Championship leader Donagh Kelly heads field in Waterford

Donagh Kelly/Kevin Flanagan (Ford Focus WRC) on their  way to victory in the Deebert House Hotel Circuit of Munster Rally
Donagh Kelly/Kevin Flanagan (Ford Focus WRC) on their way to victory in the Deebert House Hotel Circuit of Munster Rally

Triton Showers National Rally Championship leader Donagh Kelly (Ford Focus WRC) heads a capacity entry for tomorrow’s fifth round of the series, the Dooley’s Hotel Raven’s Rock Rally.

Having taken all but three of the maximum points from the rounds to date the Donegal driver is edging closer to lifting the Vard Memorial Trophy, one of the most impressive pieces of silverware in Irish rallying.

Triple national champion Niall Maguire will make his debut in the ex-Declan Boyle championship winning S12B Subaru WRC and it will be interesting to see how he performs in the nine-stage event in Waterford.

The S12B Subaru is possibly the most successful car in Irish rallying; Tim McNulty won the National and Tarmac series in 2011 before Boyle subsequently acquired the car from the Derek McGarrity stable and then went on to win his first National title in 2013. Last year the Donegal driver won both crowns.

Maguire lies second in the Triton series, 37 points adrift of series leader, Donagh Kelly and certainly needs to out score his rival to help his title bid.

Alan Ring (Subaru WRC) occupies the number three slot, he is currently third in the Triton Showers series and having taken a season best second overall on the Circuit of Munster will be aiming for a podium spot again.

Former national champion Warrenpoint’s Peadar Hurson (Subaru WRC), a recent winner of the Cavan Rally, will be keen to show similar form in a round of the Triton series.

Meanwhile, Welsh ace and former Dunlop champion Melvyn Evans (Subaru WRC) makes rare appearance on a round of the series and should be very competitive.

Also amongst the top ten is title sponsor Kevin Barrett in the Triton Showers liveried Subaru WRC, he was fifth last time out and occupies the same position the series.

Last season’s National series runner-up Roy White (MG ZR) made a welcome return to the podium in the last round and secured much needed points to get back into the top three title race.

The top ten is completed by James Belton (Ford Fiesta R5), former Irish Forest Rally champion Michael O’Brien (Ford Focus WRC) and Graham Scallan (Mitsubishi EvoIX).

Rally Headquarters is Dooley’s Hotel and the first car is away at 9.40am.