Enda Sherry crowned 2012 Tarmac Champion Co-Driver

Posted: October 10, 2012 in Uncategorized

 Club member Enda Sherry is realising he is living the Irish rallying dream, as the Ballinode co-driver and his driver Darren Gass have been crowned 2012 Irish Tarmac Rally Champions. Along with the title comes history in the making, as Enda becomes the first ever Monaghan man to score victory on the international championship, the duo’s Subaru Impreza S10 ran without fault all season.
           The opening round of the year brought the crews to the Galway international rally back in February and Darren and Enda entered the event as somewhat underdogs, the opening loop of stages saw them close to the leaders in fourth place and with a good push over the middle loop they jumped into second place, a momentous push on the last loop saw the fight go between the Gass car and multiple tarmac champion Eugene Donnelly, Gass held a healthy 16 second lead over the chasing pack, however Donnelly showed his capabilities by taking 15 seconds back to allow Darren and Enda to take their first victory and into the bargain Enda claimed the first ever international victory for a Monaghan man.

The next round of the championship saw the contender’s head to the Circuit of Ireland a counting round of the internationally renowned irc European championship. The Gass team entered the event buoyed by their Galway result and their times reflected this as they set numerous fastest times to lead the event, a position they held to the end with a winning margin of one minute twenty seven seconds.

 The third counting round was the Killarney rally of the lakes an event which Darren hadn’t personally contested before, a steady approach saw the duo take a healthy second place behind a hard charging Daragh O’Riordan it was this result which really strengthened their title bid.

 Round four brought the crews to Donegal and with it a battle royal the opening day brought its dramas, The Gass crew where languishing in tenth place after the opening day and their main championship rival Garry Jennings commanded from the front of the rally. However in a never say die spirit Darren and Enda never gave up and battled with tooth and nail to climb back up the leader board as high as they possibly could over the remaining two days. Eventually Jennings was awarded victory and Gass climbed to a creditable fifth place and with it a haul of points to keep the championship dream alive.

The penultimate round of the championship was staged on the lanes and roads of the Ulster Rally, With the championship now at a crucial stage it was evident that the title race was basically down to the crews of Jennings or Gass, the scene was set for an epic battle. On this occasion it was Gass who proved to be the pacesetter and really stepped up to the mark setting a string of fastest times with Derek McGarrity and Garry Jennings both breathing down his neck it was nail biting to say the least. Eventually the picture became clear it was to be Gass and Sherry’s names to be etched on the winners trophy having led from the outset it was possibly the sweetest victory yet as they now had one hand on that elusive tarmac championship crown.

 The final counting round took place at the weekend on the Cork ’20’ rally and with the championship basically now a two horse race between Darren Gass and Garry Jennings it was looking to be a scintillating finish to the season as it was a scriptwriters dream, unfortunately for Jennings the dream was over before the event began as a last minute problem to source a suitable car for the event ditched his hopes of any title bid, and with it a jubilant Gass and Enda Sherry crossed the start ramp as 2012 Irish Tarmac Champions something which obviously delighted them beyond their wildest dreams. They continued on in the event however their one and only mechanical failure came on the final round when the power steering failed on the car and they where forced to retire, they where very mindful this could have painted a very different picture to the title, and the end of the rally they both thanked the organisers of the championship and the individual rally organisers, all the sponsors and every one of their families, friends and supporters for their help encouragement and belief every step of the way. Its a new chapter for the boys something they will cherish for ever

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