There are now only two rounds left to run in the 2014 Clonakilty Blackpudding Irish Tarmac Rally Championship, with the fifth and penultimate round the Todd’s Leap Ulster Rally set to take place next weekend. The Enniskillen based event sees championship leader Declan Boyle in a very strong position to take his first ever title as he currently holds a 29 point lead over closest rival Sam Moffett. However Moffett is not doing the Ulster Rally due to choosing to bring his Fiesta WRC to Rally Germany which further strengthens Boyle chances. Sam’s brother Josh is currently third in the series and second overall in Group N and will be looking to take over the lead of the championship for the showroom category next weekend in his Mitsubishi Lancer.
Top seed for the Ulster Rally is local driver Garry Jennings who will be looking to repeat his win from 2013 on home territory in his Subaru Impreza WRC. The reigning tarmac champion has not had a happy year and with the championship practically out of reach will be looking to take his first victory of the year. Donagh Kelly was due to start as third seed, but engine problems which forced him out of the Stonethrowers Rally last weekend have proved too much to sort at such short notice and he has withdrawn his entry. An exciting entry in a Subaru Impreza WRC is multiple tarmac champion Eugene Donnelly who has not had a happy year, with two retirements in Galway and the Circuit of Ireland putting paid to his chances. However he is still capable of getting a good result and as he can score championship points could be a fly in the ointment for the regular contenders this weekend. Eugene Meegan, Richard Tannahill and Stephen Wright are also down to compete; with Meegan currently third in group N and seventh overall in the championship while Tannahill is in ninth place in his Peugeot 208 R2. Wright, the current group N champion and Billy Coleman winner from 2013 is tenth overall in the championship having done most of his competing in Belgium this year also in a Peugeot 208 R2.
The Irish Tarmac Modified Championship looked cut and dried when Declan Gallagher from Donegal won the first three events in his rapid Toyota Starlet. However Wesley Patterson has closed the gap over the past two events to leave just 10 points between the pair going into the final two rounds making it all to play for, although Gallagher has the advantage of more maximum scores so far. Frank Kelly in third place will be close to home territory in his “Baby Blue” Escort Mk2 and could well topple the leading pair if he gets a good run. Martin Donnelly and Enda McCormack in a Corolla WRC and Accent WRC respectively are also poised to move up the leaderboard with a good result. The Irish Tarmac Historic Championship is currently being led by Denis Moynihan in his Mk1 Escort and with second placed man Ray Cunningham not competing, third placed Aidan O’Connor has a great opportunity to close the gap or even lead the championship after Ulster. Andy Johnson and Philip McKibbin are also capable of taking maximum points which would see them in with a chance to leading the championship going into the final round in Cork.
The action begins at 12.10pm on Friday 15th August with seven stages to be tackled on the first day before the cars return to Parc Ferme at approximately 21.30. Saturday 16th sees the action begin at the early time of 06.45 with eight more stages to be completed before the first car arrives at the finish ramp at 16.05. Remember you can keep up to date with all of the championship happenings on the championship website www.irishtarmac.com, Facebook (Irish Tarmac Championship), Twitter (@IrishTarmacTROA) and the Championship App which can be downloaded for Android and iOS devices for free (Irish Tarmac Rally Championship).
TROA Press & Media Officer,
Phone: +353 86 286 6256