Changing weather conditions brought good fortune for Ballylickey’s Denis Cronin and his co-driver, Helen O’Sullivan (Subaru WRC).
With four stages remaining, they trailed leaders, Liam McCarthy/Kieran Murphy, also in a Subaru WRC by 24.5 seconds.
Cronin’s performance in the extremely wet conditions saw him reduce the deficit to 10.1 seconds with just two stages remaining as McCarthy suffered a number of overshoots.
On the penultimate stage, Cronin moved into the lead by a mere 2.1 seconds and set the pace on the final stage to claim his first West Cork Rally victory by 16.9 seconds.
Throughout the two days the two West Cork drivers served up some of the most exciting fare ever witnessed on the Clonakilty based rally.
Behind them, British driver, Steve Fleck (Subaru WRC) was third – some two minutes and 40 seconds in arrears.
Bob Fowden carried out some suspension adjustments to his Subaru that saw him move from seventh at the overnight halt to finish fourth.
JJ Fleming in a Ford Focus WRC, like many others had a few overshoots in the wet conditions, he was fifth with John Dalton (Darrian) heading the rear wheel drive contingent.
Nigel Hicklin (Skoda Octavia WRC) was seventh from Group N winner, Kevin Kelleher (Mitsubishi), who capitalised on the misfortune of James O’Sullivan (Mitsubishi), who crashed out on the final stage, prior to that, he had a strong lead.
Mark Morgan (Mitsubishi) and George Thaw (Subaru WRC) took the final two places in the top ten.
D. Cronin/H. O’Sullivan (Subaru WRC) 1h. 58m. 29.8s.
L. McCarthy/K. Murphy (Subaru WRC) 1h. 58m. 46.7.
S. Fleck/M. Aspinall (Subaru WRC) 2h. 01m. 21.2s.
B. Fowden/G. Hynes (Subaru) 2h. 01m. 45.2s.
JJ Fleming/R. Ward (Ford Focus WRC) 2h. 02m. 48.7s.
J. Dalton/G. Jones (Darrian) 2h. 03m. 10.9s.
N. Hicklin/S. McMullan (Skoda Octavia WRC) 2h. 05m. 47.4s.
K. Kelleher/M. Kelleher (Mitsubishi) 2h. 06m. 56.7s.
M. Morgan/T. Fisher (Mitsubishi) 2h. 06m. 56.7s.
G. Thaw/T. Ettunger (Subaru WRC) 2h. 07m. 39.9s