The ITRC action resumes this weekend with Killarney hosting the third round of the Clonakilty Blackpudding Irish Tarmac Rally Championship. Legendary stages such as Molls Gap, Ardgroom and Cods Head await the competitors in what promises to be another close fought battle at the front of the field.
Alastair Fisher leads the Championship after two rounds but suffered a little with his pace in West Cork and only scored second place points after Robert Barrable and Sam Moffett suffered punctures on the third last stage. This was probably only a slight blip and we can expect Alastair to be fighting for overall points come Sunday.
Sam Moffett on the other hand was the star of the show in West Cork until he punctured on the third last stage. With his win on the recent Monaghan stages rally, against stiff opposition he will be going to Killarney full of confidence. If his luck holds Sam will be very difficult to beat.
Robert Barrable gave the Hyundai i20 its Irish debut in West Cork and was really in the mix from the start. He was really pleased with how competitive the car was on its first Irish outing and with his own pace. For Killarney he will again have the i20 and after his unfortunate puncture in West Cork he will be out to make amends. Expect Robert to keep the others on their toes.
Joe McGonigle has had a steady year so far and currently lies fourth in the Championship with two solid finishes all be it with some niggling problems on both events. Coming of a second place to Donagh Kelly's WRC at the Lark in the Park, Joe will be confident of a decent result and could still yet prove to be a dark horse.
Stephen Wright is another whose confidence will be sky high after his terrific result in Monaghan. Stephen really showed what he is capable of with a second fastest time on the first stage in Monaghan among a plethora of WRC cars. He will certainly want to get a good haul of points after his unfortunate non-finish in West Cork.
All in all this weekend will again be a titanic battle for the top step of the podium. Whoever sprays the winners Champagne on Sunday evening will deserve it.
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