Feb 02, 2020
With a copybook drive which saw them leading from start to finish, Alastair Fisher and Gordon Noble scored a 21-second victory in yesterday’s opening round of the Irish Tarmac Championship, the Corrib Oil Galway International Rally.
On their debut drive in a VW Polo, and despite the very slippery conditions, they never put a foot wrong all day.
The Fermanagh-Tyrone pairing were almost four seconds quicker than the similar car of former National and Tarmac champion Donagh Kelly on the opening stage at Tynagh, and increased their advantage to 19 seconds by the end of the first loop of three stages.
Monaghan’s Sam Moffett, another multiple title holder, was fourth behind Desi Henry, but he piled on the pressure on the second run through the same three tests to climb to second place at two-thirds distance, while Henry was forced to retire when he pulled a wheel off his Hyundai i20 on stage four.
With six of the nine stages completed, Fisher looked very comfortable, with his lead increased to 23 seconds, while Moffett was barely ahead of Kelly as they headed for the final loop. The Donegal man really upped his pace on the final run through Tynagh, taking 4.7 seconds from Moffett to reclaim second spot, but maximum effort on the two remaining stages saw Sam Moffett finish second, 1.7 ahead of his rival.
Welsh visitors Meirion Evans and Jonathan Jackson took fourth position, making it three Polos in the top four places, with Josh Moffett and Keith Moriarty fifth for Hyundai ahead of top Ford finisher Stephen Wright.
Speaking afterwards, Alastair Fisher said: “It is nice to finally get over the line and take our first Tarmac win. It was a tough final stage with a lot of muck pulled out onto the road. It was definitely a tricky one but thankfully we got through it okay. There were quite a few delays on the last loop of stages so we really had to keep our focus but we’re glad it worked out alright.”
CORRIB OIL GALWAY INTERNATIONAL RALLY (ROUND 1 OF IRISH TARMAC CHAMPIONSHIP):
1 Alastair Fisher/Gordon Noble (VW Polo GTI R5) 1h 00m 35s,
2 Sam Moffett/James Fulton (Hyundai i20 R5) 1h 00m 56s,
3 Donagh Kelly/Conor Foley (VW Polo GTI R5) 1h 00m 57s,
4 Meirion Evans/Jonathan Jackson (VW Polo GTI R5) 1h 01m 09s,
5 Josh Moffett/Keith Moriarty (Hyundai i20 R5) 1h 01m 29s,
6 Stephen Wright/Liam Moynihan (Ford Fiesta R5) 1h 02m 29s,
7 Cathan McCourt/Barry McNulty (Ford Fiesta R5) 1h 02m 51s,
8 Declan McCrory/Stephen O’Hanlon (Ford Fiesta R5) 1h 05m 03s,
9 Paul Barrett/Kevin Reilly (Ford Fiesta R5) 1h 05m 42s,
10 Willie Mavitty/Martin Connolly (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) 1h 06m 06s.
Class winners: Meirion Evans/Jonathan Jackson,
Declan McCrory/Stephen O’Hanlon,
Eamonn Kelly/Conor Mohan (Ford Fiesta R2).
1 Pat O’Connell/Mark Wiley (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 10) 1m 04m 51s,
2 Jason Black/Karl Egan (Toyota Starlet) 1h 05m 32s,
3 Richard Whelan/James Whelan (BMW 1 Series) 1h 06m 21s,
4 Eugene Meegan/Sarah Whelan (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) 1h 07m 26s,
5 Stephen Faughnan/Amy Faughnan (Ford Escort) 1h 08m 27s,
6 Geoffrey Dolan/Conor Murphy (Sunbeam) 1h 08m 53s.
Jason McSweeney/Liam Brennan (Ford Fiesta),
Eugene Meegan/Sarah Whelan,
Stephen Faughnan/Amy Faughnan,
Vincent Collins/Jane Collins (Ford Escort),
Neil Phelan/Keith McCarthy (Ford Escort),
Justin Comer/Adrian Comer (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 5),
Andrew Fanning/Andy Hayes (Proton),
Des Lyons/Ashling McArdle (Honda Civic),
Declan Forde/Brian Forde (Ford Escort),
William Nolan/Shane O’Mahony (Toyota Corolla).
1 Maurice Meskell/Stephen Meskell (Ford Escort) 1h 13m 32s,
2 Berian Richards/Elaine NiShe (Ford Escort) 1h 15m 46s,
3 John O’Reilly/Nicky Sparks (Ford Escort) 1h 16m 05s.
Philip McKibbin/Tommy Commane (Ford Escort),
Aidan O’Connor/Ian Regan (Ford Escort).
1 Noel Murphy/Jason Murphy (Honda Civic) 49m 18s,
2 Gareth Deazley/Ashley Boulton (Honda Civic) 49m 29s,
3 Cathal Mullins/Ayrton Sherlock (Honda Civic) 52m 51s.
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