The fire spitting Group A Sierra Cosworths heralded the new Group A dawn in Irish rallying when Jimmy McRae took his fifth Circuit of Ireland win, but it was in Donegal that the Tarmac Championship finally kicked off after the insurance crisis. Bertie Fisher got his first Donegal win in his Shell backed Manta 400.
On the Ulster Lovell began to make his mark, but team orders prevented Mark taking his second Tarmac win of the year on the Manx, however his runner up spot put him in contention for the Championship.
Austin MacHale won the Cork 20 beating Billy Coleman (M3) and Bertie Fisher but Lovell was absence, so the showdown came in Killarney. This was a tragically shortened event due to Sean Conlon’s fatal accident so Mark Lovell and Roger Freeman were declared the winner of the final round and the Championship.