reverting back to his Group N Mitsubishi Lancer for Cork.
The overall Group N battle went to the wire with Stephen Wright and Josh Moffett tussling for supremacy in their respective Mitsubishi Lancers, and a troubled start proved to be costly for Moffett as found it difficult to reel in his rival. In the end less than a minute separated the two drivers with Wright claiming the Group N title for 2013. The Modified Challenge also saw some final round drama as both of the joint leaders Frank Kelly and Fergus O’Meara both retired which handed the title to the consistent Killarney driver Noel O’Sullivan in his 1300 Escort. The Historic Tarmac Championship had been decided when Wesley Patterson ran in the modified category leaving James O’Mahony from Limerick as the winner for 2013 in his Volvo. As another successful and exciting Irish Tarmac Championship comes to a conclusion, congratulations must go to Garry Jennings who becomes the first Fermanagh driver to take overall honours since 1996 when the late great Bertie Fisher took his fourth and final title.
T.R.O.A. Press & Media Officer
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