SS5: Devine Extends Advantage while Allen Crashes Out. Greer on Verge of Title Success!

SS5: The heavens opened on stage five of the Go Power Tour of the Sperrins Rally, leaving some crews lucky to get to the finish – and some not so lucky. Philip Allen and Eugene Donnelly have crashed out of the event, leaving Callum Devine and Brian Hoy with a comfortable 19.6s advantage over Desi Henry and Niall Burns with one stage remaining.

“It was very wet and slippy,” Devine said. “I just had to watch where I was braking in places. We’re trying to manage the lead but the guys are going hard.”

Devine was unaware of Allen’s accident at that point and unfortunately for Cookstown’s Allen, his rally ended near the same place where Seamus Leonard crashed out earlier today. Joe McGonigle was first on the scene and he stopped to make sure everyone was OK.

The incident has promoted Desi Henry and Niall Burns into second overall but they had a difficult stage and lost around 10 seconds to the rally leaders.

“The start of the stage was dry,” Henry said. “We changed to slicks but unfortunately 90 per cent of the stage was wet so we lost quite a bit of time in there.”

Jonny Greer and Kirsty Riddick have moved up to third overall and are now one stage away from securing the 2021 McGrady Insurance N.I. Rally Championship crown! A conservative tyre choice for the final loop of stages is working well, with Greer fairly relaxed at the stage five finish.

“We went very conservative on tyre choice so it was working OK in there,” Greer said. “It’s slippy but it could have been worse.”

In fourth overall, Peadar Hurson and Damien Connolly lost a bit of time at the final hairpin in the stage. “We messed up and stalled but other than that, it wasn’t too bad.”

Stephen Wright was a relieved man at the finish as he escaped an incident at the first corner. “That was a very bad stage for me,” Wright said. “We’re on a slick tyre and we had a moment at the first corner.”

It was enough to drop the reigning N.I. Champion behind Garry Jennings, so Wright continues to hold sixth while Jennings has climbed two places to fifth – despite taking his wet tyres off before the start of the stage!

“I took my wet tyres off before the start and put the slicks on,” Jennings said. “Then it started to rain. It’s been one of those days!”

David Bogie and John Rowan continues to lead the 2WD category in their Ford Escort and are seventh overall ahead of Joe McGonigle and Ciaran Geaney.

Just one stage stands between rally victory for Callum Devine and N.I. Championship title success for Jonny Greer. For the latest results, visit and for live stage end interviews, visit @onthepacenote.

After SS5

1 Callum Devine/Brian Hoy (Fiesta)
2 Desi Henry/Niall Burns (i20 R5) +19.6s
3 Jonny Greer/Kirsty Riddick (C3 R5) +37.1s
4 Peadar Hurson/Damien Connolly (Fiesta WRC) +54.0s
5 Garry Jennings/Rory Kennedy (Fiesta R5) +1m16.1s
6 Stephen Wright/Liam Moynihan (Fiesta) +1m29.4s

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