Alastair Fisher is looking for a repeat of his maximum points scoring finish on the Donegal International Rally win as he contests the Ulster Rally this weekend.

The Trillick driver is sitting in second place in the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship with two rounds of the series remaining, and a strong finish on the penultimate round would see him go the last rally in Cork as favourite for the crown.

In his way however stands possibly the strongest entry of the season.

The Ulster is a round of the British Championship and as a result has attracted entries from the likes of three time British champion Keith Cronin and number one seed Fredrick Ahlin.

“It is a very strong top ten and any one of those guys is capable of winning the event,” said Alastair.

“We will have to be sharp from the word go. Because the stages are very similar to last year, I think everyone will be very close together on the time sheets so we will need to be quick everywhere.”

The event is based in the west of the province with stages in Derry and Tyrone, with much of the route following similar stages to the rally last year. 2016 saw Alastair put in a strong performance over those stages, heading current World Championship driver Elfin Evans before a puncture forced him to settle for second.

Despite not being behind the wheel since June, he is looking to get straight on the pace of the front runners.

“We haven’t been out since Donegal so it has been quite a long break,” he acknowledged.

“It normally doesn’t take us long to get up to speed so I hope to get a run in the car before the event starts, and then hit the ground running on Friday.”

Alastair sits seven points behind Sam Moffett in the two way battle for the title. Moffett has scored in all rounds while Fisher has already suffered a non-finish.

With each driver only allowed to drop one score, it means Alastair is walking a tightrope on the final two rounds of the campaign.

He knows one small error could lead to a non-finish and that would likely spell the end of his attempt to win the title for the first time.

He acknowledges that the precarious situation he finds himself in means he cannot approach the Ulster Rally stages in a reckless fashion.

“It will have an effect to a certain extent but we will just have to do our best,” he said.

“A bit like Donegal we will have to bear that in mind, but at the same time we need a good result and we want to be aiming for a win,” concluded Alastair.

Willie Mavitty is another driver in with a chance of a title.

The Enniskillen driver is challenging for the Group N title in his Mitsubishi Evo and is looking to bounce back after disappointment on the Donegal Rally.

Willie was lying third when engine trouble ended his rally, but after a good start to his campaign he still holds a narrow championship lead with two rounds remaining.