Alastair Fisher has the chance to close the gap on Craig Breen at the top of the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship when he competes on this weekend’s Donegal International Rally. The Trillick driver can move closer to Breen as the current series leader has opted to drive a WRC car, making him ineligible for championship points. That decision gives Fisher a glimmer of hope, but with drivers allowed to drop two scores over the course of the season, Breen will still remain favourite for the title regardless of the result in Letterkenny on Sunday evening.

“I believe that we have to capitalise on him not doing it, but it will take results to go our way in the rest of the season,” admitted Alastair. “We will have to make the best of Craig not being able to score points. We have to go for the win, as usual, and it will still be a competitive weekend. A lot of the main R5 contenders are out and we will stall have to be at the top of our game to come away with the win.”

Alastair put together some consistent results this season, taking three second place finishes from the four rounds so far, and he feels he has the package that can grab an R5 class win in Donegal. “The car has been working well all year,” he said. “We had a pretty good set up in Killarney on the more undulating bumpy roads, and we will carry that forward to Donegal. Everyone is excited for it. Every year the event seems to get bigger and bigger and the anticipation grows. We were down doing the recce and there is plenty of variety in the stages but still the usual classics are there. There are some big drags in them and Friday’s stages will suit the World Cars. I would be happy enough if it was wet as it would balance things out a bit.”

Garry Jennings will return to Donegal in a bid to win the rally for a third time. The Kesh man won the rally in 2012 and 2015 and is seeded at number 5 but will face stiff competition for the top spot this year. Breen will pilot a Ford Fiesta and starts the event as favourite for victory, but Donagh Kelly, Declan Boyle and Sam Moffatt are all in with a chance of victory in similar WRC Fiestas and will challenge Jennings’ Subaru.

Barry McNulty has had a successful season alongside Cathan McCourt in the national rounds this year and has already tasted victory, and they will start at number 15. The Donegal Rally is a step up in quality and the pair will be hoping to challenge the front runners in their Subaru.

William Mavitty has dominated the Irish Tarmac Group N championship in recent years in his Mitsubishi, and another class win would take put him in a strong position to win a third consecutive title. The Enniskillen driver slots in at number 63 in a high quality entry list, just ahead of main title rival Andy Davies.

Damien Campbell is seeded at number 93 in his Ford Escort, with Michael McDaid starting at 108 in his class 12 Escort. Ruairi McGarrity is at 122 in his Peugeot 106, with Karl Fallis entered in the Junior section of the rally