Monaghan’s Stephen Wright is the latest to enter the Galway International Rally and register for the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship. One of the real gentlemen in Irish Rallying, Stephen will be hoping to get back into the groove having been short on seat time since last years Cork 20.
2016 was an up and down year for Stephen, a great drive in Galway saw him finish seventh in the championship standings but he could well have been as high as fourth with less than twenty seconds covering Josh Moffett, Joe McGonigle, Jonny Greer and himself.
On the Circuit of Ireland Stephen set some cracking stage times, not only on the pace of the Tarmac Championship regulars but right up there with the ERC competitors. He finished seventh overall, a magnificent result in itself and fourth in the Tarmac Standings.
Stephen went to West Cork on a high and again scored strong Championship points finishing fourth and at this stage he was still well in the hunt for the Championship.
An outstanding performance in Killarney moved Stephen up to third overall in the Championship and with the hills of Donegal beckoning Stephen went there with high hopes. Another great drive was spoiled with problems early on in the rally but Stephen fought back to finish a creditable fourth. With two rounds to go only six points separated the top five in the Championship.
Unfortunately for Stephen the Ulster Rally will be one he will want to forget, right from the start he had problems and eventually retired with electrical problems. The gloves were certainly off going to the Cork 20 but unfortunately for Stephen mechanical gremlins intervened and he was unable to compete for the points required to get him onto the podium.
A real stalwart of the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship, with the experienced Arthur Kearns on the notes and with the usual backing from the Killyhevlin Hotel and Spanwright expect Stephen to be in the mix.