Fisher still fighting for British crown
It should have been Alastair Fisher's moment to step up his challenge for the British Rally Championship, but instead he crashed out on the first day of his home round of the series, the Todds Leap Ulster Rally.
Now the Trillick driver is faced with a huge task to reel in leader Jukka Korhonen on the final two rounds starting with the Yorkshire International this weekend.
So much had been expected of Fisher on the Ulster event after he had given up his World championship programme to concentrate on the British title chase.
He closed to within five points of Korhonen after winning the Scottish Rally and, back on the familiar ground in Fermanagh and Tyrone, he started as favourite.
Fisher's Citroen DS3 skated into a ditch on stage three and he could only salvage a handful of points as the Finn took second place behind winner Osian Pryce.
Fisher's Ulster woes allowed the gap to stretch to 18 points, but there are 40 at stake over the Yorkshire and Sunseeker rallies and the championship scoring system allows each driver to drop their lowest scoring round.
Fisher can discard his Ulster result and still challenge, but realistically he needs to win and hope Korhonen makes a mistake or hits mechanical trouble.
There is also the threat of Tom Cave who is 17 points behind Korhonen after he too fell foul of the slippery Ulster tarmac while leading. The Welshman won in Yorkshire last year and knows he needs to repeat that success to stay in contention.
The rally starts from Pickering in north Yorkshire on Friday and finishes on Saturday afternoon.