Welshman Hugh Hunter won The Seven Oaks Hotel Carlow Rally, round three of the Dunlop National Rally Championship.
Hunter and his co-driver Andy Marchbank (Subaru WRC) fended off the challenge of Melvyn Evans/Mark Glennerster (Subaru WRC) to win by 5.6 seconds. Roy White/James O’Brien (MG ZR) were third.
Paddy McVeigh/Gary McElhinney (Subaru WRC) netted fourth to move into the lead of the Dunlop series.
The Dunlop 'Drive of the Day' was won by Frank Kelly/Liam Brennan (Ford Escort), they were down in 15th after the opening stage but recovered to finish eighth overall.
Hunter and Evans moved ahead of their rivals and after seven of the nine stages Hunter was just 0.4 of a second ahead.
However, with the fastest times on the closing two stages Hunter took victory.
White’s MG lapsed on to three cylinders on the penultimate stage but he held on to secure third from McVeigh, who took 16 Dunlop points to move into the lead of the series. O’Brien and Wood completed the top six.
Lisburn’s Wesley Patterson (Escort) won the Modified category with Frank Kelly second.
The Group N category was won by Shane Maguire (Mitsubishi).
The Roscommon crew of Cormac Phelan/Katja Auhl (Honda Civic) won the Junior category and the Historic section was won by John Reid/Enda Shiels (Ford Escort).
The Seven Oaks Hotel Carlow Rally result
1. H. Hunter/A. Marchbank (Subaru WRC) 1h. 00m. 20.6s.
2. M. Evans/M. Glennerster (Subaru WRC) 1h. 00m. 26.2s.
3. R. White/J. O'Brien (MG ZR) 1h. 01m. 39.7s.
4. P. McVeigh/G. McElhinney (Subaru WRC) 1h. 01m. 43.9s.
5. M. O'Brien/S. Quin (Ford Focus WRC) 1h. 01m. 58.4s.
6. S. Wood/K. Moriarty (Subaru WRC) 1h. 02m. 14.9s.
7. W. Patterson/J. Baird (Ford Escort) 1h. 02m. 44.6s.
8. F. Kelly/L. Brennan (Ford Escort) 1h. 03m. 20.8s.
9. V. Hamill/P. Sheridan (Ford Escort) 1h. 04m. 02.5s.
10. D. Barry/G. Noble (Mitsubishi EvoX) 1h. 04m. 41.2s.
Dunlop National Rally Championship
(Standings after Round 3):
1. P. McVeigh 46pts.
=2. D. Boyle & S. Wood 40pts.
4. H. Hunter 38pts;
5. R. White 36pts.