Success for Monaghan Crews in Donegal

Posted: June 25, 2014 in Uncategorized


Last weekend saw the running of Ireland’s biggest rally of the year, the Donegal International Rally. This mammoth three day event based in Letterkenny traversed 20 stages over some of Irelands best known rally terrain through County Donegal. Clontibret’s Sam Moffett headed North West looking to make it back to back victories in Donegal having won the event last year. Sam and co-driver James O’Reilly performed magnificently and although they had to settle for the runner up spot they led the rally on the opening Friday stages and were the only crew who were able to mount a serious challenge to eventual winners Declan and Brian Boyle. In the end the winning margin was a mere 35 seconds for the Boyle cousin’s who are the first local Donegal crew to win their home event in over 15 years. Moffett is in fourth place in the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship 22 points behind Declan Boyle. Third overall went to Gary Jennings and Rory Kennedy who were almost 3 minutes further adrift.

            In what was to prove a fantastic weekend for the entire Moffett Motorsport family,

Sam’s brother Josh had another convincing Group N win by almost 5 minutes from Cavan man Stephen McCann, with Aaron McHale 3rd. Navigated by John Rowan the Mitsubishi driver lay in second after Day 1 but took the lead on stage 7 and didn’t look back. Josh is currently second in the overall championship 19.5 points behind Boyle.

            In the highly competitive and entertaining national section it was a Monaghan victory

once again as Gary McPhillips and Paul Sheridan took the overall win for the second year in a row. A riveting battle saw McPhillips along with fellow Monaghan crew Daniel McKenna and Arthur Kierans and Donegal’s Manus Kelly and Donal Barrett battle it out for top honours. Daniel and Arthur had a slender lead after the first two days of competition, trading stage wins with McPhillips but gearbox trouble on stage 15 forced his retirement. With Manus Kelly crashing out, McPhillips and Sheridan took the win by well over a minute from his nearest competitor Conor Harvey. Frank Kelly rounded off the top three in the National Category.

            Richard Moffett and Martin Connolly took a class 13 victory by almost five minutes in the first of the Moffett starlets, whilst younger brother David, navigated by Fintan Sherry won the highly competitive junior rally by just under 30 seconds in the second of the Moffett Engineering backed starlets. There was success also for Mac Kierans who took the win in the Historics Rally co-driving for Seamus O’Connell.

            Other local crews include Anthony Hand and James McCarville who took a fantastic second place in class 11R. Pauric Duffy and Kevin Glynn took sixth in class 16. Gerard McQuaid and Gary Quinlan took 3rd place in class 13. Jim McKenna and Thomas Treanor took 6th in class 14 and 10th overall in the National rally while John McQuaid and Seamus O’Connor took 5th in class 14 and 9th in the National Rally. Brendan Cumisky and Gerry McVeigh were running as high as 6th in Group N but unfortunately didn’t make the finish. Shane Maguire and Martin McGarrity were also running inside the top 10 in Group N but gearbox problems forced their retirement on Day 2. Brendan and JP McAree sadly failed to see the finish line in their Porsche 911. The crew were running second in class K in the Historics rally until retirement after four stages. Ryan McKenna and Aidan Coyle also failed to finish. The pair were lying 7th overall in the Junior Rally until retirement on stage 3.


Donegal International Rally Top 10

1 Declan Boyle/Brian Boyle (Subaru Impreza WRC) 2h 21m 56s

2 Sam Moffett/James O’Reilly (Ford Fiesta WRC) 2h 22m 31s

3 Garry Jennings/Rory Kennedy (Subaru Impreza WRC) 2h 25m 14s

4 Derek McGarrity/James McKee (Subaru Impreza WRC) 2h 26m 42s

5 Josh Moffett/John Rowan (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) 2h 33m 09s

6 Stephen McCann/Lisa O’Dowd (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) 2h 37m 58s

7 Aaron MacHale/Paul McGee (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) 2h 40m 02s

8 Callum Devine/Liam McLaughlin (Ford Fiesta R2) 2h 43m 41s

9 Richard Tannahill/Aileen Kelly (Peugeot 208 R2) 2h 44m 18s

10 Brian O’Keeffe/Sean Hayde (Subaru Impreza) 2h 45m 41s



1 Gary McPhillips/Paul Sheridan (Ford Escort) 2h 30m 06s,

2 Conor Harvey/Gerard Callaghan (Ford Escort) 2h 31m 24s,

3 Frank Kelly/Liam Brennan (Ford Escort) 2h 31m 34s,



1 Seamus O’Connell/Mac Kierans (Ford Escort) 2h 00m 52s,

2 Andy Johnson/Jim McSherry (Vauxhall Chevette) 2h 05m 47s,

3 Aidan O’Connor/Ian Regan (Ford Escort) 2h 08m 52s,



1 David Moffett/Fintan Sherry (Toyota Starlet) 57m 38s,

2 Patrick O’Brien/Thomas Nugent (Citroen C2R2 Max) 58m 02s,

3 Jonathan Orr/Martin McBrearty (Honda Civic) 58m 52s,



Belgian Rally Championship          

Congratulations to Stephen and Suzanne Wright who finished tenth in class RC4 in the Geko Ypres Rally last weekend in Belgium. The Newbliss pair are currently 3rd in their class in the Belgian Rally championship 15 points off the leader Guillaume Dilley.



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