Alastair Fisher is just one rally away from fulfilling his dream of becoming Irish Tarmac Rally Champion, but he must overcome two time British Champion Keith Cronin if he is to triumph in the ‘winner takes all’ final event of the season.
Alastair and co-driver Gordon Noble lead the Clonakilty Black Pudding Irish Tarmac Championship by two points from Cronin heading into the Cork 20 International Rally this weekend, with Josh Moffett six points adrift and in with an outside chance of sneaking into the top spot if his two rivals hit trouble.
It is exactly twenty years since Bertie Fisher won the last of his four tarmac titles, and Alastair admits that adding another Fisher name to the roll of honour would carry special significance. 
“It would be very special to win it, especially with all the history involved and with Uncle Bertie,” he said. 
“It is for everyone who has supported me over the years as well. It would be nice reward for all Gordon and I’s efforts. We feel that over the years we have shown a lot of promise out on the world stage and even on home turf but it would be a big result to bring home the Irish Championship.”
Cronin started the season with back to back victories in Galway and West Cork and it looked as though he may ease clear of the chasing pack, but Alastair responded to rise to the top of the standings with victory in three of the last four events. 
One more win would see the trophy return to Fermanagh for the first time since Garry Jennings won in 2013. 
“We are looking forward to it. It’s going to be a big weekend,” said Alastair. 
“Outside the world championship it’s the most important event I have done, but I’ve no more nerves than normal. It might be a different story on the first stage, but hopefully we can get settled in quickly. We all know how competitive and capable Keith is and he is always sharp out of the blocks so we will have to do the same thing. It is still a 200 kilometre event though so you have to stay out of trouble as well.”
Cronin is seen as favourite in the eyes of some due in part of his local knowledge of Cork, his home town. Alastair however does not think that his familiarity with the area will play a major role in the outcome of the title. “Maybe slightly but I think we are both at a level that no matter where we go we are both pushing as hard as we can and driving to our notes, so that hopefully shouldn’t affect the outcome too much, and there is maybe some added pressure on Keith because it is his home event. I feel like it’s 50/50. It is six weeks since the Ulster but hopefully we can carry our speed from that weekend down to Cork and give it our best shot.”
Alastair is seeded at number one for the event, which rolls into action this Saturday morning. The winner of the rally and the championship will be crowned on Sunday afternoon.