Alastair Fisher’s hopes of securing a first ever Irish Tarmac Championship title ended in disappointment on Saturday when he crashed out of the Cork 20 International Rally while leading. 
The Trillick driver went into the final round of the series with a slender advantage over Keith Cronin but had to win the event to be sure of winning the title. 
He made a great start to lead his rival by five seconds after two stages but Cronin narrowed the gap on stage three and it looked as though the spectators were in for an epic battle for the championship crown, but Alastair’s challenge came to an abrupt halt on stage four when he rolled his Ford Fiesta into a field.
“It was a fast left hander that had got a lot of mud pulled out and embedded in the road since the first pass,” explained Alastair. 
“It had made it really greasy and when we turned in it was just complete understeer, and we clipped a bank on the outside and rolled the car. Compared to the first run the road was completely different. It’s not that we were pushing hard. 
“We were committing to our pace notes, but rather than making a mistake because we were pushing too hard, it was the condition of the road that caught us out really. It was probably always going to catch somebody out but I was the first car on the road and it caught me. That’s the way it goes. It was just a split second and the whole thing was over in the blink of an eye.”
Alastair had hoped to follow in the footsteps of his uncle, the late Bertie Fisher, and add another Fisher name to the trophy, but with the car too badly damaged to continue Alastair had to concede the title. 
The fact Cronin hit trouble later in the event and dropped almost a minute with a puncture only added to Fisher’s frustration. 
Cronin held on to finish fourth and secure enough points to be crowned the Clonakilty Black Pudding Irish Tarmac Champion, and with double points on the final round Sam and Josh Moffatt also came past Alastair in the championship standings, relegating the local driver to fourth.
“There was a lot of disappointment,” admitted Alastair. 
“It was a big year’s work for no real reward in the end up, but we still enjoyed our season. We had some really strong results and it was good to be able to take the championship to the last round, even though we didn’t come away with the win. 
“We enjoyed ourselves and the car and the team worked well. It’s been a good positive year. It has been good to come back and do the Irish rounds, and we have had good support wherever we went.”
Cork was Alastair’s last scheduled event of the current season, and although he has no plans for 2017 he admits the lure of having another shot at the Irish Tarmac Championship is tempting. 
“It is appealing right now but we will just have to regroup,” he said. “The championship will probably grow again next year and there will be more drivers entered so it will be very competitive again, but we will just have to wait and see what happens.”