Alastair Fisher casts his lot into final push for British title
On paper it looks as though Alastair Fisher has little chance of winning the British rally championship this weekend.
He starts Saturday's final round, the Sunseeker Rally in the south of England, sharing second place with Welshman Tom Cave, 20 points behind Finnish leader Jukka Korhonen.
But the figures are deceptive.
Drivers can discount their worst score from the six rounds and in Fisher's case that means he stands to lose just five points from his ninth place on, ironically, his home round, the Ulster Rally.
The consistent Korhonen, who has never been out of the top two, may have to drop an 18 point score, leaving the gap at just seven points. And with 50% bonus points at stake this weekend, there is still everything to play for.
Fisher, however, recognises the destination of the title is not entirely in his own hands.
"All I can do is try to win the rally and see what happens to Jukka," he said. "If he is in the top three, as he has been all season, then he'll be champion.
"But as I know only too well anything can happen on a rally like this so it's not over yet."
It has been one of those character-building seasons for the 25-year-old from Trillick. Despite being among the fastest drivers in the WRC3 division of the World championship he got little reward for his efforts and suffered another set-back when he crashed on day one of the Ulster Rally in his own Tyrone/Fermanagh backyard.
But a first BRC victory on the Scottish Rally confirmed his status as a genuine title contender. Now he just needs luck to shine on him for a change.
Omagh's Mark Donnelly won in Dorset last year but has never fully adapted to the switch from Renault to the coveted Pirelli Star Driver Citroen DS3.
The Irish contingent also includes Jonny Greer, fourth in the championship, as well as R2 division leader Daniel McKenna and the teenage duo of Jon Armstrong and Timothy Cathcart.