Darren Gass is free to compete in this weekend’s Cork 20 Rally - the final round of the series - despite being recently banned for three years for a drink-driving offence.

The decision was made because the 24-year-old has appealed the penalties and his documents are valid for this weekend.

Gass was convicted of drink-driving, dangerous driving and of causing criminal damage at Glencove Manor in Co Monaghan on 4 June this year.

The Armagh native is the current leader of the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship.

Governing body Motorsport Ireland said in a statement released today: “Darren Gass has satisfied the requirements of Motorsport Ireland with respect to the validity of his driving licence, competition licence and insurance and is eligible to compete in the 2012 Cork 20 International Rally.”

The statement comes after consultation between the governing body with Gass’ representatives and the MSA, the British ruling body with which Gass holds his competition licence.

Gass has already won the Galway, Ulster and Circuit of Ireland rallies this year.