Local drivers to the fore in weekend to remember

Colin Turkington
Colin Turkington

A weekend to remember for local drivers Steven Kane winning for Bentley, further success for Colin Turkington in Touring Cars and Garry Jennings a Park winner.

Steven Kane followed on from his historic victory at Silverstone by winning the latest round of the Blancpain Endurance Championship at Paul Ricard in France.

The Ballynahinch driver took the wheel of the number eight Bentley GT3 for the last hour of the three hour race and kept Nissan at bay to win by a mere 1.1 seconds.

Guy Smith and Andy Meyrick partnered the Ulster driver with Smith taking the first stint but it was Kane’s cool and calculated driver which kept the ART Grand Prix McLaren of Parente-Demoustier-Lapierre at bay.

The Bentley boys now top the championship leader board as the series next goes to Spa in Belgium for a 24 hour race.

Colin Turkington scored two wins at Croft in the latest rounds of the British Touring Car Championship bringing his total of wins in British Touring Cars to thirty and going into the summer break he tops the points table five clear of his nearest rival.

A master display from the Portadown driver and it might have been three wins but for a clutch problem which forced his retirement in the final race of the day, victory going to the reigning champion Andrew Jordan with his Honda Civic.

Garry Jennings triumphed for the second time on the Orchard Motorsport Lurgan Park Rally. The Kesh driver powered his Subaru WRC into an immediate lead on the opening special stage and was never headed as he sped to a wining margin of 47 seconds over his nearest challenger.

That challenge was provided by Derek McGarrity and Derek McGeehan in their Mini WRCs and former multiple victor Kenny McKinstry with his Subaru WRC, in fact they filled second, third and fourth in that order.

Completing the top half dozen, Kevin Barrett and Paddy McVeigh with their Subaru WRCs.

Emma McKinstry, Kenny’s daughter finished just out side the top six driving a Subaru WRC while best Group N competitor was Pat O’Connell in a Mitsubishi Lancer. Wesley Patterson had a very successful day, he was best Ford Escort, best two wheel drive car and he took the class four honours.

And Stephen Mawhinney driving a Lotus Sunbeam took the Historic Rally honours.

Meanwhile in the World Rally Championship after running in third place in the overall standings at the start of Rally Poland, Kris Meeke had lost almost three minutes when he picked up a puncture on stage 14. Relegated to eleventh position, the Dungannon driver began a long fight back.

Ninth at the start of the final day, the Citroen DS3 WRC driver got the better of Henning Solberg on stage 21 before moving ahead of Hayden Paddon on stage 23 and at the end of this event, which marked the midway point of the season, he finished seventh overall, scoring six World Championship points.

Yet again it was another win for French driver Sebastien Ogier in his works VW Polo who now has a massive 50 point lead in the series.