Jimmy Lambert and his co-driver, James Coleman, from Ardfinnan, County Tipperary, fought their way back from a first stage overshoot to win the Crosbie Cedars Hotel Wexford Rally in dramatic fashion.
Prior to the third and final stage, they had drawn level with local heroes, David James/Ron Guha (Escort).
Lambert powered his Escort through the stage and coped admirably with the night conditions. He won by 14 seconds and a stunned James admitted he had done everything possible, however, it wasn't good enough to outwit Lambert.
Philip Shaw took a deserved third with James Nolan claiming fourth, even though the intercom system failed on the final run.
Tom Randles completed his first stage recovery to finish fifth a few seconds ahead of James Foley (Honda Civic), who endured some anxious moments to guide his car to the finish when the oil filter cap broke.
The Group N category was won by Wexford's, Thomas O'Rourke (Astra), he capitalised on the misfortunes of Willie Fannin (Mitsubishi), who had to traverse most of the stage without the light pod after it came adrift.
Tom Lawless (Honda Civic), Garry Jennings (Peugeot) and James Stafford (Nova) completed the top ten:
1. J. Lambert/J. Coleman (Ford Escort) 31M.44S;
2. D. James/R. Guha (Ford Escort) 31M. 58S;
3. P. Shaw/D. Brannigan (Ford Escort) 32M. 04S;
4. J. Nolan/J. Smithwick (Ford Escort) 32M. 34S;
5. T. Randles/D. Lynch (Ford Escort) 32M.46S;
6. J. Foley/A. Foley (Honda Civic) 32M.59S;
7. T. O'Rourke/J. O'Rourke (Opel Astra) 33M. 08S;
8. T. Lawless/B. Sharkey (Honda Civic) 33M. 12S;
9. G. Jennings/J. O'Brien (Peugeot 106) 33M. 18S;
10. J. Stafford/J. Stafford (Vauxhall Nova) 33M.28S.