Irish National Rally Championship to be decided in Donegal
October 13, 2012 by Declan Lee
The winner of this year’s Dunlop National Rally Championship will be decided this weekend at the Abbey Hotel Donegal Harvest Stages Rally with Brian O’Mahony, Thomas Fitzmaurice and Niall Maguire all in contention for the Vard Memorial Trophy.
All three drivers will be taking to the roads in Subaru S11 world rally cars and any one of them can lift the trophy on Saturday evening, but it’s Brian O’Mahony who is in pole position to win his first Motorsport Ireland National Rally Championship.
The Cork driver has been in scintillating form over the past few events winning in Carlow, Tipperary and Clare and he knows that a top three finish will deliver him the title, which was won last year by Tim McNulty.
Thomas Fitzmaurice was the early pacesetter in this year’s Championship with wins in Birr and in Kerry but has dropped to second in the standings, 6 points back, after O’Mahony’s surge in the second half of the year.
Three-time National Champion Niall Maguire also has an outside chance of success this weekend. The Monaghan driver is ten points behind O’Mahony in the Championship facing into this weekend’s nine stages but Maguire will certainly know how to deal with the pressure of a final day showdown as he bids for a fourth title.
Top seed for the Donegal Harvest Stages Rally is Garry Jennings, who has already had major success in the North West this year. The Fermanagh driver won the Donegal International Rally in June and also won the Donegal Forest Rally this year so he is looking to complete a unique treble. Along with wins in 2010 and 2011, Jennings is also going for a third straight victory in the Harvest Stages Rally on Saturday.
The Abbey Hotel Donegal Harvest Stages Rally begins on Saturday morning with the cars leaving from the Pier in Donegal Town, with nine stages around Lough Eske with the finish ramp at the Abbey Hotel in Donegal Town at 5pm. For more information log on to www.DonegalMotorClub.com