Six months after their Todds Leap Ulster Rally challenge quite literally went up in smoke, Garry Jennings and Rory Kennedy won the Galway International Rally in style at the weekend.
Last August, the pair were on their way to victory in Belfast when on the final stage, the engine bay of their Subaru Impreza erupted in a ball of fire, badly damaging the car and bringing their drive to an end.
It made yesterday's victory in Galway all the sweeter for the popular crew.
“It's been a testing weekend but it was great to get to the finish,” Jennings said.
“I haven't driven that car in anger for six months so the first stage was our first chance to get into the car.
“To come off the first stage leading, we knew then that if we kept the head down, and worked on it, the rally was there for us to win.”
Jennings and Kennedy finished ahead of Keith Cronin and Mickey Galvin.
Declan and Brian Boyle had been in second place on Saturday, but crashed during Stage 5.
Declan Gallagher and Ryan Moore crashed out at Stage 6, also on Saturday .
“We were having a great battle with Declan Boyle only for them to make the mistake,” Jennings said.
“It was all over then really. To win the rally is great. A gap of three minutes is quite a lot in international rallying.
“But we enjoyed it and it's a great start to the year.”
Jennings' co-driver Rory Kennedy said the next major drive for the pair would normally be the Circuit of Ireland.
“Our current car is not eligible to drive in that, so we'll have a look at that and see what options we have available to us,” he said.
Rory also paid tribute to Declan Gallagher and Declan Boyle, both of whom failed to finish in Galway.
“Declan Gallagher was part of our team. He had driven superbly over the four stages he had done but unfortunately he was caught out by a very high speed section,” he said.
“We've had some terrific battles (with Declan Boyle). We won this time, the last time I think he might have won.
“You take the wins when they come.”
In the National category of the weekend event, Eugene Meegan and Sarah Whelan took the honours ahead of Wesley Patterson and Johnny Baird, from Letterkenny, who came second.