Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 29 July 2014

Greer and Fisher in twin title bid

Alastair Fisher

It's going to be a tough - and crucial - weekend for Ulster teenage drivers Jonny Greer and Alastair Fisher.

They face two rallies in two days on different sides of the Irish Sea with two championships at stake.

The 18-year-olds are top of the standings in both the British and Irish Ford Fiesta Trophy series with Fisher, from Enniskillen, heading the Irish championship by seven points from Greer going into Sunday's final round which is part of the Cork '20' International.

In the British series, the positions are reversed with Carryduff-man Greer leading Fisher by 26 points as they tackle the penultimate round on Saturday.

It is the McRae Stages in Scotland which, with the approval of his family, will go ahead despite the death of its long-time sponsor, legend Colin McRae, in a helicopter crash less than a fortnight ago.

Many of the competitors will stay on for the Service of Celebration for former World champion Colin and his son Johnny in Lanark on Sunday, but the Ulster duo must depart overnight for Cork and their Irish showdown.

Greer admits it is going to be a difficult weekend with the need to score good points in Scotland tempered by the need to preserve his Fiesta for the Irish finale.

"I don't know what my plan will be. It will be very tight and anything can happen," he said.

"To some extent Alastair and I will be at a disadvantage with having to drive on gravel on Saturday, then switch to tarmac on Sunday, but then there is the advantage of having more time in the car.

"There is a fine line between pushing for a result and keeping the championship in mind.

"We'll try and keep our heads, see what everyone else does on Saturday and then take it from there."

Fisher, nephew of the late Bertie Fisher, a former Cork International winner, agrees it is going to be a very tough weekend.

"Going from gravel on the Saturday at the McRae Stages to tarmac on the Sunday will be difficult, but that's part of the challenge," he said.

Fisher is the man in form at the moment, taking victory on the previous UK round in Wales and following up with a win at home in the Irish series on the Lakeland Stages.

He's favourite for the Irish title but cautions: "It is going to be very tight at the top and I wouldn't like to predict who's going to come out in front.

"Plus we have to get through the McRae Stages before we ever get to Cork and I still have a good shot at winning the UK title as well. We'll just have to play it by ear and see what happens."

Incidentally, Greer's DGM team from Carryduff, will be fielding a Fiesta on the Scottish event for Lohith Urs, the first Indian driver to take part in the series.

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