Niall Maguire (Subaru WRC) took a 22-second victory in the Seaview Hotel Donegal Harvest Rally today, in what was the penultimate round of the Dunlop National Rally Championship.
His Dunlop title rival, Patrick Elliott (Subaru WRC) was second and the title will now be decided on the West Cork Hotel Fastnet Rally in Skibbereen on October 25.
Seamus Leonard/John McCafferty (Subaru WRC) overcame transmission woes to finish third - one minute and seven seconds further adrift.
The Group N category was won by Kevin Kelleher/Paddy Robinson (Mitsubishi).
Kevin Barrett (Subaru WRC) led initially but gearbox trouble signalled the end on just the second stage.
Maguire, who was sixth after the opening stage, led at the end of the second test.
The lead changed again when Elliott arrived at the service halt after S.S. 3 leading Maguire by four seconds.
However, Maguire stamped his authority on the event and reclaimed the lead on S.S. 4 and was never headed thereafter.
Seamus Leonard, who was shown in fourth for most of the day, had his second stage time amended and duly claimed third.
Kevin Kelleher in a Mitsubishi had a clutch malady on the second loop that was sorted at the service halt.
Garry Jennings, who punched in a pair of fastest times, stopped at the Barrett incident and was credited with his actual time and is set to query why he wasn't given a notional time in the circumstances, provisionally, he is classified 19th.
In the Modified category, Damien Gallagher (Ford Escort) edged out Declan Boyle (Escort) by a mere second.
1. N. Maguire/E. Sherry (Subaru WRC) 1h. 19m. 11s.
2. P. Elliott/P. Goodman (Subaru WRC) 1h. 19. 33s.
3. S. Leonard/J. McCafferty (Subaru WRC) 1h. 20m. 18s.
4. K. Kelleher/P. Robinson (Mitsubishi Evo) 1h. 20m. 56s.
5. D. Gallagher/P. Garry (Ford Escort) 1h. 21m. 54s.
6. D. Boyle/B. Boyle (Ford Escort) 1h. 21m. 55s.
7. C. Bradley/D. O'Neill (Ford Escort) 1h. 21m. 56s.
8. E. Ferry/D. Heena (Ford Escort) 1h. 22m. 33s.
9. G. Harris/J. McElhinney (Subaru) 1h. 24m. 14s.
10. P. Kirk/P. Ward (Mitsubishi) 1h. 24m. 20s.
DUNLOP NATIONAL RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP (Positions after Round 9):
1. N. Maguire 150pts; 2. P. Elliott 136pts; =3. K. Barrett & K. Kelleher 102 pts.