Alastair Fisher has confirmed he will drive a Volkswagen Polo R5 on this weekend’s Galway International Rally, the first round of the 2020 Irish Tarmac Rally Championship. Fisher finalised the deal this week off the back of a promising test in a Polo last week.
“The car felt good,” Fisher told Rally Insight. “The engine, the suspension and handling of the car were all very positive.
“Overall against the older generation Fiesta R5 you could notice small advances but really until you get it onto the stages with some mileage you won’t know exactly where you stand.”
When it came down to what car to take to Galway, Fisher explained that it was all about finding a good feeling in the car.
“The Polo gives good feedback and you get a good feeling of the road, really that’s the main thing.
“The Fiesta was always very good at providing you a sense of what the grip was like.
“It was just a matter of finding a similar feeling to give you a positive mindset in the car.”
The Dom Buckley prepared Polo R5 already has a rally win to its name, courtesy of Martin McCormack’s success on last year’s Cork 20. Fisher will be hoping for similar results as he makes the swap from Ford to Volkswagen after driving the Fiesta R5 since 2015.
“There is certainly a competitive entry in for Galway, there are a lot of drivers out in new cars so it was a suitable time to try a new car when everyone is, to an extent, on a level playing field.”
Gordon Noble remains in the car as Fisher’s co-driver and the pair will have to be prepared to face the traditionally challenging conditions offered at this time of year in Galway.
“Typically Galway is one of the more difficult events.
“The time of year, the conditions, and generally there is a lot of mud and gravel pulled out as the roadsides are soft with all the wet weather.
“Making accurate pacenotes and foreseeing where you are going to have issues with gravel or issues with cutting is really important.”
Follow the Rally Insight website for more Galway previews, reports and stories before and after this weekend’s Irish Tarmac opener.
Photo: Kevin Glendinning