As an event, this Ordnance Survey Ireland/Gleneagle Hotel Rally of the Lakes, the third round of the Pirelli Irish Tarmac Championship, had all the ingredients.
Classic stages and a superb entry that was dominated by the Subaru WRC of Derek McGarrity/Dermot O’Gorman.
They led from start to finish and cruised to a facile victory – finishing two minutes and four seconds ahead of the Ford Focus of Austin MacHale/Brian Murphy. Eamonn Boland/Damien Morrissey (Mitsubishi) were third.
With McGarrity out in front, the focus switched to the battle for second between Donie O'Sullivan and Austin MacHale.
It all went wrong for O’Sullivan, who crashed out on the penultimate stage, Caragh Lake where his Focus subsequently caught fire.
That gave MacHale an untroubled run to second with Boland third.
Behind, JJ Fleming had a trouble free run to fourth with Tim NcNulty (Subaru WRC) completing a fine recovery after two off road excursions and a puncture to take fifth
Johnny O’Sullivan (Escort WRC) was sixth after a few problems on the closing stages.
Alan Ring (Subaru) was an impresive winner of the Group N category ahead of the Mitsubishi’s of James Foley and Aaron MacHale.
Ollie O’Donovan, who sustained two broken ribs in an accident earlier in the week, brought his Subaru WRC into the final place in the top ten.
The national category was won by Brendan Brosnan (Peugeot) and in the Junior section, James Stafford (Nova) took a final stage victory over the Peugeot of Owen Murphy.
1. D. McGarrity/D. O’Gorman (Subaru WRC) 2h. 25m. 55s.
2. A. MacHale/B. Murphy (Ford Focus WRC) 2h. 27m. 59s.
3. E. Boland/D. Morrissey (Mitsubishi WRC) 2h. 29m. 01s.
4. J.J. Fleming/R. Ward (Subaru WRC) 2h. 33m. 41s.
5. T. McNulty/A. Nestor (Subaru WRC) 2h. 34m. 48s.
6. J. O’Sullivan/P. Cashman (Escort WRC) 2h. 37m. 20s.
7. A. Ring/G. Shinnors (Subaru) 2h. 37m. 47s.
8. J. Foley/L. Roe (Mitsubishi) 2h. 38m. 20s.
9. A. MacHale/G. McMonagle (Mitsubishi) 2h. 38m. 41s.
10. O. O’Donovan/S. Mullally (Subaru) 2h. 39m. 18s.