Damien Tourish and his co-driver Domhall McAllaney scored their second Mitsubishi Ralliart Evolution Challenge Ireland victory of the season on last weekend's Riverbank House Hotel Dick Bailey Stages – their performance good enough to see them finish third overall.
They led from the start, holding off the advances of Owen Murphy/Rodney Hicks who finished a clear second, the young Cork driver claiming the runner-up spot for the third time this season.
The event, better known as the Wexford Rally, featured 207 competitive kilometres split into eight stages on Saturday and a further eight stages on Sunday, with a service halt after every two.
Of the ten crews registered for the Irish Evolution Challenge, six had initially entered, but even before the start, Galway driver Tom Curley had to withdraw due to a recurring back injury - leaving five crews to contest the series' fifth and penultimate round.
Saturday started wet. However, that didn't stop Tourish/McAllaney making their intentions clear from the word go and they exited the first stage 15 seconds ahead of Murphy/Hicks, who were frustrated to have been slowed after catching other cars.
As the weather improved and the roads started to dry out, the pace increased - but Tourish kept his cool and continued to extend his lead. However, luck was certainly running with him, as he managed to survive a disintegrating brake disk, which was discovered by his team at the lunch-time service halt.
On the final stage of the day Murphy was at last able to set a faster time than Tourish, but was now one-minute and nine seconds behind. Next was winner of rounds one and three Brendan Cumiskey, who had rebuilt his car following a series of incidents last time out. With this in mind, he and co-driver Conor Foley admitted not to be driving flat-out in order to keep their championship hopes intact.
They were followed by current series leaders Alan Carmichael/Ivor Lamont, who were also not completely happy with the way things were going - especially after most of their car's major mechanical components had been overhauled in the past few weeks.
Stanley Ballentine/Richard Hyland held fifth place and, although setting respectable times, were keen on keeping out of trouble in light of their accident on round four. In fact, such was the damage to his familiar blue Evo, Ballentine was forced to use his 'spare' white car in which he had started the season.