Gary Mc Philips and Manus Kelly were separated by just point eight of a second headling into the final stage.
The Monaghan driver won after Kelly slipped off the road in Fanad.
Manus is hoping to be as close again come the Sunday this time round...
Another Donegal driver hoping for a solid run in the National rally is Declan Gallagher.
The milkman goes into Donegal leading the Tarmac Championship thanks to a faultless run which has seen his Toyota startlet finish every rally it competed in this year.
Declan is hoping the pressure of tackling his home event wont effect his performance...
Highland Radio Sport will have LIVE stage by stage reports through the weekend from the Donegal International Rally,