Double tops for Kelly as Jennings’ win goes up in smoke

11 Replies

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.Donagh Kelly Ulster Rally 2015

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.Ulster Rally 2015The 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.

Results

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

National Rally

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

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About Author

Chris, known as Cess on the forums, is a long time RMS member. He is a fervent motorsports enthusiast and lover of all things automotive. He can be found on the ditches of most Irish rallies, at Mondello watching drifting or in front of the TV watching motorbike racing.

RMS Forum Comments

Cess 12:11 | Mon 17 Aug, 2015 | Report
Unfortunately, it looks as if Garry Jennings' car sustained some significant damage. Quite startling how quickly fires can spread. http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a331/cmandrews/IMG-20150815-WA0003.jpg http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a331/cmandrews/RMS%20Picture%20hosting/11866375_1051958658148854_1381678571813937014_n.jpg http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a331/cmandrews/RMS%20Picture%20hosting/11863400_1051958704815516_2828615844727943066_n_1.jpg These pictures are doing the rounds on social media (not sure who took them).
Blackie 15:27 | Mon 17 Aug, 2015 | Report
On Stage 2 Jennings(before I knew he had a turbo issue) looked slow and the back end seemed loose coming through the junction I was marshalling at. Stage 4 however, in the twilight he has flat through it and looked much neater! Following it online then on Saturday it seemed like he was destined to win it, but motorsport is such a cruel game!!
weeloaney 18:18 | Mon 17 Aug, 2015 | Report
He was putting out some pace till the fire. After dropping 40 odd secs and then the 40 odd sec plenty. To end up leading by 40 odd secs is brutal. Man on a mission
Blackie 18:26 | Mon 17 Aug, 2015 | Report
Brutal is right!! That's effectively 2mins in total that he led by if you get me
weeloaney 18:31 | Mon 17 Aug, 2015 | Report
Whatever you think of him he is probably the best driver competing atm. Mate was co-driving and he doesn't understand how he made 30secs (I think) on one of the stages, said it was a hateful stage haha
Blackie 18:34 | Mon 17 Aug, 2015 | Report
Well I'm no rally driver and when I was following the "Road Open" car across stage 4 at the end of the night I found it awful and I certainly wasn't driving at half the speed the rally drivers were!!
Cess 20:57 | Mon 17 Aug, 2015 | Report
Maybe with 4wd, anti-lag and a good set of notes, you might have faired OK @Blackie! Seriously, I don't know how any of those guys drive so quick in the dark. One of the great features of the Ulster - it still runs night stages. Jennings is very quick, but bear in mind only Kelly had a comparable car and he just had to finish to take the title, so was probably content to let Garry charge on.
RCT 21:11 | Mon 17 Aug, 2015 | Report
| Maybe with 4wd, anti-lag and a good set of notes, you might have faired OK @Blackie! Seriously, I don't know how any of those guys drive so quick in the dark. One of the great features of the Ulster - it still runs night stages. Jennings is very quick, but bear in mind only Kelly had a comparable car and he just had to finish to take the title, so was probably content to let Garry charge on.
The dark stages is all about your notes. If your notes are right and you are driving to them correctly, there should be very little difference in your pace then, as to daylight. You have to recce them in the dark as well to make sure you have your visible marker points in for corners, bumps etc. Kelly will have been driving conservatively with his notes, to get points for his overall championship win, which is understandable as he'd more to lose if he fell off. Serious amount of gravel on the stages on Saturday tho!!
davecoupe 13:37 | Tue 01 Sep, 2015 | Report
Great write up as usual @Cess. Pretty annoyed to have missed this rally, looked like a good one and a second title of the season for Kelly. It will still be interesting to see what Kelly etc do next year, especially considering DMC's decision to lessen their stance regarding RC1 class cars competing in the ITC.
Cess 08:27 | Wed 02 Sep, 2015 | Report
Cheers @davecoupe - good to see you back and hope the honeymoon went well. Ulster was OK, nothing spectacular. The entry dropped off badly and the stages were tough to view. Well deserved title for Kelly and Jennings was mega unlucky. Now all toys have been gathered up and prams back in order, roll on next season. Bit of promotion and professionalism could really restore the Championship with the rule change.


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