All roads lead to Enniskillen for the final battle
The final round of the Valvoline Motorsport Ireland Forest Rally Championship moves to Fermanagh this weekend with the running of the Trailer Parts & Spares Lakeland Stages Rally. The Enniskillen based event is always popular and this year is no exception with 100 crews entered. Although Cathan McCourt has already secured the title, second and third overall in the series is still up for grabs. Top seed Sam Moffett lies in eighth place but could still take second overall if he wins and other results go his way. The 2017 champion has only made three championship appearances to this season but has had strong finishes on all events including winning the last round in Cork. Cathan McCourt will be looking to round off an excellent year with another good result following overall wins in the Donegal and Moonraker Rallies. He is seeded at four and will be looking for an overall win with the pressure of the championship now off.
Second placed Michael Carbin will be looking to tie up the runner up spot and currently lies seven points clear of Niall McCullagh. Conor McCourt is another who has put some impressive points totals up this year, especially on the last three rounds. As always the 2WD battle will be strong with David Crossen the standard bearer on many rounds, despite a non-finish on the Cork event. Adrian Hetherington, Shane McGirr, David Condell and John Gordon will be among those looking for 2WD supremacy in the Fermanagh countryside. In the homologated classes, Class 4 is still open although Niall McCullagh holds a six point lead over Stephen Dickson with Peter McCullagh in third place. Class 13 is also very close; John Gordon holds a two point advantage over David Crossen going into the final round while Class 14 sees Mickey Conlon & David Condell tied on 42 points.
The Class 16A section of the junior championship was won by Derek Mackarel on the last round in Cork, but class 16 sees Shane Kenneally hold a three point lead over Kieran Lynch with Brian Brady in third place, 11 points off the lead. Michael Carbin holds a five point lead over Joe Hegarty in Class 20 with Mark Murphy in third place. Six stages will tackled on Saturday with the first car leaving the Grosvenor Barracks base at 10.30am for three stages. The crews will return to the Barracks after three stages for service before going back out to repeat the three stages in the afternoon. The first car is due back at the finish ramp at around 6pm.
Top 3 Overall Championship Points
1 – Cathan McCourt 91 (Champion)
2 – Michael Carbin 79
3 – Niall McCullagh 72
4 – Conor McCourt 64
5 –David Crossen 59