Cork set for exciting championship finale


The Irish Tarmac Championship is heading towards an exciting conclusion with the Orchard Motorsport Cork 20 International Rally on the 5th & 6th of October and it’s still all to play for with a number of drivers still in contention for overall honours. The Millstreet based event carries both bonus points for each leg and points and a half for overall positions. With a competitor’s best four scores to count, dropped scores will come into play after the fifth and final round. At present Garry Jennings still looks to be the favourite to take overall honours as he leads on 63 points. The Kesh driver has been consistently quick this year and with wins on Killarney and Ulster there can be no doubting his credentials as he aims to improve on last year’s runner up position. However Garry has scored on all rounds to date so will have to drop a score if he finishes in Cork.

Donagh Kelly is in second place on 49 points is in a similar position having some very solid results during the season in both a Subaru Impreza WRC and currently a Ford Focus WRC. The Donegal driver will also have to drop a score if he finishes in Cork but with the extra points on offer, a very good result could propel him into the lead. Derek McGarrity in third place is the only former Tarmac Champion in the hunt having taken the title in 2003 & 2004 (shared with Eugene Donnelly in ’04). He is currently on 44 points which would be a much higher total but for his last stage retirement on the Donegal International while lying in second place. Sam Moffett in fourth place started out the season in Group N, but a switch to a WRC car for Donegal and the subsequent win moved him into contention. A disappointment was in store in the Ulster Rally as he retired, but he can still add to his points total of 37.5 in Cork and isn’t out of contention for the title yet.

Stephen Wright in fifth place has had an excellent year and is also leader of the Group N category from Josh Moffett. Wright has taken one maximum score and three second placed scores so far which gives him a comfortable but not insurmountable lead in the Group N category. The Irish Tarmac Modified Challenge is also going to be decided in Cork with Fergus O’Meara and Frank Kelly tied on 30 points. O’Meara took two early maximum scores but Donegal and Ulster were kind to Kelly and he finds himself right back in contention for Cork with the winner taking the spoils. Should either of these two slip up, Noel O’Sullivan on 22 points can take advantage and the Killarney man could put a lot of the more powerful machinery to shame. The Irish Tarmac Historic Championship still has two rounds to go, with the action intensifying on the forthcoming Manx Rally. The Historic section of this event known as Rallee Classicagh sees the championship leader Wesley Patterson skip the trip to the Isle of Man leaving the second placed driver James O’Mahony, who is just five points behind, the opportunity to take the lead ahead of the final round in Cork. Other championship registered drivers to travel to the Manx include Brendan McAree and Mervyn Johnston.


Kevin O’Driscoll,
T.R.O.A. Press & Media Officer,
Mobile: +353 86 286 6256,