Fisher aiming to power ahead in bid to emulate uncle's title win
It was arguably the rally which cost Alastair Fisher a realistic shot of emulating his uncle Bertie and becoming Irish Tarmac champion. He crashed in West Cork and thereafter was playing catch-up.
True, Fisher took the title chase down to a last-round shoot-out but that, too, was in the Cork region, home to Keith Cronin, and it was the Ballylickey man who became champion.
There is no Cronin in scenic West Cork this weekend, his attention switching to the pursuit of a fourth British title on the Border Rally in Scotland, and it is Fisher who holds pole position in the Tarmac series after taking maximum points from the opening round in Galway last month.
It is a result the young Tyrone driver will look to build on over the next two days but he is all too aware that competition will be fierce, especially from the Moffett brothers, Sam and Josh.
While Fisher has not had a competitive outing in his Dom Buckley R5 Ford Fiesta since Galway, the Moffetts have been busy, Sam winning the national status Birr Rally and Josh edging him out in the Carrick-on-Suir round of the Irish forest championship.
Sam sits second in the Tarmac standings just ahead of Robert Barrable, another driver who will be in the spotlight this weekend as he rolls out the first R5 Hyundai i20 to appear in Ireland.
There are 14 of the title-contending R5 cars in the line-up including Stephen Wright, fourth in Galway, and Joe McGonigle.
Donagh Kelly is favourite to win for a record fourth year in a row but with his WRC Ford Focus ineligible for Championship points, it is Fisher and co who have the title in their sights.