Donegal cousins, Declan and Brian Boyle are bidding to clinch their first Dunlop National Rally Championship this Sunday, in Tipperary.
Declan and Brian in their S128 Subaru WRC are competing in the Sepam Tipperary Stonethrowers Rally, which presents them with their first of three such title clinching opportunities.
They go into Sunday’s rally having taken four outright victories in the five rounds to date.
Currently 26 points ahead of the Monaghan pair of Niall Maguire and Enda Sherry, the Boyles will take the title provided they secure maximum points in the nine stage Clonmel Park Hotel based rally.
“I will be nervous, as anything could happen. I am close to winning the championship, I need to try and get into my head drive the car fast and safe, no mistakes, however, on the day, it’s not that simple - but I will try hard,” said Declan.
On his nearest title rival, Niall Maguire, he added, “I have to say Niall is always there in the end, he finishes all the time, no offs, which at that pace is very good.”
The last time that Boyle competed in Clonmel was in 2010 when he came fourth overall in his Mk. 2 Escort to win the rally.ie award within the Dunlop series.
About his S12B Subaru WRC, Boyle opined, “The car is fully checked now, ready to go. I wasn’t happy with the power in Sligo but we got it up to speed, so hopefully it will be alright on the stage. Michael McGill, the team boss from MMG Motorsport are doing a great job all season.”
Meanwhile, triple national champion, Niall Maguire is running out of time to take that unprecedented fourth crown.
Realistically, he has to win or at least finish ahead of Boyle to keep the title aspirations alive. Otherwise, for the first time in 20 years, the national title could be decided in Clonmel.
In 1993, Ian Greer and Dean Beckett (Toyota Celica) were crowned champions in the premier county.
Welsh driver, James Belton (Subaru WRC) currently lies third overall and he will have aspirations on closing the four point deficit to Maguire.