Leading Northern Irish driver Alastair Fisher is hoping for wet weather on the Circuit of Ireland, which starts from Belfast on Friday. Fisher feels rain could help to destabilize the Intercontinental Rally Challenge regulars like Jan Kopecky and Juho Hanninen.
Currently the points leader in the World Rally Championship Academy, Fisher is contesting his home round of the IRC in an S2000 Ford, and doubts that the locals will get any kind of advantage unless it rains.
"Maybe we can read the road a bit more, especially if it turns a bit wet," he said. "I wouldn't mind if it was wet, I've got quite good confidence in the wet.
"The Circuit stages aren't going to be as bumpy or as specific as, say, Donegal. It's not the biggest thing. A lot of people are talking about the suspension and the settings and things like that, but I think the foreign drivers will find it OK. It will be different to what they've done before, but not that different – probably similar to the likes of Barum [Rally Zlin] or an event like that. I think they'll cope alright, but the only thing could be the weather: if it does get wet we could maybe read the surface a little bit more."
Fisher, whose uncle Bertie won this event three times, led the Circuit in 2009 before finishing third. He hopes to make it a Fisher win for the fourth time.
"It would be very special to win this event," he said. "And coming from Portugal, where we won the Academy round, I'm feeling good and the confidence is good. We've a new engine in the Fiesta as well; the car's completely rebuilt so it's all ready.
"We've led the rally in a Group N car against the World Rally Cars, it was when it was absolutely soaking wet and we were leading by 15 seconds. But then it was bone dry the next day and that was it, we finished third.
"It's a big thing because Uncle Bertie's won the event three times. It's the big one to win, it would be nice to have the Fisher name up there."