Meirion Evans has been in fine form on the first two IRish Tarmac rounds. Picture: David Harrigan

Meirion Evans reckons a breakthrough win in the Irish Tarmac Championship is only a matter of time following consecutive second-place finishes.

Evans ended the season opening Galway International Rally back in February as runner-up to Josh Moffett, with the pair repeating that performance on the West Cork Rally over Saint Patrick’s weekend.

Evans – the son of car preparation expert, Melvyn – made the Irish Tarmac Championship the priority this season.He will start the Circuit of Ireland International Rally – round three of the cross-border competition – in Ballymena this month just three points behind Moffett.

Despite lacking the experience of Ireland’s country roads compared to many fellow R5 and Rally2 drivers, Evans has already shown real potential alongside his co-driving team-mate, Jonathan Jackson. 

But the manner of his performance in Galway – which was achieved in typically tough conditions where wind, rain and mud were all factors – is one that Evans has taken greatest confidence from.

After 15 special stages, he finished just 14.1 seconds behind the Hyundai i20 R5 belonging to Moffett – the 2018 Irish Tarmac champion. In West Cork, the final margin was 23.3 seconds.

“I think the speed is something we’ve built on over most of last year and carried it forward,” said Evans. “We were pretty fast in Cork last September. It was nice for us to prove to ourselves that we can really fight at the front and I think the positive thing with what we achieved in Galway was the conditions.

“They were just so difficult over both days and we were still able to be at the front. It is always a fine line in a Championship – you have to strike the balance between speed and consistency.

“Galway is a rally you want to get something out of and, in reality, second was a really good start for us. Now we just need to try and keep the momentum up.

“A podium in West Cork is always nice and it brought with it good points but obviously a win would have been perfect,” he continued. “I am not ruling it [a win] out [this season].

“Anything is definitely possible but I am aware of the quality around me. Those guys are not going to make it straightforward. We’ve obviously been close [to winning] a few times but each rally is a clean slate.

“I think it’s fair to say there are a few good drivers in the frame for the win, as always with these events.”

Aside from Moffett, competition in the Irish Tarmac Championship this year also comes from Alastair Fisher (Volkswagen Polo GTI R5), Callum Devine (Ford Fiesta Rally2), Cathan McCourt (Ford Fiesta Rally2) and Jonathan Greer (Citroen C3 Rally2).

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