The action in the Clonakilty Blackpudding Irish Tarmac Rally Championship is relentless as the third round, the Discover Northern Ireland Circuit of Ireland Rally, gets underway later today (Good Friday) with a very impressive line up in both the International & National categories. Because the older generation World Rally Cars cannot run in the International part of the event, the times for both categories will be merged at the end of the event for the purpose of sorting out the championship points. The Championship leader Donagh Kelly is giving this event a miss after two maximum scores so far, so his lead could be narrowed or even overtaken after this weekend.
Second placed man Sam Moffett is running in the international section with his Fiesta running in RRC trim and a good result could move him to the head of the overall standings come Sunday. Josh Moffett, Stephen Wright & Jonny Greer who have all scored well this year are also in the International Rally and there is the possibility of a few drivers holding strong positions in the championship after this round.
The 2014 champions Declan & Brian Boyle are hoping get some momentum in the championship after a fraught start to their title defence this year. Fifth place in Galway was followed by retirement in West Cork and they badly need a good result this weekend. They will be raging hot favourites to win the National event and score top points in total on the event. Group N should be tightly contested with Aaron McHale & Brendan Cumiskey continuing where they left off after the first two rounds, while Joe McGonigle in the R5 Skoda will be hoping for better luck than on West Cork where he retired on the first stage. Of further interest will be the Tuthill Porsche in the hands of Robert Woodside which is the first R-GT car ever to run in an Irish championship round.
The Modified Championship sees it leader Declan Gallagher opting out of this round leaving the way open for some of the following pack to make up some ground. Ross Hunter from Scotland has scored in both rounds so far and has proven to be quick in his Peugeot 205 while Philip Greenlee made up for his accident in Galway with a fine showing in Clonakilty last month, and on home territory should go well. Eugene Meegan will be bringing his intriguing BMW 1 series to the Circuit and this could be one to watch.
The Historic battle has been intense and entertaining this season and with championship leader Gareth Lloyd and third placed Ernie Graham renewing rivalries it should be well worth watching. Graham has edged both the previous rounds, while Lloyd had a strong showing in the Historic Rally of the Lakes which provided the foundation for his championship lead to date. With 18 stages over two days it promises to be an exciting event with the first car due away on Good Friday morning at 9:20am.
Remember you can follow the Clonakilty Blackpudding Irish Tarmac Championship on www.irishtarmac.com , on Twitter (@IrishTarmacTROA), Facebook (Irish Tarmac Championship) and by Smartphone App (Irish Tarmac Rally Championship). Live results from the Circuit of Ireland can be found on www.rallyscore.net/263/Circuit-of-Ireland-2015 while Brian & Liz Patterson will also be providing bulletins over the weekend on www.rallynews.net.
T.R.O.A. Press & Media Officer
Phone: +353 86 286 6256