Paddy McVeigh looking to extend lead at Circuit of Munster Rally

Declan Boyle is returning to action in the Dunlop National Rally Championship
Declan Boyle is returning to action in the Dunlop National Rally Championship

Tyrone driver Paddy McVeigh (Subaru WRC) currently leads the Dunlop National Rally Championship which resumes on Sunday next with the Circuit of Munster Rally.

However the defending champion Declan Boyle will resume his championship bid, he missed the last round in Carlow as his Subaru WRC was not ­­­­­­­­ re­fettled in time after he crashed whilst leading the Rally of the Lakes.

Last year’s Circuit of Munster winner Kevin Kelleher (Subaru WRC) is the top seed for the rally, however he is in a race against the clock to have his car ready in time for the event that marks the mid­point of the series.

There is little doubt that Boyle, winner of the opening two rounds in Ballina and Tralee, is the favourite for victory as he bids to win back to back Dunlop titles.

Welsh driver Hugh Hunter in his S11 Subaru took a hard earned win in Carlow to move up to fourth overall in the series and that should provide a confidence booster as he aims to stay the pace with Boyle.

Third overall in last year’s Dunlop series Roy White (MG ZR) had a strong performance in Carlow.

It was where he punched in a pair of fastest stage times and he will be looking for a similar performance over the roads of West Limerick.

Meanwhile, Paddy McVeigh will begin this round as leader of the Dunlop series, consistency is the key element of his championship bid.

Steadily building his pace in the ex­Darren Gass Subaru WRC, overseas driver Steve Wood (Subaru WRC) lies in third place in the eight round series.

So far it has not been a good season for Dunlop regular Kevin Barrett, who is still seeking his first finish of the current campaign; he will be co­driven by

Limerick’s Sean Mullally in the S14 Subaru WRC.

London based Michael O’Brien in a Ford Focus WRC was fifth in Carlow and he occupies the number eight berth.

The most recent bi­monthly nominee for the Billy Coleman Award, Josh Moffett is seeded at eleven and is the top Group N entry and he will have fellow county driver

Shane Maguire and current leader of the Motorsport Safety Group N award Neil ohill, both in Mitsubishi Evos as his principal opposition.

The loop of three special stages are located to the north and south of the N69 near the villages of Kildimo, Askeaton and Pallaskenry. Servicing take place at the Limerick Racecourse and the finish ramp celebrations at the Rathkeale House Hotel are scheduled for 4.46pm on Sunday evening.