Donagh Kelly secured his first Clonakilty Blackpudding Irish Tarmac Rally Championship title, with victory on the Todd’s Leap Ulster Rally at the weekend. The Donegal driver, who has been the dominant force in Irish rallying throughout 2015, adds the ‘Tarmac’ crown to the National Championship, which he won in July. A steady, drama-free fun saw Kelly take maximum points for the fourth time this season, wrapping up the series with a round to spare.
By contrast, Garry Jennings had a thoroughly miserable event. First stage mechanical problems coupled with a second stage time penalty appeared to dash any chance of success on his home event. Yet, ten consecutive stage wins saw him move from a lowly 12th to first overall, and a lead of 48 seconds. In a cruel twist of fate, the Fermanagh man’s car caught fire on the last stage of the day, forcing him out of the event.
Desi Henry powered his Skoda Fabia S2000 to second overall in a very impressive drive, outpacing some more powerful machinery in the process. Jonny Greer took third in a Citroen DS3 R5, whilst Derek McGeehan’s JCW Mini Countryman WRC took the honours in the ‘National’ section.
Ross Hunter’s Peugeot 205 has moved ten points clear in the Clonakilty Blackpudding Modified Championship after former joint-leader Frank Kelly’s Escort expired on stage 7. The Group N championship looks set for a final round showdown in Cork, as Brendan Cumiskey’s class win has given the Subaru driver a 4 point advantage over his closest rival, Aaron McHale.The Carryduff Forklift Road to Wales Championship served up another enthralling battle as Jon Armstrong and Rob Duggan, in identical Peugeot 208 R2s, battled it out for supremacy. Only 4 seconds separated the pair after the first day. But a sensational time on the opening stage of Saturday morning, Sloughan Glen, swung the pendulum well and truly in Armstrong’s favour. Duggan struck back during the mid-morning loop, but it wasn’t enough to wrestle the ascendancy from Armstrong. The win keeps Armstrong’s hopes of the prize drive alive, whilst Duggan remains out in front, as the competition moves onto gravel for the final two rounds.
Todd’s Leap Ulster Rally 2015
1. Donagh Kelly / Kevin Flanagan – Ford Focus WRC
2. Desi Henry / Liam Moynihan – Skoda Fabia S2000
3. Jonny Greer / Kirsty Riddick – Citroen Ds3 R5
1. Derek McGeehan / Arthur Kierans – JCW Mini Countryman WRC
2. Jon Armstrong / Noel O’Sullivan – Peugeot 208 R2
3. Rob Duggan / Ger Conway – Peugeot 208 R2