ALASTAIR Fisher and Gordon Noble have bolstered their bid to win the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship by claiming maximum points in the Joule Donegal International Rally last weekend.
The local pair produced a faultless drive to maximise their points haul in finishing runner-up to overall winner and defending champion Manus Kelly.
Championship leader Sam Moffett, co-driven by Karl Atkinson, finished fourth to maintain an eight and half point advantage over the Trillick driver.
With just two rounds of the championship remaining, Omagh man Noble believes its now game on after the local double act bounced back from something of a horror show in the Killarney-based Rally of the Lakes.
“We had an excellent drive in Donegal,” he said.
“It was a good clean rally, impeccably driven by Alastair. From the first day to the last we had no major dramas, no errors. We had one slow puncture but it didn’t really affect us.
“As rallys go everything worked out well for us. That said it was no stroll in the park.
“We were always under pressure from Sam Moffett, who is leading the international and national championships. He was keeping us very honest.
“They were only three seconds behind us on Friday and nine on Saturday, so we had to work extremely hard at it.”
The result certainly puts Fisher and Noble, driving a Ford Fiesta R5, firmly back in the mix for the Tarmac Championship given that only five of the six rounds count in the final reckoning.
That means the local duo could well be in a position to write off a disappointing performance in the Rally of the Lakes when they managed just one point.
The next round is the Ulster Rally in August 18 and 19 with the final round being staged at the Cork 20 Rally at the end of September.
Noble admitted things were looking a whole lot rosier following their performance in Donegal.
“Yeah, it puts us back in the picture,” he continued.
“We are looking forward to the final two rounds and things are certainly looking a lot healthier for us than they were last Friday.
“Last year we scored maximum points at the Ulster Rally and hopefully we can look forward to another good run.”