The Clonmel driver has been ultra consistent all through the opening six rounds annexing the maximum 23 on two occasions when the rally winners were not registered for the series. On Sunday’s penultimate round, the Hyundai Limerick Motor Centre Clare Rally, that is based at the Oak Wood Hotel in Shannon, White and his Cork co-driver James O’Brien are gearing up for that elusive win.
However, the prospect is not made any easier by the presence of three former champions and some series interlopers, but White has identified a possible route to success. “We are going to play with a few set-ups and see how it goes. The pressure is off so we can try more extremes to address the issues that we are having. I can afford to take a step back from being so aggressive with the car, at square junctions I haven’t really got the hang of it, everywhere else the car is good. I think I might be overdriving the car in that situation.”
Former champions Donegal’s Declan Boyle (Fiesta WRC), Warrenpoint’s Peadar Hurson and Monaghan’s Niall Maguire, both in Subaru WRC’s are in contention for the runner-up spot in the national series.
For others the rally is an ideal shakedown for the upcoming Acesigns Cork “20” International Rally. Those slotting into this category are Monaghan’s Josh Moffett (Fiesta R5), who is a late entry, his fellow countyman Stephen Wright and Ovens driver Owen Murphy (Skoda Fabia S2000) - the latter probably needs the rally most given that it will only be his third outing in the car.
Meanwhile, Maynooth’s Kevin Barrett (Subaru WRC), Ballylickey’s Daniel Cronin (Mitsubishi), and Meath’s Trevor Mulligan (Ford Escort) are all seeded in the top 10.
For Mulligan, it’s a key event as he closes on a unique double – the rally.ie title (top two wheel drive in overall classification) and the Triton Showers Ford Escort Mk. 2 Champions Trophy series.
Meanwhile, Meath’s Gary McNamee is just a maximum score away from the Triton Showers National Rally Junior series. Donegal’s Michael Boyle (Honda Civic) needs to take the important ten points to ensure he brings the title decider to his native Donegal in a few weeks time. Mitchelstown’s Colin Roche (Toyota Starlet) is also in the title equation but needs results to go his way.
Elsewhere, newly crowned British Rally champion Elfyn Evans (Fiesta R5) led the way after last evening’s opening three stages of the 138.com Rally Isle of Man, the final round of the British Championship. Evans led fellow Welsh driver Tom Cave (Fiesta R5) by 12.3 seconds with Manx native Mark Higgins (Fiesta R5) just a fraction of a second further behind.
Waterford’s Craig Breen, the top seed in the David Greer Motorsport run Citroen DS3 R5 led after the opening stage, was second after S.S. 2 but stopped with engine trouble some four miles into the third stage.
The most prestigious prize in Irish motor racing, the Leinster Trophy is down for decision at Mondello Park on Sunday. The BOSS (Big Open Single Seaters) Ireland is the chosen category this year with some twenty cars lining up on the grid for a race once won by the late Ayrton Senna and Mika Hakkinen. Former Leinster Trophy winners Barry Rabbitt and Stephen Daly, Paul Dagg (Dallara Formula 3) Sylvie Mullins in a Formula 1-engined Gould chassis and Jonathan Fildes in his Ralt Formula Atlantic are amongst the line-up. BOSS Ireland’s Dan Daly will demonstrate his ex-Rubens Barrichello Jordan Formula 1 car, the first time a Jordan has run at Mondello Park since 1999. The SEAT Supercup Ireland concludes in Mondello and is a three-way title shootout between Erik Holstein, Niall Quinn and Rod McGovern, who are separated by just six points.
Ferrari GT driver, Matt Griffin and his AF Corse team mate Duncan Cameron take part in the final Blancpain Endurance Series race of the season at the Nurburgring circuit in Germany on Sunday.