Fisher ends wait for ITRC win

Polo R5 driver dominates to take Galway laurels

Fisher ends wait for ITRC win

Alastair Fisher gelled quickly with Polo R5. Pic: Mark Breen

Jason Craig

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Jason Craig

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Twitter: @Journojason

Alastair Fisher ended his long wait for a first Irish Tarmac Rally Championship win with a resounding victory on Sunday's Galway International Rally.

Fisher - runner-up to Craig Breen in last season's Irish Tarmac Championship - was in dominant form from the word go.

Navigated by Gordon Noble, Fisher returned four fastest times to finish 21.1 seconds clear of Hyundai i20 R5 duo, Sam Moffett and James Fulton.

The result was doubly significant as it was the second consecutive international victory for Volkswagen Motorsport's Polo GTi R5 in Ireland.

"It's good to finally get it over the line," said Alastair, nephew of the late Bertie, the last Fisher to win in Galway some 21 years ago.

"It [the win] has been a while in coming, so it's nice to finally get it. Today has been challenging, and starting in a new car [added to that challenge], but Gordon did a great job on the notes."

A number of stages were delayed, meaning many of the crews faced the greasy roads on the west coast of Ireland on cooling tyres. "The last stage was really tricky as there was heavy rain at the start of it, so we had to keep our focus," said Alastair. 

"Thankfully it worked out alright," he added.

Donagh Kelly (Volkswagen Polo GTi R5) held second place going into the closing test but he lost the place to Moffett, who went quicker over the 18.8Km of 'Black Road' by 2.5 seconds.

Welshman Meirion Evans started his campaign off in promising fashion, too. He held off 2018 Irish Tarmac champion, Josh Moffett, to take home fourth-place points ahead of round two - the West Cork Rally on March 14/15.

Notable retirements included Desi Henry (Hyundai i20 R5) owing to the front left hub shearing its bolts and Joseph McGonigle (Ford Fiesta R5 Mk2) who had to park up with a damaged suspension.

Galway International Rally - Top Five Results
1) Alastair Fisher/Gordon Noble (Volkswagen Polo GTi R5) 1h 34m 6s
2) Sam Moffett/James Fulton (Hyundai i20 R5) +21.1s
3) Donagh Kelly/Conor Foley (Volkswagen Polo GTi R5) +1.7s
4) Meirion Evans/Jonathan Jackson (Volkswagen Polo GTi R5) +11.2s
5) Josh Moffett/Keith Moriarty (Hyundai i20 R5) +20.2s

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